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Encountering Mannahatta: The Archaeological Search For New York's Past

Author(s): Jacob S Kayen

Year: 2016

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Summary

Considering the archaeological process within the City of New York and comparing two excavations from lower Manhattan landfill sites excavated thirty years apart, this paper analyzes how New York archaeology is carried out in practice, how the process has changed over time, and the capacity for the vast accumulation of material to (re)instantiate contemporary understandings of the past. How does archaeological research reflect a sociocultural disposition of the present? The dominant narrative of the past is experienced within the presences and absences of the archaeological endeavor. Overall, this is an examination of the present as it is entangled in the political exploit of uncovering the past through definition and manipulation of the rhetoric that describes it. At the crux of this argument are the questions of how the past is constructed and maintained in the present and how an institutionalized archaeology characterizes its function, purpose, effectiveness, and themes of research.


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Encountering Mannahatta: The Archaeological Search For New York's Past. Jacob S Kayen. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434648)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 13

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