The History We Remember: Race, Law, and Understanding the Archaeological Landscape

Author(s): Rebecca Schumann

Year: 2018


Law works in ways to promote specific interests of those with power, often leading to racial and economic marginalization. Through an examination of 18th and early 19th century Virginia laws, I investigate the relationship between law and race. I explore how laws help shape racial categories and forms of structural racism, and promotes economic inequality. These historical economic and and racial inequalities impact how we understand archaeological landscapes and whether sites meet the criteria for the National Register of Historic Places. As a result, past forms of structural racism continues to effect our present day understanding and treatment of historical people in the present, engendering historical silences. Using archaeological sites from George Washington's Mount Vernon, I examine how laws governing archaeological sites continue to marginalize in the present those who US society marginalized in the past. Since these laws help determine what constitutes historically significant parts of the American past, they and promote disparity in determining whose history we remember and preserve.

Cite this Record

The History We Remember: Race, Law, and Understanding the Archaeological Landscape. Rebecca Schumann. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442759)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17688