Healing through Heritage: Collaborative Archaeology as Process

Author(s): Bonnie Clark

Year: 2017


Heritage is never static, rather it is a constantly evolving set of practices, beliefs, and tangible touchstones. Collaborative archaeology sits firmly in that thicket, whether through the data we uncover, the stakeholders we engage, or even the media attention we draw. The archaeology of Amache, the site of a WWII-era Japanese American incarceration camp, is an exemplary test case for how research intertwined in a contemporary community can recast our discipline’s relationship to heritage. This paper explores the potentially radical shift from a focus on the results of archaeology to that of the practice of archaeology. Framed by critical heritage studies, especially Laurajane Smith’s conceptualization of how heritage is a process, this presentation will highlight some ways archaeologists can enable or hinder engagement, especially at a site of civic injustice. At Amache, project success has been greatly enhanced though creating opportunities for intergenerational dialogue and exploration of suppressed histories. Also critical is embodied experience of a place sometimes only known through the silences around it.

Cite this Record

Healing through Heritage: Collaborative Archaeology as Process. Bonnie Clark. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431547)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16029