The Problem of Cultural Identity in the Contemporary Archaeological Practice

  • Zorica Kuzmanović Department of Archaeology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
Keywords:
culture, cultural identity, culture-historical archaeology, processual archaeology, postprocessual archaeology, multiculturalism

Abstract

The decades-long reconsideration of the concept of culture in archaeology has been aimed at overcoming the traditional culture-historical concept, assuming culture as a relatively stable and homogeneous system of values characteristic of a certain group or a community of people. The practice of cultural classification of artefacts, based upon the premise that people linked by the production and usage of stylistically homogeneous material culture form a group with the feeling of communal identity, has been criticized as a reflection of ethnocentric projection of the modern idea of cultural identity. In spite of numerous critics of this concept, developed under the influence of various theoretical strains from the beginning of the 1960s, it seems that the implicit assumption is still present of the communal cultural identity of a group linked by the communal material culture. Furthermore, an attempt to counteract the critique and offer a multicultural interpretation of the past brings in the danger to rehabilitate the very concept of culture which archaeology has been trying to abandon for decades.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Anderson, Benedict. 1983. Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.
Baba, Homi. 2004. Smeštanje kulture. Beograd: Beogradski krug.
Babić, Staša. 2008. Grci i drugi. Beograd: Clio.
Babić, Staša. 2010. Prošlost kao Drugi – Drugi kao prošlost. Etnoantropološki problemi 5/2: 259-268.
Bernal, Martin. 1987. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization I. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
Bernal, Martin. 2002. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization II. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
Binford, Lewis R. 1962. Archaeology as Anthropology. American Antiquity 28, 217 – 225.
Binford, Lewis R. 1973. „Interassemblage variability – the Mousterian and the functional argument“. In The Explanation of Culture Change: Models in Prehistory, ed. Colin Renfrew, 227-254. London: Duckworth.
Burkert, Walter. 1992. Orientalizing Revolution: Near Estern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Clarke, David L. 1968. Analytical Archaeology. London: Methuen.
Días-Andreu, Margarita 2007. A World History of Nineteenth-Century Archaeology: Nationalism, Colonialism and the Past. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Días-Andreu, Margarita and Timothy Champion (eds.) 1996. Nationalism and Archaeology in Europe. London: USL Press.
Días-Andreu, Margarita, Sam Lucy, Stasa Babic and David N. Edwards. 2005. The Archaeology of Identity. Approach to gender, age, status, ethnicity and religion. London: Routledge.
Dietler, Michael. 2005. „The Archaeology of Colonization and the Colonization of Archaeology –
Theoretical Challenges from an Ancient Mediterranean Colonian Encounter“. In The Archaeology of Colonial Encounters – Comparative Perspectives, ed. Gill J. Stein, 33-69. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press.
Dougherty, Carol and Leslie Kurke. 2003. Introduction to The Cultures within Greek Culture – Contact, Conflict, Collaboration, eds. Carol Dougherty and Leslie Kurke, 1-23. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Džonson, Metju. 2008. Arheološka teorija. Beograd: Clio.
Gellner, Ernest. 1983. Nation and Nationalism. Oxford: Blackvell.
Gibbon, Guy. 1989. Explanation in Archaeology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Gosden, Cris. 2007. „The Past and Foreign Countries: Colonial and Post-Colonial Archaeology and Anthropology“. In A Companion to Social Archaeology, eds. Lynn Meskell and Robert W. Preucel, 161-178. Oxford: Blackwell.
Gress, David. 1999. Multiculturalism and History: Hellenic and Roman Antiquity. Orbis 43: 553-573.
Hamilakis, Yannis. 2007. The Nation and its Ruins: Antiquity, and National Imagination in Greece. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Hasting, Adrian. 1997. The Construction of Nationalhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hinge, George and Jens A. Krasilnikoff. 2009. Introduction to Alexandria. A Cultural and Religious Melting Pot, eds. George Hinge and Jens A. Krasilnikoff , 9-21. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press.
Hingley, Richard. 2000. Roman Officers and English Gentlement - The Imperial Origins of Roman archaeology. London: Routledge.
Hobsbawm, Eric. 1990. Nations and Nationalism since 1780. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hodder, Ian. 1982. Symbols in Action, Cambridge University Press.
Hodder, Ian. 1983. The Present Past: An Introduction to Anthropology for Archaeologist, New York: Pica Press.
Insoll, Timothy (ed). 2007. The Archaeology of Identities. London: Routledge.
Jones, Siân. 1997. The Archaeology of Ethnicity – Constructing Identities in the Past and Present. London: Routledge.
Kohl, Philip L. and Clare Fawcett (eds.) 1995. Nationalism, politics, and the practice of archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lucas, Gavin. 2001. Critical Approach to Fieldwork. Contemporary and historical archaeological practice. London: Routledge.
Lucy, Sam. 2005. „Ethnic and cultural identities“. In Días-Andreu, Margarita, Sam Lucy, Stasa Babic and David N. Edwards, The Archaeology of Identity. Approach to gender, age, status, ethnicity and religion, 86 – 109. London: Routledge.
Mairs, Rachel R. 2006. Hellenistic India, New Voices in Classical Recepton Studies 1: 19-30.
Morris, Ian. 1994. „Archaeologies of Greece“. In Clasical Greece – Ancient Histories and Modern Archaeologies, ed. Ian Morris, 8-49. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Olsen, Bjørnar. 2002. Od predmeta do teksta. Teorijske perspektive arheoloških istraživanja. Beograd: Clio.
Shanks, Michael. 2001. „Culture/Archaeology: The Dispersion of a Discipline and its Objects“. In Archaeological Theory Today, ed. Ian Hodder, 284-306. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Shennan, Stephen. 1994. Introduction to Archaeological approaches to cultural identity, ed. Stephen Shennan, 1-33. London: Routledge.
Smit, Entoni D. 2010. Nacionalni identitet. Beograd: XX vek.
Smith, Peter. 1992. The Paradoxes of Multiculturalism. Journal of Aesthetic Education Vol. 26, No.2: 95-99.
Spivak, Čakravorti G. 1999. Kritika postkolonijalnog uma. Beograd: Beogradski krug.
Turner, Terence. 1993. Anthropology and Multiculturalism: What is Anthropology That Multiculturalist Should be Mindful of It?. Cultural Anthropology, Vol 8. No. 4.: 411-429.
Watson, Patty Jo. 1995. Archaeology, Anthropology, and the Culture Concept. American Anthropologist New Series, Vol. 97, No.4: 683-694.
Wylie, Alison. 2002. Thinking from Things. Essays in the Philosophy of Archaeology. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Published
2011-09-05
How to Cite
Kuzmanović, Zorica. 2011. “The Problem of Cultural Identity in the Contemporary Archaeological Practice”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 6 (3), 595-606. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v6i3.3.