Negotiating the Past in the Past: Identity, Memory, and Landscape in Archaeological Research
University of Arizona Press, 2007 - Social Science - 267 pages
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “all history becomes subjective,” that, in fact, “properly there is no history, only biography.” Today, Emerson’s observation is hardly revolutionary for archaeologists; it has become conventional wisdom that the present is a battleground where interpretations of the events and meanings of the past are constantly being disputed. What were the major events? Whose lives did these events impact, and how? Who were the key players? What was their legacy? We know all too well that the answers to these questions can vary considerably depending on what political, social, or personal agenda is driving the response.
Despite our keen eye for discerning historical spin doctors operating today, it has been only in recent years that archaeologists have begun exploring in detail how the past was used in the past itself. This volume of ten original works brings critical insight to this frequently overlooked dimension of earlier societies. Drawing on the concepts of identity, memory, and landscape, the contributors show how these points of entry can lead to substantially new accounts of how people understood their lives and why things changed as they did.
Chapters include the archaeologies of the eastern Mediterranean, including Mesopotamia, Iran, Greece, and Rome; prehistoric Greece; Achaemenid and Hellenistic Armenia; Athens in the Roman period; Nubia and Egypt; medieval South India; and northern Maya Quintana Roo. The contributors show how and why, in each society, certain versions of the past were promoted while others were aggressively forgotten for the purpose of promoting innovation, gaining political advantage, or creating a new group identity.
Commentaries by leading scholars Lynn Meskell and Jack Davis blend with newer voices to create a unique set of essays that is diverse but interrelated, exceptionally researched, and novel in its perspectives.
1. Peering into the Palimpsest: An Introduction to the Volume
2. Collecting, Defacing, Reinscribing (and Otherwise Performing) Memory in the Ancient World
Catherine Lyon Crawford
3. Unforgettable Landscapes: Attachments to the Past in Hellenistic Armenia
4. Mortuary Studies, Memory, and the Mycenaean Polity
5. Identity under Construction in Roman Athens
6. Inscribing the Napatan Landscape: Architecture and Royal Identity
7. Negotiated Pasts and the Memorialized Present in Ancient India: Chalukyas of Vatapi
8. Creating, Transforming, Rejecting, and Reinterpreting Ancient Maya Urban Landscapes: Insights from Lagartera and Margarita
Laura P. Villamil
9. Back to the Future: From the Past in the Present to the Past in the Past
10. Memory Groups and the State: Erasing the Past and Inscribing the Present in the Landscapes of the Mediterranean and Near East
Jack L. Davis
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An Introduction to
Attachments to the Past
Mortuary Studies Memory and the Mycenaean Polity
Identity under Construction in Roman Athens
Creating Transforming Rejecting and Reinterpreting Ancient
From the Past in the Present to
Erasing the Past
About the Editor
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Achaemenid acropolis Aegean Aihole Alcock ancient Maya Ararat plain Archaeologies of Memory Archaeology architecture Armavir Armenia Artashat Artaxias artifacts associated Athenian Athens built environment burials cataract cemetery centers century bc Chalukyas Chalukyas of Vatapi chapter complex construction cult dynasty Early Classic Egypt Egyptian Elamite elites Empire Erechtheion evidence excavated funerary Gebel Barkal Grave Circle Greece Greek groups Hellenistic identity images inscriptions Kerma Kingdom Kurru landscape Late Classic located Malaprabha mastaba material culture Meskell meters Middle Bronze Age monuments mortuary Mycenae Mycenaean Napatan Napatan kings Naram-Sin objects Oshakan Parthenon past Pattadakal period plazas political prehistoric pyramids Quintana Roo region reused ritual Roma and Augustus Roman Rome royal rulers settlement shaft graves social memory society spaces spatial stelae stele strategy structures studies Susa Susan Teishebaini Temple of Roma Terminal Classic tion Tiratsyan tombs tradition transformation Upper Nubia Urartian Urartian fortress Urartu Vatapi wall Yervandid