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Returning to the Source: Social Archaeology as Latin American Philosophy

O. Hugo Benavides

Latin American Antiquity, Vol. 12, No. 4. (Dec., 2001), pp. 355-370.

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Tue Oct 30 13:46:13 2007


0. Hugo Benavides

The following article proposes reconsidering the social archaeology paradigm as a worthwhile school of thought within Latin
American philosophy. Rather than critiquing social archaeology for its supposed methodological limitations, I argue that this
Latin American approach has already had an enormous contribution to the anthropological and political thought of the region.
Instead of assuming that archaeology is a neutral enterprise, social archaeologists and others influenced by their ideas have
already carried out important interdisciplinary and socially relevant research in the historical understanding of the past. Archae-
ological sites such as those of Cochasquiand Agua Blanca (among others) in Ecuador have benejitted signijicantly from a more
refined political analysis of their histories than those routinely carried out in the positivistic paradigm of the United States.
Finally, social archaeology also points to a much needed and useful link between the committed assessment of the continent's
past with the varied and important political transformation essential for the future well being of Latin America's people.

El siguiente articulo propone una seria discusidn sobre la imporatancia y relevancia de la propuesta de la arqueologia como cien-
cia social. De esta manera, esta particular escuela Latino Americana no tiene nada que envidiar a las corrientes positivistas del
norte. A1 contrario, la arqueologia como ciencia social ha desarrollado un amplio esquema de trabajo que va mucho mas alla de
lo merarnente arqueoldgico, o de lo que se podria dejinir como antropoldgico dentro de un plano acadimico. Esta contribucidn,
una de las caracteristicas mas positivas de la corriente, es su clara incorporacidn del quehacerpolitico como una realidad esen-
cia1 del estudio y analisis histdriio de nuestras propias naciones. Las investigaciones arqueoldgicas y antropoldgicas realizadas
en sitios como Cochasqui, Agua Blanca, y Real Alto en Ecuador proponen una manera diferente de entender el pasado y de la
contribucidn de este a nuestra realidad contempora'nea. En vez de simplemente recuperar el pasado, estas investigaciones bus-
can entender cual es el signijicado de este pasado y como este pasado en si mismo toma un lugar tan hegemdnico y esencial en
el desarrollo nacional de nuestros estados. De esta manera es tambiin importante destacar que las limitaciones tecnicas o (ma1
entendidas) metodologicas no deberian ser vistas como un problema sino como una clara priorizacidn de preguntas de fondo
sobre el destino histdrico del continente m's que de un simple interes de quedarnos en discusiones cronoldgicas, tipoldgicas o
merarnente descriptivas. Por eso discute que es mas que factible el proponer el largo alcance de la arquelogia como ciencia social
como un desarrollo paradigmatico en colaboracion con la tradicional antropologia coprometida yjilosofia anti-imperialists del
continente. Las contribuciones de la arqueologia como ciencia social (cornobien lo intuian sus iniciales progenitores) ha escapado
el ambito arqueoldgico y esta claramente enmarcaada con la lucha por profundos y necesarios cambios sociales en nuestras
sociedad neo-coloniales: luchas en las que la historia es de una importancia fundamental.

he question of domination is a prevalent issue thinkers and artists have engaged political and cul-
in Latin American culture, both in popular tural domination from varied social perspectives
culture (e.g., Flores 1997; Garcia Canclini (e.g., Fanon 1963,1965,1967; Freire 1992; Guevara
1982; Rowe and Schelling 1991;Yudice et al. 1992) 1966; Kincaid 1997; Mariitegui 1955; Marti
or in that reified within the social sciences, human- 1977[1891]; Ribeiro 1971). In one way or another
ities, and other academic disciplines (e.g., Burgos- the colonial experiencethat lasted for a couple of cen-
Debray 1985; Dorfman 1998; Joseph and Nugent turies under the control of Iberian and other Euro-
1994; Viezzer 1977; Wolf 1969). Latin American pean powers created a particular way of looking not

0. Hugo Benavides 8 Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Fordham University, 441 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY

Latin American Antiquity, 12(4), 2001, pp. 355-370

Copyright0 2001 by the Society for American Archaeology

356 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 12, No. 4, 20011

only at the world, but, more importantly, at oneself ated myth of national identity, it could be said, tends
within Latin America and the global order. Even after to obscure the conditions of its own creation, to cover
the initial liberation of the Latin American republics its own tracks."
at the beginning of the nineteenth century, domina- In this same manner the mestizaje process serves
tion was an essential characteristic that colored all not only as a pillar for the construction of a national
indigenous political and cultural projects (Zea 1971; identity, but also as a viable ideological tool for the
see also Arguedas 1989a, 1989b; Garcia Mkquez maintenance of the status quo and oppression of the
1971; Rod6 1922[1900]). In this article I would like majority of the continent's population (Stutzman
to examine some of these thinkers under a post- 1981). More than a literal reality, the mestizaje ide-
colonial light, particularly those that are significantly ology is an ideal, a wish, and a rhetorical recourse
recognized as creating a new form of anthropologi- to hide the differences-racial, ethnic, economic,
cal thought known as social archeology, or "Arque- religious, sexual, etc.-in Latin America. "Differ-
ologia como ciencia social" (see Lumbreras 1981). ence" is seen as dangerous and therefore its mere
It became clear in the early Latin American presence could, and does, question and threaten any
republics that the essential question of what Latin construction of a national identity. This is evident in
America was, and what Latin Americans were as a the fact that in many Latin American countries a
people, was far from having an obvious answer. The mestizo ideology has been traditionally employed
issue of domination immediately brought with it the by the elite to maintain power over the indigenous
dilemma of authenticity, particularly that of cultural populations and other national groups. It is as if
authenticity. Was (or is) this new culturally created through the actual invention of a national identity
space European, Indian, Mestizo, African, and/or there is a homogenizing attempt and need to hide and
Western (occidental);or was it a symbiosis of these, silence "the other." Up to now Latin America's his-
like the one proposed by Vasconcelos (1997), as a tory has been based on the exclusion of difference,
new superior "cosmic race?'Or, is Latin American on the negation or denial of "an other," especially of
identity something completely different, inscribed the Indian as the possible ethnic majority of the nation
under levels and centuries of cultural denial and polit- (Silva 199534).
ical oppression (see Garcia Canclini 1995; Weiss However, Mallon (1996) and several other schol-
1991;Yudice et al. 1992)? ars (Anzald6a 1987;Cypess 1991;Morraga 1986 and
The discourse of the ideology of mestizaje is a 1994) (most of whom are women) strive to empha-
prime example of this cultural ambiguity. The idea size the liberating or counter-hegemonic elements of
of a mestizo race superior to its black, Indian, and this traditionally exploitative state ideology. They do
even white European constituent components was this by appreciating the contradictory nature of a
initially put forward in the late 1800s in Mexico mestizo ideology that both creates inequality (Smith
(Smith 1996). Vasconcelos (1997) and other ideo- 1996:149) and liberates us from absolute identities
logues proposed a "cosmic race" that served to legit- (Anzaldfia 1987). It is this essential contradictory
imize the aspirations of the local elite against nature of mestizaje that becomes a source of con-
European and North American intruders, and to dis- tention and that allows for a thorough critique of
tance themselves from the rest of the non-white many of the traditionally accepted social categories
national citizens. Soon afterwards this concept of through the vantage point of a "strategic marginal-
the mestizo ideal swept through the southern part of ity" (Mallon 1996:173).
the continent and by the beginning of the twentieth During the last two centuries Latin American
century was an essential part of Latin American ide- intellectuals have been involved in similar social pro-
ology (Quintero 1997; Quintero and Silva 1991). In jects to create the new Latin American: a being that
this sense, as Hale (1996:2) elaborates, "mestizaje would be truthful both to its history and to a future
has been a remarkably effective ideological tool in of economic achievement. However, what none of
the hands of elite in many parts of Latin America, a these intellectuals or their political ventures has ever
unifying myth put to the service of state and nation been able to sufficiently address is, first, how to cor-
building. A pervasive effect of this process, in turn, rect a legacy of poverty and exploitation, an unre-
is for alternative or contested meanings to be down solved historical problem to this day; and second,
played or even erased. Mestizaje as an elite gener- how to negotiate the politics of cultural authenticity

