Archaeological Ethnography: A Multitemporal Meeting Ground for Archaeology and Anthropology

Posted: 2 Nov 2011

Date Written: October 2011

Abstract

Archaeology and anthropology, despite their commonalities, have had a rather asymmetrical relationship, and the periodic attempts at closer collaboration resulted in mutual frustration. As both disciplines have recently undergone significant changes, however, with anthropology embracing more fully materiality and historicity, and archaeology engaging in contemporary research, often involving ethnography, the time is ripe for a new rapprochement. Archaeological ethnography, an emerging transdisciplinary field, offers such an opportunity. Archaeological ethnography is defined here as a transcultural space for multiple encounters, conversations, and interventions, involving researchers from various disciplines and diverse publics, and centered around materiality and temporality. It is multitemporal rather than presentist, and although many of its concerns to date are about clashes over heritage, this article argues that its potential is far greater because it can dislodge the certainties of conventional archaeology and question its ontological principles, such as those founded on modernist, linear, and successive temporality.

Suggested Citation

Hamilakis, Yannis, Archaeological Ethnography: A Multitemporal Meeting Ground for Archaeology and Anthropology (October 2011). Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 40, pp. 399-414, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1950857 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-081309-145732

Yannis Hamilakis (Contact Author)

University of Southampton ( email )

University Rd.
Southampton SO17 1BJ, Hampshire SO17 1LP
United Kingdom

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