Community Archaeology and Heritage in Africa: Decolonizing Practice

1st Edition

Peter R. Schmidt, Innocent Pikirayi

Routledge
Published June 9, 2016
Reference - 310 Pages
ISBN 9781138656857 - CAT# Y229349

CHOICE 2018 Outstanding Academic Title Award Winner

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Summary

This volume provides new insights into the distinctive contributions that community archaeology and heritage make to the decolonization of archaeological practice. Using innovative approaches, the contributors explore important initiatives which have protected and revitalized local heritage, initiatives that involved archaeologists as co-producers rather than leaders. These case studies underline the need completely reshape archaeological practice, engaging local and indigenous communities in regular dialogue and recognizing their distinctive needs, in order to break away from the top-down power relationships that have previously characterized archaeology in Africa.

Community Archaeology and Heritage in Africa reflects a determined effort to change how archaeology is taught to future generations. Through community-based participatory approaches, archaeologists and heritage professionals can benefit from shared resources and local knowledge; and by sharing decision-making with members of local communities, archaeological inquiry can enhance their way of life, ameliorate their human rights concerns, and meet their daily needs to build better futures. Exchanging traditional power structures for research design and implementation, the examples outlined in this volume demonstrate the discipline’s exciting capacity to move forward to achieve its potential as a broader, more accessible, and more inclusive field.

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