and the establishment of a stable cultural identity that is the main focus of this paper. In many regards the
could support viable political development projects. following is a continuation of the discussion intro-
In Latin America, these constantly frustrated pro- duced to the American academic scene by Patterson
jects of political liberation and cultural authenticity (1994) and Oyuela-Caycedo et al. (1997) in the last
have suffered from the lack of a viable historical con- decade. Although these articles were significant in
tribution offered by its archaeologicalestablishment. initiating an anglophone debate regarding an impor-
This does not mean that archaeology has been absent tant theoretical trend that had been evolving in the
from political debates, but rather that it has formed Americas for over two decades, they neglected to
part of a subtler discourse to empower the different incorporate a whole different range of processes and
nation-states in their fumbled projects of economic realities implicit in social archaeology. Particularly
liberation, and in doing so, actively has contributed limited in this regard was Oyuela-Caycedo et al.'s
to the continued domination of the majority of the (1997) piece that, in a reactive mode, questioned the
populations of the continent (see Patterson and full impact of social archaeology as a whole because
Schmidt 1995). The cases of Mexico and Peru are of its limited methodological contribution and
the ones most consistently used to express how offered quite simplistic theoretical models for under-
archaeological symbols and prehispanic elements standing the developmentof Latin American archae-
have been used to sustain a near-sacred sense of ology (see also Oyuela-Caycedo 1994).Toward this
each nation-state's historical aura. For example, the end I will incorporate both my experience working
Mexican archaeological establishment found itself within this paradigm as well as a discussion of Latin
strongly supported by a centralized social revolu- American anthropology that supports what I believe
tion controlled by a state interested in exploiting a to be social archaeology's significant philosophical
past that legitimized its claim to political power and contributions.
national pride (GQndara 1992). As Castaiieda's
(1996) work in the Yucatan peninsula and my own Archaeological Training in a

work in Ecuador (Benavides 1999; see also Patter- Postcolonial World

son and Schmidt 1995; Poole 1997) reflect, archae- Social archaeology in Ecuador is far from being the
ology has been an essential and necessary discourse dominant archaeologicalparadigm. Rather, it reflects
in shaping what Latin Americans believed about the concerns of a small yet significant group of
their own past, and told themselves, or not, through archaeologists. Its initial center of development in
their own histories or those of engaged foreign the country was Guayaquil's Centro de Estudios
archaeologists (see also Florescano 1994; Sullivan Arqueol6gicos y Antropol6gicos, located at the
1991). Escuela Superior PolitCcnica del Litoral (ESPOL).
Based on recent theoretical analyses, it is evident The school was originally founded in 1980 by Jorge
that all archaeological work has an implicit and Marcos and a cohort of other Latin American archae-
sometimes explicit political subtext-that even the ologists (Marcos 1986). It was a natural outgrowth
most rigorously positivistic and empirical archaeol- of the UNESCO-sponsoredParacas meeting in 1970
ogists are contributing, knowingly or not, to a par- on Latin American education, where the need for a
ticular political agenda outside of their control (Kohl local (or "native") professional archaeologicalschool
andFawcett 1995;Trigger 1989;Wylie 1992,1995). was outlined.The theoreticalinclination of the school
Within this scenario, in the last two decades there was very clear from the outset; that is, the curricu-
has evolved within Latin American anthropological lum and initial staff reflected a strong adherence to
thought a community of archaeologistswho have dis- the recent theoretical advances put forward in Latin
engaged themselves from pretended scientific neu- America under the aegis of a social archaeology.
trality and actively connected their professional work Until then the three major centers for the devel-
with their political involvement. This group of opment of this paradigm had been Mexico and Peru,
archaeologists has established a limited, yet signif- and to a lesser degree Venezuela. Mexico had bene-
icant, contribution to understanding, carrying out, fitted from the influx of radical archaeologists who
and influencing archaeological and anthropological abandoned their countries after military takeovers,
research in Latin America. such as the Chileans Luis Felipe Bate and Julio Mon-
It is this particular school, social archaeology, that tank, and the Spaniard JosC Luis Lorenzo. Peru, on
358 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 12, No. 4, 20011

