Beyond Change and Continuity, Beyond Historical Archaeology

Author(s): Stephen Silliman

Year: 2014


Historical archaeologists have been leaders in trying to revisit the interpretive frameworks used to study change and continuity in the past. For many, this is one of the fundamental questions addressed by archaeology. Multiple historical datasets, the engagement with postcolonial theory and decolonizing methodologies, commitments to working with descendent communities, and a critical eye for heritage issues have helped to stimulate these developments in historical archaeology. A variety of ‘resolutions’ to the change/continuity conundrum have been proposed or reworked in the last decade, including creolization, ethnogenesis, hybridity, diaspora, persistence, and survivance. At this juncture, archaeologists need to consider carefully what interpretive dilemmas these fix, what problems these may have introduced, how they articulate with temporality, what politics they embed, and why they are differentially applied. Doing so better positions historical archaeology to have an impact on discipline-wide theory and practice in the future.

Cite this Record

Beyond Change and Continuity, Beyond Historical Archaeology. Stephen Silliman. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436621)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-7,10