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it also involves encounters with traces of the past (Lucas 20m). Fieldwork holds the potential to foster understanding nina 2004:237) and through opportunities often mundane among living people through a common interest in studying the past (Pearson and Ramilisoto engage in conversations, but sometimes oriented specifically toward issues that These are of particular
impinge on livelihood and cultural traditions (Ronayne 2007), that canlead toward mutual respect and comprehension. importance in the politically charged contexts that have' characterized-
We Are All Middle Easterners Now
GLOBALIZATION, IMMANENCE, ARCHAEOLOGY
relationships between the United States and many Middle Eastern countries in recent years. At the same time, it is imperative to acknowledge that the goal of reaching a mutual understanding through the medium of archaeology may not always be possible: the Wahhabi notion of fahitiya, for example, precludes, for at least some believing Muslims, an interest in much of what we identify as the archaeological past (Bernbeck, this volume). In reflecting upon our own practices in archaeology and searching for ways to approach our work in a less colonialist framework, we need to acknowledge that we can simultaneously learn from others and advocate for our forms of knowledge and understanding (Hamilakis I999; Merriman 2004; Pearson and Ramilisonina 2004; Scham and Yahya 2003). In doing so, we fulfill the twin goals of sharing our knowledge and expertise with others and enriching our understandings other ways oflmowing. Acknowledgments
The ideas in this chapter have been shaped by numerous experiences and conversations over the years. In particular, I would like to thank Reinhard Bernbeck, with whom I have discussed these and other issues at length. Along with Ran Boytner, Lynn Swartz Dodd, Cornelius Holtorf, Ann Stahl, Sharon Steadman, and Caroline Steele, he offered thought-provoking comments on an earlier version of this chapter. I would also like to thank Bradley Parker for his invitation to contribute to this volume.
A Strange Sense of Proximity ...
As some readers may know, my primary research interest in terms of geographical focus is not the Middle East, and yet, when I sat down to write the contribution to this important volume, I had a sense of familiarity and proximity. It was not a proximity simply to the broader topic and the issues discussed, which form some of my own area of concern as well: the past in the present, the politics of history and heritage, nationalism. It was also a familiarity with the locus and the territory that frame the discussion in this book. In some ways this sense of familiarity can be defined in oppositional "Minoan" terms: the areas of my research focus, from by intellectual and political discourses as by Evans and his folCrete to classical Greece and its presence in the contempoof Western, European civilization in opposition to the
through a recognition of
rary world, were constructed the foundations
Oriental other. Minoan Crete was constructed cultures of the eastern Mediterranean
lowers as the first European civilization, despite its close links with the (cf. Hamilakis and Momigliano century staged 2006), and the colonial and national rhetoric that prevailed during the formation of the modern Greek state in the nineteenth a millennia-old Empire or the ancient Persians (Hamilakis zoorb). there is something important. battle against the Oriental enemy, be it the Ottoman But I sense that and far more else at play here, far more profound
For a start, this familiarity is no doubt partly to do with the constant presence of the (mediated and very often distorted) Middle East in the Western news channels, a mediated reality, but one that brings "home," however, the continuing conflict in Israel and Palestine, the brutality of
opinion. is defined as we all know) or the idea a concept that goes beyond the usual tirades on easy and travel (not for everyone. born and raised in the British multicultural tile usual line. I use this term "our way oflifc" (what is this?). [Buck-Morss tion. holding ourselves apart. the destructive effects of the occupaThese feelings and We Are All Middle Easterners Now of which there are as many types as there are intolerance 2003:93]. much more real and painful for the people on the We have become accustomed ern modernity "self" and "other" positive outcome these constructions to the colonial realities that defined Westthat constructed suggests that a terms. http://www. sense offamiliarity by "immanence. around 655..net). much of the political discourse in these reactions followed since 200I: that goes to the heart of the matter. but they are still at the center of thought who are concerned writings and interventions But there is something in the strangest of ways.. that enemy strate2004). . 2006. ground. Gregory The description of these wars as imperial can ignore the 2003 from under our feet the security of the The geographical and colonial may be objectionable to some. And while it was immediately ground of the reactions that followed the London bombings in July 2005. ethnic cities. more than Opinion Research details. it is the a figure that will haunt (and rightly so) the Western imagination documented up to I ceived as the other place. something It was Susan Buck-Morss in her about social justice. global labor migrations. But Buck-Morss of kilometers away. And as I first wrote these lines against the backestablished that many perpetrators of those and multito ity and the rising death toll may have now dropped from the headlines of the Western news. now as much part of the Western self as any other topos. have ceased to operate-quite opposite. 