the other hand, had its own Luis Lumbreras (1981), national conferences and meetings. In the United
the author of the groundbreaking La arqueologia States the situations seem reversed. Despite the
como ciencia social (Archaeology as Social Sci- greater wealth of resources, it is not surprising to find
ence), which initially circulated as an unpublished archaeologists who have never heard of a social
manuscript in various anthropology departments archaeology, even among archaeologists who carry
around the continent, and in many ways served as a out their research in Latin America. This lack of
catalyst for the formation of the movement. The pub- awareness of foreign paradigms has serious impli-
lication of the journal, Gaceta Arqueoldgica Andina, cations for the interaction between scholars from
also contributed significantly to providing social different countries and points to the need to create a
archaeologists with a medium to express and circu- setting for some form of dialogue between
late many of their initial ideas. Finally, the Venezue- researchers.
lans Mario Sanoja and Iraida Vargas (1978) offered As I stated, the differencesin archaeologicaltrain-
a re-interpretation of their country's past in their ing between Ecuador and the United States are
Antiguasfomciones y modos deproduccidn vene- shaped by the particular post(neo)-colonial rela-
zolanos (Ancient Formations and Modes of Pro- tionship in which these two countries are engaged.
duction in Venezuela), which operationalized many Ecuador, as a postcolonial possession, offers a very
of the key concepts that had been proposed by the different education than that given in the center of
paradigm. power. Not only is one taught alternative ways to
As a past student in the archaeology school at approach reality but these approaches are contrasted
ESPOL and recent graduate of the anthropologydoc- to the ever-imposing views coming in from the out-
toral program at CUNY, I have a unique vantage side (see McGuire 1997). This political reality is
point from which to assess archaeological training very different from the one experienced in the United
in both Ecuador and the United States. One of the States where one's political centrality makes it harder
main differences that can be seen is the contrasting to critically appreciate and relate to knowledge pro-
archaeological paradigms of these two countries, duced in the periphery. Because of this particular
social archaeology and new archaeology, respec- structure the national liberation and postcolonial lit-
tively, which have opposing agendas and theoretical erature (Fanon 1963, 1965, 1967; Freire 1992) can
implications. However, I would argue that it is not be instrumental in assessing the wider implications
only an issue of contrasting paradigms but rather one of an approach such as a social archaeology,not only
of wider discourses that are related to the north-south for Latin American archaeology,but for archaeology
interaction within our modem world system (Amin in the United States and worldwide.
1989;Wallerstein 1974). It is true that the new archae- Archaeological research, as any other type of sci-
ology program had specific principles that contrast entific research in Ecuador, is done in a context of
with the propositions of a theoretical archaeology social, economic, and political inequality.That is, an
(see Klejn 1977, 1980). But its pragmatic or empiri- Ecuadorian doing research has a series of constraints
cist approach is not only aresult of this positivist par- upon himlher that are a result of the wider north-south
adigm, but also of the general social and academic relationships of the modern world system. This is
climate of the United States in this century (see Pat- reflected in limited funding and few granting agen-
terson 1995). cies, scarce bibliographic resources, few teaching
The level of critical awareness of foreign archae- positions, difficulty if not impossibility of attending
ological paradigms also differs in these two coun- international meetings, and often the need to work
tries (see McGuire 1997; McGuire and Navarrete two or more jobs to survive. This set of circum-
1999; and Newel1 1999 for further insights on dif- stances immediately disadvantages national archae-
fering academic and professional standards between ological research. As a result, foreign archaeologists,
Anglo and Latin American archaeology). In Ecuador although they also have some economic constraints,
we were introduced to the postulates and relevance are in a much better position to carry out archaeo-
of the new archaeology as well as other foreign par- logical research in Latin America. Therefore, it is
adigms. This occurred under the serious limitations only logical that the foreign archaeologists and their
of few bibliographic resources and of the minimum program would be highly influential in terms of set-
availability or even impossibility of attending inter- ting professional standards and objectives.

But why do some archaeologists,especially social action that analyzing and understanding the past
archaeologists, worry about these political issues? entails.
This political relevance is crucial because one of the All of these concerns were present in the con-
strongest critiques against social archaeology has struction of a social archeology at ESPOL in
been its shortcomings in dealing with the actual prac- Guayaquil during the 1980s. However, because of
tice of archaeological fieldwork. This critique, I economic constraints and the impossibility of main-
believe, is valid even when attempts to breach the gap taining a permanent faculty, the future of the school
between theory and method within the paradigm have was seriously questioned.However, in the last twenty
been made (Bate 1981; Vargas 1990). Many social years it was able to train a new generation of archae-
archaeologists themselves would agree with this ologists in this approach, regardless of whether or not
appraisal, and because of it have seriously turned all of its graduates explicitly have identified with it.
their attention to the continued developmentof more
adequate field methods and techniques to be more in Latin American Social Archaeology
tune with their theoretical elaborations (e.g., Bate It can be argued that the specific political (post)neo-
1982, 1992; Lumbreras 1981:15, 1982). For them, colonial situation of the continent has led to an alter-
social archaeology is a paradigm still very much in native form of archaeology, which has established a
evolution, and they are striving to provide and define scientific paradigm very different from the one
the best methodological structure to sustain its theo- offered by North Americans doing research in the
retical body. Contrary to many of the assumptions area. This alternative approach was informed by the
held by new archaeology practitioners in the conti- particular Latin American socioeconomic reality of
nent, social archaeologists believe that more sophis- dependency and underdevelopment. At the same
ticated scientific methods by themselves will not time, this new archaeological discourse has rooted
answer the relevant questions about the region's past. itself deeply in the social science tradition of the
Rather, an appropriate methodology can only result region. In the last century, archaeologicalknowledge
from the ongoing conflict and limitationsexperienced in the continent has been "objectified" and separated
in the relationship between theory and practice. from the social context in which it was produced,
But, diverging somewhat from this imperative both historically and currently. Consciously or not,
held by the majority of social archaeology propo- this has had the political effect of alienating Latin
nents, I would argue that the core of the issue does Americans from their own history. Archaeological
not lie in the appropriatenessor obsoleteness of the knowledge has been discussed in the academic arena
field methods per se, but rather in the fact that social but has played little part in the central concerns of
archaeology has consistently privileged why we do Latin American society. As several Latin American
archaeology, rather than how we do it. At no point archaeologists have keenly discussed (Politis 1995),
does it argue for a purely theoretical or a non-field- archaeology has always permeated society's con-
work approach to archaeology, but it does reflect a ception of its own history, but has failed to do so in
preference for theoretical questions over method- an explicit, committed engagement with the pro-
ological ones. And even in this sense, methodology duction of that past as an element of its own politi-
itself is understood in the much wider definition of cal transformation (see Benavides 1999:356-386).
the word. This does not mean that the gap between In this "scientific" framework, Latin America has
theory and method is not a serious one or should not become an unlimited source of data and anthropo-
be addressed. Rather, it means that there are spe- logical knowledge, but not of "real" scientists or of
cific rationales for the concerns of a social archae- information inherently valuable to the transforma-
ology, which proposes that the reconstruction of the tion andlor development of the region.
past is of utmost priority for the political future of For the last two or three decades, Latin American
the continent. In other words, the future of our coun- archaeologists have struggled with this central issue:
tries and continent is intimately tied to a realistic how to incorporate scientific knowledge into the
understanding of our own past, and, above all, struggles of everyday life, without allowing research
archaeology is a political undertaking. It is political to contribute to the increasing inequality and
not in the limited sense of the word, but in the real- exploitation of its people. In 1975, several Latin
ization and acceptance of the complex social inter- American archaeologists met at Teotihuacan
360 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 12, No. 4, 20011

