"Knowledge Without Action…": Shifting Frames of Reference in Archaeology Theory and Practice

Author(s): George Nicholas

Year: 2015


Following 15th-century philosopher’s Wang Yangming’s statement that "Knowledge without action is not real knowledge," I explore the value of knowledge that emanates from evidence-based practice grounded in descendant community’s engagement with heritage, and it subsequent application in two realms. The first is research at the interface of Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Western science; the second a series of community-initiated and -directed studies funded by the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) project. I discuss the benefits (and challenges) of work in these realms for both communities and universities in terms of applied research; the relationship between intangible and tangible heritage; and the value of ethnoarchaeological studies that foreground community needs and interests while also making substantial contributions to the field of archaeology.

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"Knowledge Without Action…": Shifting Frames of Reference in Archaeology Theory and Practice. George Nicholas. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395647)

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