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Public significance and imagined archaeologists: Authoring pasts in context

by Christopher N. Matthews
International Journal of Historical Archeology ()


This paper explores how archaeological authorship is an articulation of the imagined social roles archaeologists play with the actual contexts of our practice. The discovery of popular public discourses on archaeology should not be seen as impediments to pure archaeologies, but as routes to the significance archaeology seeks to attain. A parallel concern with the determining influence of public concerns in ethnography is reviewed to develop a method for an archaeology that is truly publicly formed. An example of a public archaeology program developed in dialogue with existing historical debates in Annapolis, Maryland illustrates.

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