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By Yannis Hamilakis, Philip Duke

The editors and members to this quantity specialise in the inherent political nature of archaeology and its effect at the perform of the self-discipline. Pointing to the discipline’s historical past of advancing imperialist, colonialist, and racist pursuits, they insist that archaeology needs to reconsider its muted expert stance and develop into extra openly lively brokers of swap. The self-discipline isn't really approximately an summary “archaeological list” yet approximately dwelling members and groups, whose lives and history be afflicted by the abuse of energy relationships with states and their brokers. simply via spotting this strength disparity, and adopting a political ethic for the self-discipline, can archaeology justify its actions. Chapters diversity from a critique of conventional moral codes, to examinations of the capitalist motivations and constructions in the self-discipline, to demands an engaged, emancipatory archaeology that improves the lives of the folks with whom archaeologists paintings. an instantaneous problem to the self-discipline, this quantity will galvanize dialogue, war of words, and proposal for lots of within the box.

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WHAT’S AN ARCHAEOLOGIST TO DO? Obviously we do not suggest that repatriation is never warranted or that there are not important grounds for supporting export controls.

At the same time, however, it should be recognised that in some contexts, such as in Europe, for example, the concept of indigenism may acquire exclusivist political connotations, and fuel racism against immigrants and refugees. Finally, the approach of the political ethic recognises that the 36 Chapter 1 important postcolonial critique within which indigenous issues are often discussed should neither imply that early colonialist mentalities are dead, nor that neo-colonial practices and projects are non-existent, as the recent imperial wars have reminded us.

This case may demonstrate that repatriation is often justifiable and in some cases not only an important mechanism for redress but also a proper remedy for an illicit act. But even in those situations, the question arises whether return is all we should hope for or expect. In cases where repatriation is supported on moral or legal grounds, should supporters of repatriation not use the opportunity to push for greater justice? In the case of Machu Picchu, for example, it is worth asking what kind of rights or economic benefits might be forthcoming to neighboring communities upon the objects’ return, and pushing for such policies in exchange for archaeologists’ support.

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