Session: #220

Theme & Session Format

1. Archaeologists and Archaeology Here and Now
Session format:
Discussion session (with formal abstracts)

Title & Content

Apprenticeship as Research Method
Archaeology has a long and varied history, and one of the aspects that is in flux is the identity of the archaeologist. From 17th- and 18th-century European amateurs, through the professionalisation of archaeology, we are now in a period where decolonisation and diversification are at the centre. Engaging local communities, providing opportunities to members of society who do not have easy access to academia but are traditional caretakers of cultural heritage, listening rather than explaining, are just some of the activities that the present day archaeologist increasingly partakes in. Broadening participation in scientific or scholarly endeavors can be undertaken in several ways, for instance through citizen science, experimental archaeology and ethnoarchaeology. For archaeologists, embarking on experiments together with volunteers is an excellent way of cementing a community in which both academics and local specialists or community members can thrive. Creating a teaching-learning continuum enables archaeologists to learn as much as teach, and local communities to be initiators and contributors, thereby increasing the connection to their past and providing a sense of place. The same pertains to ethnoarchaeology: learning about traditional crafts, and the use of long-forgotten plants and their uses, are of great benefit to the interpretive models of archaeologists. At the same time, studying, appreciating and even reviving such traditions, be it in Africa, the Americas, Asia or Europe, is a way to address issues of sustainability. By highlighting indigenous knowledge, local crafts and subsistence strategies, project participants can provide and exchange location specific knowledge where everybody both teaches and learns.
We invite papers dealing with the teaching-learning continuum: community initiatives and archaeology, indigenous knowledge and the benefits for archaeology, community and the future of our planet.
community engagement, experimental archaeology, indigenous knowledge, ethnoarchaeology, archaeological science, sustainability
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Main organiser:
Annelou van Gijn (Netherlands) 1
Willeke Wendrich (United States) 2
1. Leiden University
2. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA