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Healing Archaeology

Author(s): Jonathan Walz

Year: 2015

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In this paper, I discuss alternative interpretations of findings from an interdisciplinary archaeology project in East Africa. I share the way in which my experiences as an archaeologist among people and on landscapes enriched and altered my original understanding of communities and the region's history. Interactions with Zigua healer-historians alerted me to indigenous concepts of time and space and the role and significance of ancestors and healing, which inevitably offered more robust and ethical explanations for emergent material signatures. I draw on items, landscapes, oral sources, and community healing practices through which people in Tanzania understand their pasts and forge new futures. In a sense, my original approach - less aware of local practices and ways of knowing - was healed by my experiences with healer-historians.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

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Healing Archaeology. Jonathan Walz. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395650)


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min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America