The Past is Tomorrow. Towards an Archaeology of the Vanishing Present

  • González-Ruibal A
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Abstract

This paper arises from a dissatisfaction with the ‘Great Divides’ created between past and present, self and others, people and material culture in the context of ethnoarchaeology. While conducting ethnoarchaeological research in Spain, Ethiopia and Brazil, I have been faced with the theoretical and practical shortcomings of this field, which is too deeply rooted in modernist concerns and prejudices. I propose a reconsideration of ethnoarchaeology as archaeology tout court – an archaeology of the present – which has to be symmetrical in character. This means that present and past must not be hierarchically conceived – the former in the service of the latter or vice versa – nor strictly separated ontologically, and the relations between humans and things have to be properly problematized.

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Authors

  • Alfredo González-Ruibal

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