2008 scientists published in the eminent medical journal the Lancet (Burnham et a1. .uk/Newsroom_ This inescapable realof all of us discourse has paid to the writing East and have and authors who cross the imaginary tile West and the Middle to analyze the political trend that she calls Islamism. 2006). But these othering gies cannot erase the fact that the convenient cannot work anymore. there was an attempt to spatialize and territorialize other (cf. . and they find their way into our ifI needed a further reminder. 2I9 the checkpoints thoughts. and global penetration munication. East African. of time-space compression. further to this sense of proximity. and at the same time they offer a range of ideas and suggestions ing with the various challenges and dilemmas that this practice entails ourselves and. million. but nobody spatialized and territorialized ity and the imaginary horrific body count of civilian dead in Iraq alone since the to come: I04. And in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as to the colonial imagination in Orientalist by removing of the recent globalization "other. the sense and the consequences undoubtedly of desperation. Globalization today.000 by Iraq Body Count." have achieved a daily and constant presence in the lives of many of us. for years accord- topos of the Middle East can no longer be conof Western colonial desire. global production. Thinking Past Terror (2003). . acts were British. territory against which some of us could conveniently Confronting Our Own Heritage So what does doing archaeology in the Middle East mean in this curin dealrent climate? These chapters provide a fascinating glimpse into the issue. In that same book Buck-Morss has shown how littie attention and ing to data gathered . and. control our fate . the heterotopia Not that strategies of "othering" the Western academic and intellectual and thinking now obsolete attempted of intellectuals divide between civilian dead (on 6 March 20IO. no "other" of peoples. Buck-Morss Gregory preferably in a Middle Eastspatialization of otherness ern. or environment by technologies of comdefine there is no spatial outside. Globalization is not new.2I8 Yannis Hamilakis and of the Wall. who helped me explain this and proximity. Those who deny these everyday realities of global immanence file! fundamentalism.co. events that for some analysts signify the advent of the colonial 2004).266 invasion.g. but global "immanence" to refer to the fact that in our era of global capital. has been to help us dispel and social real- present (e." communication it yet again attempted brilliant book.aspxj'Newsld-uzo. Let me quote her in full here: is. she says. despite the fact that we may live thousands then there are the recent wars and occupations since 2001.iraqbodycount according to an estimate by a group of to a 20IO). now well established construct an "other" that threatens 2003. or Southeast Asian country. yet again. according accessed 6 March estimate of the Business (http://www.
naming and exhibition. engagement. I therefore and the fetishization of the "record. It also relies on the selec- of a certain phase in the social biography its "freezing" epistemologies.g. Colonial practices in however. 2009). 1988). I would argue that before getting important to deal with the fundamental questions: implied in Bernbeck's chapter. Alternative however. This does not mean that we should exoticize or "other" that specific context. as studies on the prehistory 1996). it is Why archaeology? archaeology as We Are All Middle Easterners Now 221 on a daily basis. This docs not mean that the meaningful of archaeology be conceptualized 2003).g. sale to Western museums the cycle of their life." to prioritize the material (mostly ancient Mesopo- not simply as a residual memory tamian) past over the living people in the 2003 Iraq invasion (Hamilakis suggest that it is with these thoughts and reservations in to a historical past (e. that the desire for the preservation discourses originates of the material past is neither universal nor historically constant archaeological recent (Ouzman and static. in more recent times. and its static projection archaeologies archaeology (e. as in the case of the repainting (e. understand the Western device of that we cannot in time. and of an artifact into the and preservation of the material traces of the past in a social context that may not necessarily consider it as valuable What is the nature of the practice. then how can we ethically justify our practice? Furthermore. more importantly. More fundamentally.. with sibility that should accompany the realization preserve and care for the "record" ground of the past (cf. combined the sense of professionalization that led archaeologists zoosa. sounds hollow and even self-serving. g. Its centralin the West. various strategies of and the notion that archae- institutional decay. zooza. and documentation 2007b). rather. Hamilakis tification. it means that we should be aware of the historicity and specificity of our own perceptions on the past and be prepared to encounter different strategies in the Middle East.g. the quesin the Middle East they have to confront of responsibility toward the present. tions that need to