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  Subjects -> ARCHAEOLOGY (Total: 300 journals)
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Bulletin of the History of Archaeology
Number of Followers: 15  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1062-4740 - ISSN (Online) 2047-6930
Published by Ubiquity Press Limited Homepage  [40 journals]
  • The Beginnings of Ethnoarchaeology in Post-War Poland

    • Abstract: The article presents the pioneering research conducted in Poland in the field of ethnoarchaeology just before and immediately after the Second World War. The use of this method was pioneered by W. Hołubowicz. The article shows how ethnoarchaeology spread to other research centres in later years. A novelty in the research was the search for solutions in ethnographic materials. It made it possible to study production techniques and ways of using products. Currently, it is used in studies about architecture, workshops, and various classes of monuments. Research on monuments allows us to determine the traces of production and use of items. The described method contributed significantly to the refinement of knowledge about the everyday life of ancient people. Published on 2022-12-23 09:45:18
  • Petrie at Hawara: Pioneering Debatable Standards'

    • Abstract: Flinders Petrie’s first two seasons in Hawara, between 1888 and 1889, and their subsequent exhibitions in London, were arguably pivotal for the career of the British archaeologist. They also provide a wealth of documentation in his own hand to better understand the man. But to better critique him, this paper aims to reassess Petrie’s mindset, field work, and results in Hawara, first by the standards he began to craft for himself in the field, before briefly taking a modern perspective to complete the critical picture.To evaluate Petrie’s work by his own ambition, what could be more appropriate than to take him at his word' In the seminal Methods & Aims in Archaeology of 1904, he would neatly set out his vision and the practicalities for the discipline. This assessment proffers to proceed along the original processual chapters of the book to examine how Petrie’s practices in Hawara in 1888–1889 already pioneer the theory he would consolidate 15 years later, while incorporating the latest research views. The main sources for this review are, by order of relevance, threefold: first, his original hand-written documentation from two so-called ‘Journals’ collected from letters, eight excavation ‘Notebooks’ and three ‘Day Diaries’; second, his publications for both seasons; and third, his autobiographical pieces.It appears that the ‘Father of Egyptian Archaeology’ did not entirely live up to his nascent ambition, leaving a contentious legacy to this day. The urge of the ‘salvage man’, trapped in contradictions, produced good results for the time but may also have led him astray in terms of aims and methods. Published on 2022-11-29 11:20:04
  • Smuggling Cuneiform Tablets in Aniseed Bags: Profile of a Sale Made by
           Elias Gejou to the British Museum in 1896

    • Abstract: The British Museum archive preserves hundreds of letters sent by antiquities dealers based in Baghdad who regularly wrote to sell archaeological artefacts to the department of Egyptian and Assyrian antiquities (the former name of today’s Middle East collection) in the late 19th century. These documents, largely understudied for the information they contain about the antiquities trade in this period, are invaluable not only because they preserve the stories of the men and women who were involved in this trade, but also because they record the details of their smuggling operations. In their letters to curators, antiquities dealers openly discussed the methods they used to circumvent the Ottoman authorities’ exportation ban of archaeological artefacts adopted in 1884. Although dealers did not shy away from writing about their operations, they did however refrain from disclosing how they passed their collections through customs undetected. Despite this absence, such stories (while rare) do survive. One of the most explicit is preserved in documents related to the British Museum’s purchase of 186 cuneiform tablets from a Baghdad-based broker named Elias Gejou in 1896, who hid the artefacts he sent in bags of aniseed. To present this rare example of a ploy to deceive, this article retraces the events and relationships that enabled Elias Gejou’s smuggling. The aim of this case study is to illustrate how investigating antiquities dealers’ letters in the British Museum archive can enrich our understanding of the manner in which Iraq’s tangible cultural heritage was dispersed across the globe. Published on 2022-10-10 10:37:28
  • Christian Archaeology in Malta between the Nineteenth and Twentieth
           Centuries from Two Unknown Letters

    • Abstract: The article presents two unpublished letters from Maltese archaeologists (Giovanni Gatt Said and Paolo Bellanti) to Giovanni Battista de Rossi and Alfred Louis Delattre, the most important early Christian archaeologists of the Mediterranean in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The two texts have recently been discovered in the Vatican Library and in the Archive of the Missionaries of Africa in Rome respectively. Both deal with topics of great importance for Maltese Christian archaeology: St Paul’s Grotto in Rabat and the evolution of Christian underground tombs and Christian lamps. The two authors appealed to two authorities in the field of scientific research at the time to allow Maltese archaeological research to advance. These letters are presented here with the full text and critical commentary, with the aim of using them as good examples to contribute to the reconstruction of the history of Christian archaeological research on the island, and to understand the role of their authors in the reconstruction of the problematic past of the Church of Malta. Published on 2022-04-12 09:33:33
  • Sharing the Spoils: The Historical use of Loans and Gifts as Collecting
           Methodologies for Building Biblical Archaeology Teaching Collections

