167K. Okamura and A. Matsuda (eds.),
New Perspectives in Global Public Archaeology
DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-0341-8_13, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
Since archaeology was established as a discrete eld o study, a certain proportiono archaeological excavations have always been carried out by “oreigners,” orexperts rom outside the country where the material remains to be investigated lie.With the progress o globalization, an increasing number o archaeologists havecrossed borders or their work, and today it is no longer unusual or them to goabroad to initiate and undertake an excavation project.Rationales or these international projects are usually presented in scientic terms:or example, the importance o studying specic types o structures or objects thatcan be ound only in certain parts o the world. Here, the question o where archae-ologists come rom is oten disregarded, and instead there is a corresponding empha-sis on the universal signicance o understanding the past o humanity. From thisviewpoint, the “internationality” o the excavation project is to be welcomed on theground that it leads to a broadening o the perspective o archaeological studies.Postcolonial critiques o archaeological practice, however, have strongly challengedthe underlying premises o the international excavation project. They contend that thesupposedly impartial and innocent character o the project is oten based on the politicaland economic inequality between the host country and the archaeologists’ country o origin, and that it thus contributes to perpetuating the exploitation o the past o thedominated by the dominant on the global scale. For example, Gero (2006: 128) argues:
There are very ew instances in which archaeological teams rom a wealthy country under-take work in a host country that is equally or more wealthy than itsel. More oten, oreignarchaeological research is undertaken in host countries that have considerably less wealthand ewer scientic resources. Why should this be so, and is this an acceptable agreement?A. Matsuda (
)School o World Art Studies and Museology, University o East Anglia,Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UKe-mail: email@example.com
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