(Declaraci6n de Teotihuac5n 1983:48) to re-evalu- Furthermore, social archaeologists engaged in

ate the discipline's contribution to society and the this approach see themselves linked to the past that
continent's history. The document they produced they are interpreting. Rather than seeing themselves
declared "that the Latin American archaeologist's removed from their research, they see themselves
task is to recover the sense of historical development as the end product of this historical process. Not only
that will enable us to struggle along with the destiny does this not interfere in the study of the past, due
of our respective people." It is this social approach to some limited, ethnocentric, or nationalistic claim,
that will be reviewed in the following pages (see Pat- but it demands an even more objective understand-
terson 1994 for a review of the theoretical develop- ing of it. This objectivity is of utmost importance
ments in Latin America's social archaeology; and because the past is directly tied to who we are as a
also McGuire 1992). people, and this knowledge is needed for the his-
There are two primary factors on which this torical construction of the continent's present and
approach is based: the first is the strong social and future.
political commitment that an archaeologist, as a This interconnectedness of human societies
social scientist, feels toward the community; and the throughout time, precluding any break between pre-
second is the historical materialist paradigm that history and history as absoluteentities,but at the most
many archaeologistsembrace as a tool to analyze and as colonial reconstructions (Patterson 1994), frees
understand history (Montank 1980). These two fac- them to look at any society or social formation as
tors enable social archaeologists to reconstruct his- equally valid for understanding and assessing the
tory and see its continuity and value in contemporary particular issues in their research. It also allows them
society. This alternative form of archaeology pro- to unite day-to-day existence in a more fruitful way
poses to destroy the false theory-praxis, science- with the objectives of their professional work, avoid-
advocacy dichotomies, and argues that the ing a schizophrenicdivision between who we are out-
archaeologist has an important responsibility and side of our offices and classrooms, and what we do
plays a pivotal part in situating historical knowledge inside them.
at the center of Latin America's social struggle. In Because of the extreme differences in access to
essence, social archaeology proposes a more politi- power and to resources in Latin America, it is easier
cal and socially relevant way of addressing our to see the inequality and exploitation on which the
inquiries into the past. class structure is based. It is in this social milieu of
Social archaeology sees society not as a simple sum class and cultural conflict, vividly expressed in the
of all the different parts but rather as a result of a com- political situations of the continent, that the social
plex interaction that creates a whole different and scientist is immersed. For every intellectual in Latin
unique totality. To understand this totality, social America there are thousands who do not have access
archaeologists make use of Marxists concepts such as to the most basic elements of culture: education,
social formations, mode of production, labor theory, books, media, and arts. That is why archaeologists,
etc. However, these concepts are not mechanically as well as all intellectuals, are the "beneficiaries of
applied,but rather are reworked to fit the concrete his- an unequal social and cultural structure" (Zubizarreta
toric reality of each case, as is continuing work on the 1983:20). For example, a 1980 editorial in Ame'rica
concept of culture by Bate (1977, 1978) and Lumbr- Indigena states that archaeology, as a social science,
eras (1981)orModo de fida (Mode of Life) by Veloz- "is part and mirror of the social processes to which
Maggiolo (1984), and Sanoja and Vargas (1978). The it aligns itself as a critical conscience and potential
focus of the approach is on historically constituted instrument for an autonomous and positive devel-
processes of social development, and it aligns itself opment of our societies" (America Indigena
with any other discipline or approach that will further 1980:201).
this social endeavor. In this way, social archaeologists The obvious inequality in the social structure and
aspire to transcend the artificial division by which aca- in the access to knowledge has led many archaeolo-
demic disciplines are routinely constrained, allowing gists to align themselves with the struggle for social
it to communicate to different groups of society in a justice. As many of the editorials of the Gaceta
dialectical dialogue about our past (Patterson 1994; Arqueoldgica Andina express, archaeology is an
see also McGuire 1992). important element in the transformation of our soci-

ety. "We think that archaeology as a scientific disci- interdisciplinary nature because it looked to the
pline. . .has a fundamentalplace in the understanding development of Cochasqui not only as an archaeo-
of this process, in the search and analysis of new ways logical site, but also as an autochthonous commu-
of transformation and development. . . .We are refer- nity with many other needs, such as agricultural,
ring . . . fundamentally to the role that archaeology socioeconomic, medical, etc. (Paredes and Estrella
must carry out as a social science in the complex 1989; Programa Cochasqui 1991). It also strove for
process of a search for our identity and in the gen- a future situation wherein the local communities
eral projection of our future" (1987-88:2). This view would become responsible for and capable of man-
has permitted Latin American archaeologists to see aging the archaeological site directly. This initial cul-
both themselves and the community as equal sub- tural objective is still prevalent among the tour guides
jects in their scientific endeavor. Both are part of a today: "That is why the preoccupation of the Pro-
historic tradition and are actively responsible for its grama is not only with restoring or rescuing the
formulations. "Andeanist [need] to address, in an pyramids, but with everything that is culture, with
autonomous and specific manner, the tasks that our all the culture" (Virgilio, Tour Guide, 2/2/97, in Bena-
conditions of builders of a history that interests and vides 1999).
affects us directly demand, in terms of the necessary Thus, the main concerns of the project were not
integration of our countries, as well as in the acces- to make the site economically self sufficient or lucra-
sibility and diffusion of our w o r k (Gaceta Arque- tive, since that would limit its accessibility to the
oldgica Andina 1990:2). As a result, social majority of Ecuadorians, who live at poverty level.
archaeology is finding expression in Latin America At the same time, the people in charge of the site were
through the archaeologist's social commitment to womed not about re-excavating it or maintaining
the community with which it is working. exclusivecontrol over scientificinformation, but how
to make the scientific and historical information they
The Practice of Social Archaeology
already possessed accessible to the people who they
There are severalEcuadorian cases whose discussion saw as the original inheritors of the site.
may provide examples of the praxis of social archae- In the end, the Programa's main preoccupation
ology. For instance, the Programa Cochasqui, car- was to understand how it was that the involvement
ried out around the prehispanic site of Cochasqui, with the local community and public participation
puts into practice several of social archaeology's had missed its initial goals, especially when it was
principles of social commitment and autochthonous one of the main objectives from the very beginning
development. The most relevant objective of the Pro- of the project. These findings led us to understand
grama, in its central concern for the historical recon- that the role of the public and local community was
struction of the site, has been its interest in including of central importance in assessing the success or not
the comuna (the local community) in the site's preser- of the maintenance of the site. The primacy of the
vation. From the outset, it proposed a dynamic con- community over the site, of seeing the public as the
cept of culture, similar to that offered by Bate rightful heirs to the site, is a stance far from that of
(1977:9), as the essential element for any possible the majority of other projects administered by either
model of autonomous development of the area (Pro- "traditional" or "new archaeologist" scholars all
grams Cochasqui 1991). Influential in this regard was around the globe, including the United States. (See
the presence of the archaeologist Lenin Ortiz, who, McGuire and Navarrete 1999 for a discussion and
although never an explicitly recognized ideologue of comparison of two very interesting U.S. sites in this
social archaeology, had always been in close contact regard, Annapolis and Williamsburg; see also Han-
with its works. Interestinqy enough, Ortiz has always dler and Gable 1997; Leone 1988.)
been actively involved in national politics, occupy- I would also like to offer my own research at
ing the positions of consejeroprovincial (provincial Cochasqui (Benavides 1999) as an extension of the
councilman) several times, from which position he programmatic objectives, and as an example of the
has been able to fight consistently for funds for the diversity of contemporary implications, of the social
maintenance of the site and guarantee free admis- archaeology agenda. I spent most of the year 1997
sion to the public. carrying out a detailed study of the site of Cochasqui
The initial structure of the Programa was of an with the main objective of understanding how
362 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 12, No. 4, 20011