    • Abstract: During the first half of the 20th century, the division of finds laws of the British Mandate of Palestine and Transjordan facilitated the legal formation of large Biblical Archaeology collections throughout the United States. For Biblical Archaeologists without excavations or surveys of their own however, creating such a collection was far more difficult with the only existing formal mechanism being the often prohibitively expensive antiquities market. Primarily using the example of the Oberlin Near East Study Collection, Oberlin College’s historical Biblical archaeology collection, I argue that in this period, scholars could rely on artifact loans and gifts from their academic colleagues in order to build large teaching collections quickly and cheaply. These dispersals strengthened the social and academic ties of Biblical Archaeologists while also mitigating institutional storage problems. Whereas the export of antiquities out of Palestine was heavily regulated, once artifacts were in the United States, their legal owners could move them as they wished, accompanied by little or no documentation. As a result, while such collections formed through loans and gifts were likely common, they remain an under-documented phenomenon. Published on 2021-12-30 10:55:27
  • Special Issue: Inequality and Race in the Histories of Archaeology

    • Abstract: This special issue gathers together a selection of short articles reflecting on the historical construction of inequality and race in the histories of archaeology. The articles also suggest ways in which the discipline might grapple with the—often obvious, sometimes subtle—consequences of that historical process. Solicited via an open call for papers in the summer of 2020 (one made with the aim of speedy publication), the breadth of the topics discussed in the articles reflect how inequality and race have become more prominent research themes within the histories of archaeology in the previous five-to-ten years. At the same time, the pieces show how research can—and should—be connected to attempts to promote social justice and an end to racial discrimination within archaeological practice, the archaeological profession, and the wider worlds with which the discipline interacts. Published at a time when a pandemic has not only swept the world, but also exposed such inequalities further, the special issue represents a positive intervention in what continues to be a contentious issue. Published on 2021-05-19 12:46:59
  • Crafting the Secrets of the Ancient Maya: Media Representations of
           Archaeological Exploration and the Cultural Politics of US Informal Empire
           in 1920s Yucatan

    • Abstract: During the 1920s, a wave of U.S. scientists and journalists descended on Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico to unlock the riddles of the ancient Maya: their origins, their cultures, and their disappearance. These expeditions, widely publicized in US newspapers, taught the public about both the Maya and US past and present. In this article, I compare media representations of archaeological exploration in Yucatan published in The New York Times. I analyze Alma Reed’s reports from her 1923 visit to Yucatan against Gregory Mason’s dispatches from the later Mason-Spinden Expedition in 1926. Each journalist drew different conclusions about the nature and identity of the ancient Maya, yet sought to transform readers into vicarious stakeholders to maintain US dominance in Yucatan. They recreated cultural and scientific ties between Yucatan and the United States damaged by plummeting henequen prices and a series of radical socialist experiments designed to bring the ideals of the Mexican revolution to the region. I show how cultural representations of empire and assumptions about the indigenous bolstered informal US economic empire and strengthened both real and imaginary relationships between Yucatan and the United States. Published on 2021-05-10 10:20:53
  • Pacific Matildas: Finding the Women in the History of Pacific Archaeology

    • Abstract: In this paper I present the background and rationale for a new research project that aims to rediscover the first women who participated in the development of archaeology in the Pacific, from the 19th to the mid-20th century. I discuss how this research is inscribed in the history of women in science, responding to Rossiter’s plea to future scholars: to write a history and sociology of science that is more comprehensive by integrating ever more of the hidden women scientists, or ‘Matildas’. I consider how a history of these ‘Pacific Matildas’ can be connected to factors that have been identified as historically keeping women out of science (especially fieldwork-based sciences) as well as keeping them out of historical records about the making of science. After discussing the methodological and conceptual frameworks envisaged for such a project, I present some preliminary results of this research: a short overview of historical figures already identified and a brief examination of one early case-study in the history of the first women engaged in the discipline, that of Adèle de Dombasle in the mid-19th century. I conclude by highlighting what the first clues we can gather about such stories tell us both about the historical place of women in the field and the place of women in the history written about the field. Published on 2021-04-05 09:57:14
  • Resolving the Question of a Hiatus between the Paleolithic and Neolithic:
           Nineteenth-Century Science and a Problem in Human Prehistory

    • Abstract: In the 1870s a dispute arose between supporters and opponents of the idea that a hiatus existed between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic, a period when Europe was uninhabited. Researchers invoked geological, paleontological, archaeological, and anthropological evidence to support their views. This paper discusses the development of this debate and how it was resolved, in large part due to the excavations of Édouard Piette. Published on 2021-03-31 10:01:22
  • Underground – Archaeological Research in the West Bank, 1948–1967:
           Management, Complexity, and Israeli Involvement

    • Abstract: The outcome of the 1948 war in Palestine resulted not only in the country’s partition between the state of Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan but also in the division of its archaeological research. The Jordanian Department of Antiquities, which was responsible for administering archaeological research in the West Bank until 1967, prioritized research in the East Bank over research in the West Bank as a function of broader Jordanian government policy. The bulk of the research in the West Bank during this period was conducted by foreign institutions and researchers, who were forced to choose between researching in Israel and researching in the Arab countries, including the West Bank. Those who chose to research in Israel were denied the ability to simultaneously research and excavate in the West Bank. In this way, the choice of the foreign researchers divided them, placing them on the two different sides of the ‘Green Line’.
      The excavations in the West Bank piqued the curiosity of the Israelis, who never ceased trying to acquire information about them and their findings. These efforts included secret meetings with foreign researchers, attempts to acquire the Qumran scrolls, and the secret transfer to Israel of a few findings for the sake of secret research. For many years, part of their story remained classified in archives. It is shared here for the first time. Published on 2020-11-25 10:42:08
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