Empirical Imperialism and the Development of Indigenous Archaeologies

Author(s): Stephen Mrozowski

Year: 2015


One way of situating the empirical research that often accompanied European colonialism is to view it as an instrument of imperialism. This legacy stands a major impediment to the kind of collaboration that is an essential part of the growth of indigenous archaeologies. Yet empirical research remains an important part of archaeology. Used in a collaborative framework it can provide powerful evidence that can augment and refine indigenous histories, especially those being disputed by governments that seek to deny those very histories. This paper provides an overview of the Hassanamesit Woods Project that involves collaboration between the Fiske Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Nipmuc Nation of Massachusetts. It presents an example of the manner in which the Nipmuc Tribal Council has embraced empirical archaeological evidence as a way of extending the temporal depth of their cultural and political history. The strength of this research is aiding the Nipmuc in appealing a denial of federal recognition that was initially granted by the Clinton administration only to be reversed by the Bush administration.

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Cite this Record

Empirical Imperialism and the Development of Indigenous Archaeologies. Stephen Mrozowski. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395652)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;