archaeological knowledge was produced at the site, been able to put into practice quite successfully sev-
and how this knowledge was represented and eral of the discipline's main ideas.
actively consumed by the public at large. For this MarceloVillalba's (1988) work in Cotocollao and
endeavor I interviewed archaeologists, sociologists, Colin McEwan et al.'s (1994) collaboration with the
anthropologists, and other professionals who at Agua Blanca community are two more examples in
some point had collaborated with the site, present this regard. Villalba's (1988) excavations at Coto-
members of the Program, the local community, and collao arguably provide some of the most compre-
tourists. I found that it was clear that archaeological- hensive Marxist analyses of any pre-Hispanic site in
historical knowledge was not static at Cochasqui, the continent. Meanwhile the work in the comuna of
that over the years it had undergone significant Agua Blanca has triggered the local communities'
changes that did not necessarily result in historical interest in their pre-Hispanic past and has helped
error, but rather evidenced the power of the present them validate their present political struggles. The
social and political milieu in constructing a viable site museum and cultural center, as well as the yearly
past for national consumption. cultural festival that brings together groups from all
In this regard my work tied in closely with find- over the country, have helped the community under-
ings by other scholars working on the socio-histor- stand its historic roots, and has been a dynamic force
ical aspects of archaeological knowledge (e.g., in forging its identity and realizing its creative capac-
Castaiieda 1996; Patterson and Schmidt 1995), but, ity (McEwan et al. 1994).
more importantly, I maintain it is indebted to the The work carried out at Agua Blanca has been
socio-historical stance inherent in social archaeol- discussed at some length by the main collaborators
ogy's platform. Even though many social archaeol- of the site and could easily be a focus of an article
ogists, in logical alliance with scientific Marxism, in itself. But for the present purpose it is important
still seem willing to privilege the empirical data, their to note how the patient work of the archaeologist at
own work can be interpreted to the contrary. That is, the site-through continuous presentations, daily
the archaeological enterprise is a socio-historical one interactions with the community, and providing for
that, far from biasing the research, significantly the comuna's active involvement in the excavations,
enriches our understanding of the undeniably com- site maintenance, building and control of the site
plex dynamics involved in the production of a past museum-has slowly allowed the community to
reality from the socioeconomic and cultural pro- identify and value the archaeological remains that
duction of the present. My work's central finding is they had initially pillaged. Through this systematic
strongly indebted to years of reading the works and process of interactive participation, the community
practicing social archaeology, and provides an exam- was able to find alternative modes of subsistence
ple of the manner in which this school broadens our through the maintenance, and not the destruction, of
understanding of what doing archaeology implies. the site of Agua Blanca, and become actively
It is also interesting to note that the Program at involved in indigenous comuna organizing through-
Cochasqui has never explicitly affiliated itself with out the coast, and the country.
any of social archaeology's guidelines, even though As at Cochasqui, the archaeologists involved at
two of its exponents, Luis Lumbreras (1990) and Agua Blanca have never figured prominently in, or
Luis F. Bate (1986,1992), were charged with assess- even explicitly advocated their inclusion within, a
ing the site's chronology, and carrying out fieldwork social archaeology paradigm. This is not surprising
to address the question of pre-ceramic occupation considering that Ecuador itself has never figured
just north of the site, respectively. However, this lack prominently in any representation of social archae-
of explicit alignment does not deny the social objec- ology in South America. But this has not excluded
tives that the Program at Cochasqui is interested in the country from being impacted by social archae-
implementing, but rather speaks to the wider impli- ology's radical proposals. At the same time I would
cations of many of social archaeology's main polit- argue that these examples from Ecuador are testa-
ical and cultural goals. This same feature is inherent ments to social archaeology's wide impact on the cul-
in other archaeological projects in the country (e.g., tural environment of the continent and its viable
Real Alto, Salango, etc.), which do not necessarily legacy beyond the reductive definition of archaeol-
derive from a social archaeology school, yet have ogy as simply an enterprise about the past.