be asked are. Alcock 2002). it is the destruction it is the forgetting of the finished material their of the material form through today and its various strategies and principles without refer- ence to the ideas and principles of the capitalist and colonialist regime of Western modernity. In that sense. have contributed significantly to the production mind that we should approach the material past in any given context and more so when we carry out archaeology in non-Western locales. however.. outside (e. or.220 Yannis Hamilakis into specifics. prioritization. that completes et a1. (e. Yet it is often forgotten of the past through through forgetting as the first ethical rule in various professional ardship and preservation does not simply constitute archaeologists gists themselves produce the entity that we call the archaeological out of the material fragments selection. therefore. zooza.. and on what grounds are we justified to carry it out today? It is well known that professional practiced today in the West is a device of modernity the regime for which capitalism and colonialism with the material traces of the past cannot that regime. How is the practice of archaeology lematic. a responthat we in fact do not just but produce it as material reality on the out of the material fragments and papers in Pluciennik 20m). suggest other possibilities: of Aboriginal rock art in Australia It means.. Middle East justified today? If our role as stewards of the record is prob- . as a Jiving presthis volume. such as that of the Melafigurines. 1999. 2005). In other cases. also of othering in the as is eds. our primary ethical jusand protect the archaeological' that we are here to preserve record. why should we advocate the concept and the principle of conservation and important? It is often forgotten ity in present-day it is chronologically tive valorization or monument. Wendrich.g. Hamann future. Schnapp have been fundamental defining features. for some groups it is the constant reworking of the material past that is of value. cf. on memory (cf. from their sense of responsibility in the present. abandonment. The archaeologists doing archaeology ent as opposed archaeology writing in this volume are of course aware that in colonialism but as a daily reality.. that contributes to remembering (Kuchler 2002). ethnocentrism. Thomas 2004). several papers in Pollock and Bernbeck. This genealogical the present logical enterprise: and reflexive project will also need to interrogate and professional justifications of the archaeorecord. a principle that the archaeolorecord (cf. Hamilakis It is this abrogation and as stories and representations 1999. Mowaljarlai nesian Malanggan that is important. The adoption of the concept of stewfor the future as a universalist idea. it absolves the ethic of conservation ologists should be the stewards of the archaeological that is often encountered archaeological codes of ethics. and on alternative and indigenous 2002. Smith and Wobst 2005) have shown.
. In fact. I have argued elsewhere (e. of what heritage and why? And who is ben. Pollock). tile heritage industry. Archaeological sites should not be separated from daily life. Hamilakis and Duke 2007). not least in the archaeology of the Middle East. and commodification are gradually replacing nationalism. especially the courageous chapters by Adel H. in the area of the Middle East it is well known that the archaeological device was instrumental as well as in the production hardsson. and venerated or consumed as a commodity. in the colonial project of national discourses. public gardens.g. easy. propose and in fact implement strategies and practices that go beyond tile Western archaeological canon on heritage. Partha Chatterjee (1993:234-) noted some time ago that the logic of capital is at the core of the idea of tile nation and that tile individual and the nation-state become embedded in this logic. A further link that has been little explored is that between the logic of the nation and tile logic of capital. tile asymmetries and inequalities of social life. This move goes against the Western canon that often separates archaeological sites from the web of daily life and delineates them as "other places" to be visually exhibited. Baram and Rowan 2004) is the argument that nationalist discourses and uses of tile past have now been replaced by profit-oriented ones and that tourists. Killebrew. Indeed. nor does my argument subscribe to an abstract and decontextualized The concept itselfis used in a number of chapters in the volume.. But at the same time I suggest that we should ask the questions who.g. It is thus rewarding that a number of chapters in this volume touch upon it (e. and why? Who is advocati.g. or cultural centers. as simply the manipulation 1996. What I am skeptical about. should be seen as an opportunity: an opportunity to expand the interpretive horizon of archaeological practices by incorporating alternative engagements with the material past. zoozb} of the topic often sees it as a top-down. it is a dynamic proof national imagination. what. and he and his colleagues have striven to incorporate these sites in the life of people in Palestine and be offered for use as football fields. in some of these chapters instead the reflexive awareness of the specificity and historicity of our archaeological rationale and practice.. it is in fact an act of compliance with these asymmetries and inequalities." which itself is an intellectual response