Pages: 3 - 31 Abstract: In 2013, Brown University launched Archaeology’s Dirty Little Secrets, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that, in its two iterations to date, has reached a global audience of some 30,000 people. We first discuss course design, content, assessment practices, and metrics of success within the context provided by other digital archaeological endeavors, as well as reviewing the composition of the online audience. Drawing on this experience, in the second part of the article we explore various opportunities for public outreach and engagement made possible by this platform, not least the potential participatory role of a new online community in archaeological activity and advocacy. PubDate: 2016-01-27T23:45:07-08:00 DOI: 10.1177/1469605315609017 Issue No:Vol. 16, No. 1 (2016)
Dawdy; S. L. Pages: 32 - 55 Abstract: What does it mean to view the landscape dialectically? I here experiment with an approach inspired by Benjamin, the intent of which is to expand our understanding of dialectics beyond the structural Marxism that dominates urban geography. I seek to temper macro-level analyses of political economies with a recognition of micro-level processes of both active matter and human consciousness that can shape, constrain, or undo. In fact, the evidence of urban archaeology demands such attention. Expanding dialectics requires a rapprochement among the followers of Marx, Sartre, and even Latour. I use archaeological evidence from New Orleans, and standard modes of organizing it (the property history, stratigraphy, taphonomy), to critique broader approaches to urbanism and materiality. Archaeology has much to contribute to understanding the city as an ongoing human-object formation full of contradictions, affect, and contingency. Following Sartre, I call this existential dialectics. Humans make cities, but not exactly as they please. PubDate: 2016-01-27T23:45:07-08:00 DOI: 10.1177/1469605315615054 Issue No:Vol. 16, No. 1 (2016)
Miller, D. R; Gilmore, R. G. Pages: 56 - 78 Abstract: The Dutch had a nearly blank slate on which to produce their new colony when they settled the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius in 1636. The colonists sought to create a productive agricultural colony, which would require a structured system of economic production and a means for social reproduction. The Dutch elites strategically situated churches on the island’s landscape to produce St. Eustatius as a social space. There were two key tensions that shaped the Dutch elites' decisions on where to construct religious places on the island landscape: how to maintain the Dutch Reformed Church as the sole public religion while respecting individuals’ right to the freedom of conscience, and how to find the proper balance between capitalist accumulation and Protestant aestheticism. While the Dutch elites hoped that their positioning of religious places would create a stable society, the majority of the population lived this space in a manner different from the Dutch elites’ plan. PubDate: 2016-01-27T23:45:07-08:00 DOI: 10.1177/1469605315607709 Issue No:Vol. 16, No. 1 (2016)
Hall; M. Pages: 79 - 93 Abstract: Today, monuments and archaeological sites are often specific targets for violence. But rather than casting this as either collateral damage or the result of ignorance and incivility, it can be argued that the material world, in all its widely varied forms, is enmeshed in conflict and violence. This can be better understood in terms of the haptic significance of objects caught up in extreme and traumatic circumstances.
The point of departure for this paper is W.J.T. Mitchell’s concept of the "traumatic gap" that emerges as "the unrepresentable space between words and images". I show that where the normative breaks down, the haptic qualities of media can assume far greater significance. Books and pictures become objects as well as semiotic registers and graphic representations. Understanding this – the "X" that Mitchell uses to designate the emptiness between the normal meanings of words and images – requires and enables an archaeology of violence. Taking a cue from Mitchell’s formulation, I show how the particular qualities of this space can be expressed in a new algorithm, "image object text".
This space – Mitchell’s "presence of an absence" – can only be filled by things that are neither images nor texts in their conventional sense. This is demonstrated by the extreme of the torture cell, where the most mundane of everyday objects become both normalized in the careful, systematic records of the military operative, and terrifying in the experience of the prisoner. Here, the figure of the Hooded Man, leaked from the clandestine archive of Abu Ghraib, serves as an emblem for the horror of contemporary violence; both executioner and victim, torturer and prisoner, both the Christ-like posture of the saviour and the horror of beheading. PubDate: 2016-01-27T23:45:07-08:00 DOI: 10.1177/1469605315612891 Issue No:Vol. 16, No. 1 (2016)
Peleggi; M. Pages: 94 - 111 Abstract: The discovery and excavation in the 1960s through to the mid 1970s of several prehistoric sites in north and northeastern Thailand, the best known being the World Heritage site of Ban Chiang, were a major breakthrough in Southeast Asian archaeology. Evidence of an autonomous Bronze Age tradition contradicted colonial scholarship’s view of Southeast Asia as a cultural backwater that owed its advancement to imports from India and China. Subsequently, based on a dating later rejected, Ban Chiang was at the center of an international debate about the beginning of world metallurgy. Focus on chronological and typological issues has obscured the fact that American archaeologists surveyed and excavated sites in Northeast Thailand at the time when the region was thoroughly militarized to provide frontline facilities for the Vietnam War. This article examines the production of American archaeological knowledge on Southeast Asian prehistory in relation to the Cold War politics, and more specifically of Thailand’s neocolonial dependence on the United States. PubDate: 2016-01-27T23:45:07-08:00 DOI: 10.1177/1469605315609441 Issue No:Vol. 16, No. 1 (2016)