Mexico and Venezuela, as well as other Latin plored, such as, "under what historical conditionsand
American settings, have also had several projects by what moral right a small corps of mostly light-
that try to integrate the social and scientific aspects skinned urban professionals can arrogate to itself the
into a single interpretive scheme. One of the best privilege of speaking for the mostly brown-skinned
examples is the CuchumatCn Project, which had as poor Andean majorities. . . . [or] the larger unexam-
an objective to "write the history of the struggling ined ethical question of our acceptance of funds from
peoples, to show their roots and their historic conti- the same government that has supported coups in
nuity" (Navarrete in Gindara et al. 1985:12). There Bolivia and Chile and the dirty war against leftist
are several other projects similar to this, which are guerrillas in Colombia" (Starn 1994:17-18).
striving to offer an alternativeto the traditional empir- However, the main objective of a non-Western
ical practice of archaeology (see Gindara et al. 1985). anthropology is not merely to "accuse anthropolo-
Many of the traditional proponents of social archae- gists of having collaborated with colonialism. . . ."
ology are still actively engaged in the continuous (Mead in Nash 1975:228), because that would not
elaboration of this paradigm (Bate 1992 and 1993; only be unfair but also untrue. Rather, non-Western
G5ndara 1992 and 1993; Vargas 1995; Vargas and anthropology proposes to destroy the false research-
Sanoja 1993), as well as a new generation of schol- action dichotomy, and argues that instead of negat-
ars that are actively using the paradigm to explore ing one's role as a power broker in society, the
new theoretical and practical ventures (e.g., Ensor anthropologist should struggle alongside the com-
2000; Ldpez 1984; Navarrete 1999). munity to validate social knowledge and elaborate
Most importantly, these projects, and many oth- its full implication for society. Latin American
ers throughout the continent, reflect the essential anthropologists have been an important part of this
concerns that social archaeology expresses in rela- non-Western endeavor. In the following pages I
tion to the study of the past. In this manner, the prin- would like to consider two main elements in the for-
cipal tenets of this approach give expression to mulation of a Latin American anthropology: West-
wide-level concerns that are present in committed ern vs. non-Western anthropology, and "liberation
archaeologists and communities that do not neces- anthropology."
sarily limit themselves to a social archaeology mode In recent literature, Latin American anthropol-
of practice. Social archaeology is relevant, not exclu- ogy has been placed within a wider Western vs. non-
sively because of its number of ideologues or prac- Western framework. Lomnitz sees Latin Americans
titioners, but because of its range of influence and as focusing on the known (replanteando lo cono-
power in capturing many of the pervasive philo- cido).Latin American anthropologists, in contrast to
sophical and historical quandaries inherent in Latin Western anthropologists,do not reconstruct the other
America's historical reconstruction. (el otro) as much as they focus on their own (lo nue-
stro) (Lomnitz 1995). Colson (1982) summarizes
Cause and Effect:
many of the characteristics of non-Western anthro-
Anthropology in Latin America
pology, such as the lack of funding or government-
The appearanceof a social archaeology entails adis- controlled jobs. But the essence of a Non-Western
cussion that is of central concern to the anthropo- anthropology is the common experience of colo-
logical community at large. Third World nialism and neocolonialism that creates "a fear of
anthropology (in the absence of a better term) has economic and political domination from Western
questioned many of the traditional assumptions of Europe orAnglo America" (1982:258).Asad (1982)
Western science, and has contributed to the reexam- considers it important to question the traditional
ination of the discipline and its traditional role (Gor- asymmetry present in anthropology, where, while the
don 1991). For many, neocolonial domination is Western world has traditionally focused on the
served by the pretense of scientific objectivity and other's society, non-Western anthropologists have
academic purity. As Starn (1994) has outlined for the continued to study their own society. For Asad, this
Andes, anthropologists' self-portrayal as "good out- over-emphasis on the Third World is a product of cul-
siders" in the area might be misleading, and result- tural imperialism. Is it not possible, he asks, for
ing from a lack of critical awareness of extant power "Western anthropologists [to] apply the insights
relations. He states that many questions are left unex- gained from their study of other cultures to a study
364 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 12, No. 4, 20011

of their own?'Are not Western academics "as inter- archaeologists that combines both the scientific ele-
ested in how people from non-Western cultures see ments and the socioeconomic aspects in which they
Western culture as they are in studying non-Western are embedded (Bate 1977).
cultures for themselves?'(Asad 1982:28&287). But The specific characteristics of Latin American
most problematic is the possibility that non-West- anthropology have led many to characterize it as a
erners have been presented with the idea "that it is "liberation anthropology" (Gordon 1991). For the
their own culture which needs to be studied and last two decades many scholars have tried to develop
explained because it is these that are problematic a coherent discipline that could contribute to the
(howeverthis may be rationalized)" (Asad 1982:287; transformation of the unequal social structure
parenthesis in original). (Declaraci6n de Teotihuacin 1983; Zubizarreta
The Peruvian writer/anthropologist Jose Mm'a 1983). Fals Borda (1985) was one of the initial pro-
Arguedas (l989b: 186)also saw cultural imperialism ponents of a liberating social science, which would
as a major obstacle to the development of a national permit a "critical ethic" position and the destruction
culture in Latin America. He considers "that the pow- of the neutral science myth (see Friedemann 1984).
ers that dominate the weaker countries, both eco- Ramos (1990; see also 2000) presents us with a sim-
nomically and politically,will try to consolidate their ilar picture of anthropology in Brazil, since for many
control through the application of a process of cul- Brazilian anthropologists "there is no purely acade-
tural colonization." The Western world will try to mic research; what there is, is the rhetorical possi-
impose their cultural supremacy by alienating the bility and personal inclination to exclude from one's
masses from their own history and intellectual com- written works the interactive, political, moral or eth-
munity (Arguedas 198913). The social sciences have ical aspects of fieldwork" (Ramos 1990:454).
helped in this endeavor by consolidating "the process This position is shared by many anthropologists
of getting the colonized to colonize themselves" throughout the continent who believe it is naive to
(Sorbo 1982:152). As Haraway (1986:85) argues, talk about neutrality in the social sciences (Friede-
the Western world "is about difference, it is the pol- mann 1984). It was the actual conditions of the con-
itics of the civilization of the 'primitive', the domi- tinent's underdevelopment that promoted many of
nation of nature by culture." The "West" itself is a the ideas and analyses to which I have referred above.
political construct that orders the differences central The specific social conditions of poverty, malnutri-
to the collectively enforced reality of culture vs. tion, high infant-mortality rates, informal economies,
nature. etc. conditioned (as they inevitably do) our anthro-
The contrast between Western and non-Western pological and archaeological research. An initial
anthropology has also contributed to a re-evaluation approximation of this problem, stated over 24 years
of the traditional positivist epistemology. It is clear ago, is, unfortunately, still an appropriate contem-
that a positivist approach fails to incorporate many porary portrayal of the relationship between the
of the complexities of social reality. However it social sciences and society in Latin America:
seems that scientific relativism, which is offered as Latin America is a continent full of incongruen-
a solution by many postmodernists, is even more cies and social contradictions caused by its
problematic than the positivist paradigm (Harrison underdevelopment. As a result of this it is a
1991; Trigger 1989). Relativism fails to assess the region of conflicts and crises that are its objec-
"relative merits of different interpretations of human tive historical reality, the reason why this reality
is closer to the working of social sciences than
behavior," and "is incapable of providing even a lim- the natural s~iences.The scientific objectivity of
ited objective understanding of society" (Trigger the social sciences is placed before real-life sit-
1989:778). Many Western scholars have proposed a uations and participates in society's own con-
qualified objectivism to solve the present crisis in the flicts and disjunctions, making of this
discipline (Trigger 1989; Wylie 1989, 1992; Sorbo objectivity the acknowledgment that there is an
essential relationship between empirical knowl-
1982). However, for many Latin American anthro- edge and social conflict. The development of
pologists, any form of empiricist positivism is by def- future social scientists, therefore, is a matter of
inition reactionary and limits our scientific preparing the citizens needed with the scientific
understanding of the world. This has led to the use training for the analysis and transformation of
of a dialectical historical epistemology by social these societies (Valencia 1970: 122).

