Indigenous Archaeology Definition

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There are many definitions of Indigenous archaeology. George P. Nicholas’s definition of Indigenous archaeology is “Indigenous archaeology is an expression of archaeological theory and practice in which the discipline intersects with Indigenous values, knowledge, practices, ethics, and sensibilities, and through collaborative and community-originated or –directed projects, and related critical perspectives. Indigenous archaeology seeks to (1) make archaeology more representative of, responsible to, and relevant for Indigenous communities; (2) redress real and perceived inequalities in the practice of archaeology; and (3) inform and broaden the understanding and interpretation of the archaeological record through the incorporation of the archeological …show more content…
With the inclusion of Indigenous communities in the framework of archaeology, a new understanding was reached by both sides, which helped further research and help preserve their cultural heritage. Indigenous archaeology helps to protect the cultural integrity of Indigenous communities, by incorporating their religious beliefs, oral histories, folklore, and traditional knowledge. This lead to archaeologist’s reinterpretation of cultural materials and to consider alternative explanations. This addition of indigenous communities helped to reshape and improve the archaeological record. Indigenous archaeology has been helpful in the repatriation of cultural materials. It also protected sacred cultural places and materials for the future generations. There are three themes in Indigenous archaeology as Watkins and Nicholas described the figures into its emergence “(1) treatment of ancestral remains (and sacred objects and places), (2) participation (or not) in archeological/ heritage management, and (3) cultural heritage and legislative concerns about ownership of cultural and intellectual property.” (Watkin and Nicholas 2014: 3797) The emergence of Indigenous archaeology gave more power to the Indigenous communities over their own cultural and past. It was imperative that Indigenous communities have more say in the archaeological process to strengthen the ties between both sides for a better outcome in the end. As McGhee states “The growing interest and involvement of Indigenous peoples in the archaeology of postcolonial states is a development that is undoubtedly beneficial to the continued growth of historical knowledge.” (McGhee 2008: 580) which in itself still hold true to this day, since archeology is a set of practices that have been developed over time to help in the recovery of humans

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