that cannot hide its own imperialist overtones. necessitating cess and always in tile making. is not only empty rhetoric. and uncomplicated way to approach it. Bern- and other recent work (e. and archaeology as a device is implicated from its origins in the production a reflexive and self-critical approach.ng the preservation or destruction efiting from these practices? It is thus encouraging til at some chapters. and it is seen as a desirable and positive outcome. and rightly so. I have advocated instead that national imagination is constructed from below as well as from above. too often the links and tile common ground between colonialism and nationalism are forgotten. or even destruction. Harnilakis that a mechanistic treatment state affair. Yet multivocality that does not take into account the structures of power. I have also suggested that the links between colonialism and nationalism will need to be examined much 1110reclosely. Yahya suggests. this volume). despite the increasing commodification of archaeological practice and of the material past (cf.222 Yannis Hamilakis We Are All Middle Easterners Now 223 epistemologies. a nationalized society cuts across class boundaries and attempts to suppress any group divisions other than the division between the national self and tile national other. instead of being a problem or an obstacle. concealment. . In that sense I am not advocating here the unconditional practices on the preservation or destruction acceptance of all views and of the past. of the objective archaeological Moreover. this reflexive encounter. which often mirrored colonial ones or even took their cues directly from colonialism (cf. all past by state mechanisms and nationalist archaeologists. Indeed. some of which may rely on its preservation and exhibition and some on its constant acceptance of the thesis that all notion of multivocality. admired.. nationalism is often just the nationalism of the "other. however. it also strives to abolish any form of community other Nationalism and the Logic of Capital It is well known that the link between archaeology and nationalism has been one of the central preoccupations of the literature on archaeopolitics in the last decade. reworking. Yahya and by David Ilan and Yuval Gadot. The articulation between archaeology and capitalism is indeed an issue tint has been long neglected. I am advocating Yet it is now clear tint tile topic is much more complicated than originally thought and that there is no unanimous. This does not imply an unconditional views and practices are of equal value and validity.
(cf. these dolls figured side by side with logos of a range of major transnational corporations that acted as the official corporate tourism. relevant: the anxiety caused by globalization often leads to the desire to emphasize the concreteness and physicality of roots. other studies have argued for more caution. Several contributors in projects that implement archaeoto this volume (e. on the decline of both the nation-state of the nation-state strengthened and the proclamations and nationalism in the era of globalized capital already have proved to be premature. tradition. Ifwe are to take the specific case of Israel discussed here. after ancient Olympian deities). means of resistance to what is often perceived as the colonizing and at Building the Future: Community Archaeologies? Recent discussions on archaeology and the public have suggested that community archaeology may be a way forward in decolonizing logical practice. a commercialization sions (cf. and gence of a new ideology of pluralism. The other side is the alliance between capital and profit. we should examine the articulations. Steen et aL. the alliances. This tension emanates from the primeval nature of bonds within a community that may threaten the logic of the individual and of capital at the center of national imagination. to produce a lineal genealogy whereby in late capitalist modernity nationalism is replaced by the logic of profit and the market is umbilical cord that links nation and capital. Antiquiand tangible ties and archaeological finds and artifacts thus acquire a new life in this globalized climate: they become the concrete. as the authors in this and other publications have noted. To take just one example. and the tensions between nation and capital as expressed in the field of heritage and the material past.. on the one hand. It seems. spaces. the same time rootless and fake power of globalization. on the other. history. tant arena where profit and antiquities meet. that of the nation. valorized. perhaps the most imporsponsors for the games. we should critically examine how the political economy of archaeological production omy of late capitalist modernity. and identities of others" (2004:224). however. rather than less. As for nationalism. therefore. projected. and the correlated denial of Palestinian rights) continues to be used by certain groups to dominate the memories. while it is suggested that archaeology has today ceased to have the relevance it had for ordinary people and for the national imagination. and it served primarily its economic and social interests. Hamilakis zooyb). it has in fact become in others. that Israeli society (in common with many others) is undergoing some drastic changes. a conflict in which land and history occupy a central position. the Zionist ideology (of the return and redemption of the land. and national antiquities and heritage. and reproduced the