The article that includes the above quotation, pub- This particular socioeconomic reality, of living in an
lished in the groundbreaking critique De eso que lla- "underdeveloped" and neocolonial context, was what
man antropologia mexicana (Of That Which They gave the authors of this book, as well as many oth-
Call Mexican Anthropology) (see Bonfil1970; Oliv- ers since then, the particular understanding of a
era devasquez 1970;Valencia 1970), synthesizes one socially committed or "liberation" anthropology.
of the positions Latin American anthropologists These were the basic premises or ideas that Latin
faced with the daily reality that they both analyze and American anthropology and archaeology shared in
are a part of. In the book, anthropologists are clearly their continual reassessment of the relationship
committed to participating in the development of the between the social sciences and society. Within
continent, and see their role as essential in this polit- archaeology this led to the formulation of an
ical project. Commitment for these anthropologists approach now continentally known as social archae-
means a re-questioning of the whole class structure ology. However, there has been little change in the
of society. It also means the liberation of the indige- neocolonial relationship between North and South
nous communities within society, and also of the America since the initial publication of many of the
national society as a whole, from the present unequal seminal articles. In many respects Latin American
structure of the world system and the resulting alien- anthropology, even when its intention has been oth-
ating conditions. erwise, has failed to find a way out of colluding with
Yet, at the same time, these anthropologists seri- the mechanisms of power in re-creating many of
ously questioned the feasibility of such an anthro- these uneven power relationships. In this regard some
pology. How could such an anthropology exist if it progressive anthropologists have even become con-
questioned the very foundations of the country's servative political leaders who have questioned their
class structure. Would the dominant sectorsjust stand own initial research, including, for example, Enrique
by as enlightened social scientists defined new ways Cardoso, who, beginning as a left-leaning academic,
of development? Furthermore, who was the domi- has become the president responsible for a neolib-
nant sector, and was not anthropology directly era1 economic shift in Brazil. It must be stated, how-
aligned with it (Olivera de Vasquez 1970)? None of ever, that although challenged, many of these
these questions was actually answered in the text. committed anthropologists may still have significant
Nevertheless, throughout the book there is an implicit contributions to offer to the discipline and social sci-
optimism that, by stating and discussing them, these ences in general.
contradictions will begin to be resolved.
Within this initially optimistic framework, the Conclusion
authors found it necessary to apply the anthropo- All too often in Latin America, nationalist policies
logical method to anthropology itself, that is, if the have meant greater forms of domination for the
discipline was going to participate in Latin Amer- indigenous communities, and ultimately increased
ica's development. For Olivera de Vasquez alienation for the national society. This has not been
(1970:117), "the object of study would be, in the lost on the strong "Indianist" movement, which since
ultimate instance, to work at all levels to reach the the 1970s has replaced traditional Indigenismo.
needed development." Anthropology's participation Unlike the latter, Indianismo is a movement, orga-
in the autonomous development of Latin America, nized and run by the indigenous communities them-
however, was clearly seen as a process that involved selves, which has formed national level
both national and international issues. The high level confederations, e.g., CONAIE (Confederacibn
of poverty in which not only the indigenous com- Nacional de Indigenas de Ecuador), and participated
munities but a great part of the continent's popula- in pan-continental meetings (Barre 1983; Docu-
tion lived, in contrast to a small national elite, was mentos de la Segunda Reunibn de Barbados 1979).
the specific model in which north-south relations Therefore, archaeology as a discipline not only has
were mirrored. The development of Latin American a role in the actual investigation of our society's his-
nation-states meant not only the end of a social struc- tory, but it also has the potential to empower, as well
ture that subordinated groups within their own soci- as disempower, its own impoverished masses and
eties, but also, ultimately, a critique of their own society as a whole. Ultimately, in this contemporary
countries' subordination to the all powerful north. context, what is archaeology's specific role or form
366 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 12, No. 4, 20011

of participation in an autonomous development of provided an implicit opening to understanding the

