Journal article

An ethnography of teaching archaeology

Archaeologies, vol. 4, issue 2 (2008) pp. 328-343

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Abstract The purpose of this article is threefold. First, it refers to the ethics and logos of my courses in archaeology of the Near
East and Israel attended by both Jewish and Arab students whose spatialisation of history and memory is different. The courses
cover two periods: a—from prehistory to about 1,000 B.C; b—Christian and Muslim eras. Although these courses put much emphasis
on Israel, the major sites of the Near East are well represented. Second, this article delineates some problems in the epistemology
of Israeli archaeology, especially the slender consideration given to recent postmodern attitudes. Third, this article maps
out an alternative way of teaching archaeology in contested regions such as Israel where different communities have their
own mappings of the past. This alternative way provides the students with tools to evaluate the creation of knowledge about
the past, and to reflect on their own social and relative positions in Israeli society.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Archaeology
  • Ethnography
  • Teaching

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  • Talia Shay

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