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Selective Remembrances

Archaeology in the Construction, Commemoration, and Consecration of National Pasts

Selective Remembrances

Archaeology in the Construction, Commemoration, and Consecration of National Pasts

When political geography changes, how do reorganized or newly formed states justify their rule and create a sense of shared history for their people? Often, the essays in Selective Remembrances reveal, they turn to archaeology, employing the field and its findings to develop nationalistic feelings and forge legitimate distinctive national identities.

Examining such relatively new or reconfigured nation-states as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, India, and Thailand, Selective Remembrances shows how states invoke the remote past to extol the glories of specific peoples or prove claims to ancestral homelands. Religion has long played a key role in such efforts, and the contributors take care to demonstrate the tendency of many people, including archaeologists themselves, to view the world through a religious lens—which can be exploited by new regimes to suppress objective study of the past and justify contemporary political actions.

The wide geographic and intellectual range of the essays in Selective Remembrances will make it a seminal text for archaeologists and historians.

384 pages | 23 halftones, 5 maps, 3 figures | 6 x 9 | © 2007

Archaeology

History: General History

Reviews

“With their highly topical and tightly focused studies, the contributors to this volume reach beyond standard assertions of links between archaeology and nationalism. As they show, archaeology may have developed in conjunction with the declining model of the ‘modern’ nation state, but its powerful capacity to concretize the past in scientifically sanctioned lieux de mémoire remains all the more pertinent today, when dealing with far more fluid and contested configurations of global, national, and religious identities.”

Nathan Schlanger, AREA–Archives of European Archaeology

“In this deeply intriguing and appealing book, expert contributors explore a wide and varied set of political, cultural, and ethical issues. Not only will this excellent collection be formative for the history and practice of archaeology for years to come, but it may also be hotly debated in the various regions it describes.”

Suzanne Marchand, Louisiana State University

“Over the last twenty or so years, scholars have increasingly recognized the ways in which archeology and the state are, for better or worse, intertwined. Building on earlier work on this relationship, the essays in Selective Remembrances advance the discussion by noting the significant changes in national identity and nationalism, particularly in the last ten years. The essays are uniformly excellent, and Kohl, Kozelsky, and Ben-Yehuda’s introduction provides a landmark synthesis for future work.”

Jeffrey K. Olick, University of Virginia

"A fascinating collection."

Madeleine Hummler | Antiquity

"An important contribution to the literature on archaeology, nationalism, and memory studies. . . . Unlike many edited volumes, Selective Remembrances is distinguished by consistently high-quality contributions and an introduction that admirably delineates the themes that bring together the different case studies."

Leyla Neyzi | American Journal of Sociology

Table of Contents

Contents
 
Introduction
Selective Remembrances: Archaeology in the Construction, Commemoration, and Consecration of National Pasts
PHILIP L. KOHL, MARA KOZELSKY, AND NACHMAN BEN-YEHUDA
 
 
Part One: Russia and Eastern Europe
 
1 Russian Response
Archaeology, Russian Nationalism, and the “Arctic Homeland”
VICTOR A. SHNIRELMAN
 
2 The Challenges of Church Archaeology in Post-Soviet Crimea
MARA KOZELSKY
 
3 The Writing of Caucasian Albania
Facts and Falsifications
MURTAZALI S. GADJIEV
 
4 Archaeology and Nationalism in The History of the Romanians
GHEORGHE ALEXANDRU NICULESCU
 
 
Part Two: The Near East
 
5 The Rise of the Hittite Sun
A Deconstruction of Western Civilization from the Margin
WENDY SHAW
 
6 The Sense of Belonging
The Politics of Archaeology in Modern Iraq
MAGNUS T. BERNHARDSSON
 
7 The Name Game
The Persian Gulf, Archaeologists, and the Politics of Arab-Iranian Relations
KAMYAR ABDI
 
 
Part Three: Israel/Palestine
 
8 Excavating Masada
The Politics-Archaeology Connection at Work
NACHMAN BEN-YEHUDA
 
9 Recovering Authenticity
West-Bank Settlers and the Second Stage of National Archaeology
MICHAEL FEIGE
 
10 Appropriating the Past
Heritage, Tourism, and Archaeology in Israel
UZI BARAM
 
11 An Archaeology of Palestine
Mourning a Dream
GHADA ZIADEH-SEELY
 
 
Part Four: South and Southeast Asia
 
12 The Aryan Homeland Debate in India
SHEREEN RATNAGAR
 
13 The Impact of Colonialism and Nationalism in the Archaeology of Thailand
RASMI SHOOCONGDEJ
 
Contributors
Index

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