Toward an Archaeology of Self-Liberation

Author(s): Charles Orser

Year: 2017


Hierarchical, capitalist society, though inherently domineering and oppressive, creates spaces for self-actualization. These spaces, most often transitory and short-lived, allow for a degree of class-based self-liberation. Using ideas from anarchist thinkers, I explore the concept of self-liberation with specific reference to two archaeological sites: the seventeenth-century maroon community of Palmares in northeast Brazil, and a nineteenth-century tenant-farming community in central Ireland called Ballykilcline. Studies of the two sites, unique in historical and cultural ways, demonstrate similarities in the general structure of how the residents of both communities struggled against, and for a time, defeated the relevant power structures. Archaeological research plays an important role in understanding how both communities survived and in presenting avenues for further research.

Cite this Record

Toward an Archaeology of Self-Liberation. Charles Orser. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435142)

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Temporal Keywords
17-19th centuries

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 296