Archaeology and Ethnicity

  • Staša Babić Department of Archaeology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
archaeology, ethnicity, culture-historical approach, identity, contemporary context of research


The paper examines the history of archaeological investigation into collective identities in the past. Culture-historical approachis fully based upon the concept of cultural group , deeply influenced by the modern understanding of nation-states – unity of territory, material culture, language and ethnic affiliation. The application of this concept led to devastating political abuses of archaeology, most notoriously in the case of Gustaf Kossinna in the Nazi Germany. The realisation that the very essence of thus conceived group identity in the past inevidably leads into the projection of the modern model of nation-state, resulted in thorough reconsideration. Over the last decades, archaeologists are investigating other possible paths of research into the group and individual identities in the past, informed by the constructivist approach.


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How to Cite
Babić, Staša. 2010. “Archaeology and Ethnicity”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 5 (1), 137 -49.
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