new middle classes. While the power has declined in some respects.g. Every generation is nationalized in its own terms. that are defined as community Han and Gadot) embrace this thesis and have initiated or participated procedures . at a time when the conflict between Israel and Palestine continues to escalate. a market-oriented to ignore that ecration of the national heirlooms and the trading in inalienable posses- Olympics adopted as mascots figures that were inspired by Archaic dolls (called by the organizers of the games Athena and Phoivos. but as a modernist project We Are All Middle Easterners Now 225 than that of the community Chatterjee went on to note that while the nation allows only one possible form of community to emerge. the unification of Jewish difference.224- Yannis Hamilakis of the nation. it may be the case that in the era of globalized capital it has become more. Silverman 2002b). it cannot avoid a constant tension at its core: the tension between capital and community. Instead of dismissing national- ism as a thing of the past that has now been replaced by profit and the market. land. For us. authentic. This is one side of the coin. And Joel Bauman in his study of the ZipporijSepphoris Israeli National Park concluded: "Despite the emereconomy. Furthermore. and nationalism has the ability to be constantly in the process of making and remaking itself. is not simply a commercial activity but a space where identities are produced. but as Abu EI-Haj (2003) has remarked. It is this tension that in some national of the national that is seen as the desprojects creates an opposition to overcommercialization heritage and of antiquities. as the ever-increasing border controls and state surveillance indicate. the Athens 2004 nationalism was at its origins a project of and by the middle class. (eloquently analyzed here by Pollock) relates to and interacts with the broader political econ- We continue to live in the era of the nation-state. At the same time. it will be an exaggeration to claim that archaeology in its broadest sense has become irrelevant.
ideas. replaced and Wobst 2005). of these large-scale processes with the micromarginalized local groups scalar rhythms of daily lives and the routines of local communities. Hamilakis and Anagnostothat archaeology community in archaeaccepts local people perceive the material past and what kinds of values and ideas and its traces they prioritize poulos 2009). that the employment very specialized projects in the Mediterranean direct involvement by archaeologists therefore. were developed archaeology broader political and power dynamics. as in ogy. marginalize or that country's it is the mayor of the town. There is often an implicit assumption the broadest sense is a cultural good. action can be very effective. a range form. archaeologies and it often hides a diverse picture. in all cases. The first relates to my discussion above on the genealogy and on the ethical justification of archaeological venture Before we embark on any community practice: we bring to a community. archaeology imperialism. and devices that. the ministry of culture. archaeology is practice that in community of archaeological "diggers" of the community to go beyond this mere acceptance from our work the most. and some archaeolknowledge. therefore. is not an additional space to those above. such as. the concept on antiquity of conservation let us say in the Middle East. But perhaps it is worth pausing for a minute to examine what we mean by this concept and how it relates to an intellectual context such as the archaeology Community museums. shares and occasionally some of these people as contributors to the production of archaeological link between major corporate financial interests. I therefore suggest that a key archaeology venture should be to identify and Local project. and how? Archaeologists deals with local authorities. state authorities. dimension: as the contributors to this volume are aware. New Zealand. Morc broadly. the United States. the benefits of archaeology with communities. affect the lives of local communities? and the funding ology is a venture that brings that cultural good to local people. the of these practices may indeed have the potential to transform traces of the material past is alien to local communities? some parts of Papua New Guinea (Harrison and exhibit them? What if. the conwhole has little as an idea is not new (see Marshall for some early examples). Yet the and specialists and in this discussion by making three interpractice. in their current professionalized nity (cf. and other organizations. that need to be asked. their contribution that the reinvigorated local people interest the interests and policies of these authorities? These are all questions that need to be asked in any community Finally. levels. cept of community meaning.226 Yannis Hamilakis and worthwhile ventures. and Canada as part ofindigenous her chapter. These are all important But what if the whole concept of valuing and preserving 200+). creates the illusion and nationalism or lock rightly points out. such as the transnational tourist or oil industry.picture processes do not apply. It is in fact a space where these processes find a direct and immediate task of any community address the articulation expression. What do these power politics? How do they local deals mean in terms of archaeological and perhaps alienate groups and people that are opposed to archaeology project. a separate