Latin America? sociohistorical contingencies contained within the
As one can imagine, there is no clear answer to political production of the past. In many regards this
this question; rather, it is an issue that demands seri- would seem an interesting and fruitful endeavor for
ous attention and assessment. Any model of devel- future scholars to pursue.
opment demands a firm grounding in a country's Committed Latin American scholars like Frantz
own history. It is particularly this aspect of society Fannon (1963, 1965, 1967), Darcy Ribeiro (1971),
that has been ravished over and over again in Luis Felipe Bate (1977, 1978, 1986), Orlando Fals
(post)neocolonialcountries.In a way, the initial con- Borda (1985), and Paulo Freire (1992), just to men-
quest of the continent 500 years ago not only marked tion a few, have expressed how a neocolonial con-
the genocide and ethnocide of indigenous popula- text conditionsthe understanding of our world vision,
tions, but it also initiated the process of usurping the including the perceptions of our human condition,
continent's history from its own people (CONAIE which views the self as a dominated being. Any polit-
1997 and 1998). ical endeavor, the objective of which is to break down
Any form of political project implicitly contains this neocolonial structure, that does not take into
an understanding of history, that is, a total picture or account this psychological dimension will undoubt-
complete view of the continent's historical tradition. edly fail. It is this factor of the neocolonial structure
Archaeology has been seen as the prime medium to that actively promotes different types of internal colo-
obtain this "history" as objectively and truthfully as nialism. These forms of internal colonialism oper-
possible (Silberman 1995).However, recent episte- ate at an individual level but, ultimately, also form a
mological reassessment in the discipline has chal- discursive body of knowledge from which every
lenged the reliability andlor practicality of such an political project obtains its theoretical and practical
endeavor (Trigger 1995; Wylie 1995 and 1989). In modes of action.
a sense, historical narratives imply a legitimization The social archaeology project responds to many
of the particular project that they support. This legit- of these wider psychological, political, and cultural
imization carries implicit notions of validity, truth- dilemmas confronting Latin American intellectuals.
fulness, and reality. However, its "reality" cannot be As such, social archaeology's program escapes the
grounded exclusively in empirical evidence, but also mere archaeological enterprise to which many of its
must include negotiation with the sociopolitical con- critics wish to limit it. Instead, this cultural project
text in which it is constructed and expressed-a clearly inscribes itself in a much broader philo-
negotiation that is constantly present, both at a com- sophical endeavor that is trying to develop a body of
munal and national level (Benavides 1999). theory to constitute the Latin American subject, and
At the same time, its validity is not only defined is striving to offer this new subject a viable political
in terms of the political or social objectives, be they liberation and cultural identity.
communal or national, that it legitimizes. Rather, the As part of this broader Latin American existen-
validation comes from a real and expanded partici- tial philosophy, the contributions and ramifications
pation of all the social actors immersed in and affected of social archaeologyare easily inscribed in what Zea
by the reconstruction of the past. This demands a (1970, 1971, 1974, 1978) has described as the con-
constant negotiation of all the parts involved,to define tinent's philosophical legacy. Because of this char-
the boundaries within which each actor can contribute acteristic I maintain it is inappropriate to judge the
to and assess the different motives for this contribu- school's contribution merely within archaeological
tion. Therefore, its validity is not so much a result of parameters. To this effect I believe projects like the
supporting a particular, narrow political agenda, as ones I have mentioned above, including my own
much as it is a result of the negotiation of all the research at Cochasqui (Benavides 1999), along with
groups involved, and the different discourses involved the continuous intellectual debate within this para-
in its construction (Benavides 1999). Social archae- digm (Bate 1993; Ensor 2000; Navarrete 1993;Var-
ology's claim of a positivist Marxist tradition has gas and Sanoja 1993), point to the fertile manner in
been quite ambiguous in this regard: while it has con- which social archaeology has contributed to, and
tinued to strive for a strict empirical field of opera- continues to contribute to, the dynamic understand-
tion within its epistemological tradition, it has also ing of the continent's past.

Thus, social archaeology stands as a means of pro- In Indigenous Anthropology in Non- Western Countries,
edited by Hussein Fahim, pp. 284-287. North Carolina Aca-
viding historical validity to a continent brutally col- demic Press, Durham.
onized into Western existence over five centuries Barre, Marie-Chantal
ago. Obviously it cannot provide integral solutions 1983 Ideologias indigenistas y movimientos indios. Siglo
XXI, Mexico.
to the problems produced by a colonial reality of cap- Bate, Luis F.
italism and Western expansion, since no single the- 1977 Arqueologia y materialismo histdrico. Editorial Nueva
oretical school ever will. But despite its own Imigen, Mexico.
1978 Sociedad, formacion econdmico-social y cultura. Edi-
fieldwork shortcomings and personality incon- torial De Cultura Popular, Mexico.
gruities, social archaeology has provided for a 1981 Relacidn general entre teona y mCtodo en Arqueologia.
dynamic new manner of understanding the archae- Boletin de Antmpologia Americana 4:3-54.
1982 Hacia la cuantificacidn de las fuerzas productivas.
ological past, and through it new ways of doing his- Boleti'n de Antmpologia Americana 6: 17- 24.
torical, anthropological, and cultural research on the 1986 Cultura, clases y cuestidn etnico-nacional. Juan Pablos
continent. This, I sustain, is the rightful legacy of Editora, Mexico.
1992 Las sociedades cazadoras-recolectoras pre-tribales o el
social archaeology in the utopic search for a "liber- 'Paleolitico Superior' visto desde SuramCrica. Boletin de
ated" Latin America, and probably also its greatest Antmpologi'aAmericana 25: 105-155.
challenge in the face of apostmodern turn in the con- 1993 Teoria de la cultura y arqueologia. Boletin de
Antmpologia Americana 27:75-93.
struction of postcolonial identities and society (Fou- Benavides, 0. Hugo
cault 1980;GarciaCanclini 1982,1992,1993,1995; 1999 Telling Stories, Producing the Nation: Archaeology's
Weiss 1991;Yudice et al. 1992). Role in the Construction of Contemporary Ecuador. Ph.D.
Dissertation,City University of New York, University Micro-
films, Ann Arbor.
Acknowledgments. I am grateful to the dialogue established
Bonfil, Guillermo
over the years with many colleagues that has significantly 1970 Del indigenismo de la revolucidn a la antropologia
enriched my understanding of social archaeology. Special cntica. In De eso que llaman antropologia Mexicana, pp.
thanks to the faculty and students at the Centro de Estudios 39-65. Editorial Nuestro Tiempo, Mexico.
Arqueoldgicos y Antropoldgicos of the ESPOL in Guayaquil, Burgos-Dabray, Elisabeth (editor)
Ecuador, as well as the following colleagues in particular: 1985 Me llamo Rigoberta Menchi y asi me nacid la con-
Silvia Alvarez, Jorge Marcos, Mike Muse, and Maria ciencia. Siglo XXI, Mexico.
Auxiliadora Cordero. I am also indebted for the suggestions Castaiieda, Quetzil
offered by Katharina Schreiber, Patricia Fournier, Erika 1996 In the Museum ofMaya Culture: Touring Chichen Itza.
The University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.
Wagner, Randall McGuire, Tom Patterson, and Cristobal
Colson, Elizabeth
Gnecco, as well as to two other anonymous reviewers of the 1982 Anthropological Dilemmas in the Late Twentieth Cen-
manuscript. Bernice Kurchin has also contributed to my think- tury. In Indigenous Anthropology in Non- WesternCountries,
ing of many archeological problematics expressed in this edited by H. Fahim, pp. 253-262. Academic Press, Durham.
paper as well as generously rendered invaluable editorial sug- CONAIE (Confederacidn de Nacionalidades Indigenas del
gestions. Finally I wish to thank G. Allen who has been instru- Ecuador)
mental in providing me with the space to genuinely think 1997 Proyecto politico de la CONAIE. CONAIE, Ecuador.
about anthropology and culture in Latin America and the Third 1998 Las nacionalidades indigenasy el estado plurinacional.
World in general. CONAIE, Ecuador.
.. Sandra Messinger
Cv~ess, -
1991 La Malinche in Mexican Literature: From History to
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Returning to the Source: Social Archaeology as Latin American Philosophy
O. Hugo Benavides
Latin American Antiquity, Vol. 12, No. 4. (Dec., 2001), pp. 355-370.
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