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Questions, Methods, and Interpretations that Count: Reflections on Collaborative Archaeology in Nevis, West Indies

Author(s): Edward Gonzalez-Tennant

Year: 2014

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Summary

This paper examines the unexpected interpretive potentials which appear when archaeologists craft research projects exploring the tangible and intangible aspects of heritage. This requires a fluid and reflexive approach to fieldwork situating the concerns of local communities alongside those of the researcher. This form of collaboration raises questions regarding whether or not historical archaeology may sometimes miss potential collaborative projects due to a site’s assumed ethnic or racial classification. The case study is drawn from the author’s recent work in Nevis, West Indies and demonstrates how various groups develop deep affinities for specific sites. These affinities may cut across lines of color in surprising and unexpected ways. The investigation of tangible and intangible heritage ‘ and the mixed methods approach this requires ‘ supports the construction of a multivocal past; a past reflecting increased agency for groups who feel connected to a site regardless of any externally-defined racial affiliation.


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Questions, Methods, and Interpretations that Count: Reflections on Collaborative Archaeology in Nevis, West Indies. Edward Gonzalez-Tennant. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436886)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-35,07

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