arena where these big. national. as Pollock implies in of local people as laborers (some with and invaluable skills as well as ideas) in archaeological and the Middle East was and is a form of in archaeology. :2002 people want to cover and political the tracks of their ancestors rather than bring them to light and study Furthermore. let alone highlighted. partly a reaction to the professionalization with professional strove to limit amateur involvement. the concept big-picture community processes of community of colonialism. of power perhaps reflect on the specificity and the historical contingency of concepts. it could be argued. as Polhas not been acknowledged It could be argued. archaeology of the Middle East. . we should of OUf'. and how What is the activity? activity linked to the structures and supranational at the local. But I argue that we need of diversity and explore its political benefit often need to strike which sections and groups within local communities whether recent times it developed in contexts such as Australia. a locale immune to linked points. We Are All Middle Easterners Now 227 archaeology. initially by and in more (see Smith as an abstract and undifferentiated local amateur societies. and. of the archaeological What are the strings that come with funding by agents such as USAID. However. but empowering may require more than their involvement There are hard and unsettling How is a given archaeological and authority do these structures questions in an archaeological as part of the Western capitalist and colonialist moderabove) often before asking how (cf. It was launched a few decades ago. I want to briefly intervene of archaeology that the local and the small-scale may perhaps provide refuge from the the politics and the economics of transnational and global capital.
not less. archaeology. inevitably.planned If this plan (which is still on the it is going to destroy. or national. to advance ethical archaeologies that recognize insulates Western tourists from the local communities logical sites or even displaces them to provide a sanitized archaeotourism experience. a theater of the most recent colonial and imperial projects and an area that is now (thankfully. This is unconventional. besides everything archaeological else. credentials to such "development. thinking. therefore. have successfully resisted (for the time being) the displacement by state agencies and global corporations. politics: not only do we need to openly (a project that is well under way). The value other local and global agents. In this case. In this project archaeologists (Scham. as in the case of Catal Huyuk (Harnilakis 1999)? In some cases community archaeologists companies with marginalized may mean the alliance of local groups against and persecuted with marginalized interface between the local and the global. constant dialogue and it often provides the perfect "alibi" and the green It involved instead grassroots action." intervention archaeological was not "salvage" archaeology in the conven- tional sense." ing of all material traces at risk. unavoidably) nent to the selfhood. This activist cards) goes ahead in the name of "development. to adopt a political ethic (Hamilakis and Dulce 2007). Mitchell zoorj] How are we to react to the to advance what has been next to archaeo- that we should strive to implement practices rooted in communities. sites. together and implement a different set practices to the desire to work groups.000 and Ronayne 200I. developers. critical intellectuals paying. implying perhaps . as well as detailed recorduncomfortable. in places like Egypt deploy the material heritage called "enclave tourism" (Hamilakis 200+. Nowhere is this project more urgent than in the Middle East. which simply records and rescues objects and sites prior to their destruction. which. agendas-and archaeology local and global politicize ethics. of this important remit. such as states. various authorities. with the affected people. immaof us all. advance. is. Ronayne 2007). recognize the political character ethical "depoliticized" strategies and alliance of state and corporate tourist business. imperial. Final Thoughts Some contributors to this volume intimate at times that the source of our problem is politics. that the inequities present and their political underpinnings of politics. a model that Yet I have tried to show here that what of colonial and national archaeologies we need to of the we need in fact is more. and working at the interests. its geographical (mostly Kurdish) people and the flooding of an area of joo krn. as in the case of the Ihsu Dam in Turkey (Kitchen and local people Of78. a price for such an action. activist archaeologists. an alliance of environmental and human rights groups. We Are Ali Middle Easterners Now 229 for example (Hamilakis and elsewhere. innumerable extends well beyond. be it colonial. more importantly. but it puts the lives and interests of professional. as happened with Gurna in Luxor (Meskcll zoosb)! What are the ethical dilemmas of doing community corporate archaeology sponsored by the oil industry with its own ethic. politics that link archaeological for social justice.228 Yannis Hamilakis 2005. and risky community persecuted groups above self-interest. Mitchell zoor). and multinational or armies. and consciousness book. but. this volume). and archaeoare agents for radical change who take sides and clash with logical careers.
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