Choosing Building Materials: Multi-scalar Construction of Identities and Heritage Following Disaster

Author(s): Katherine Shakour

Year: 2018


Scholars and communities have been discussing ownership of the past for the last few decades, and they have explored ways in which social and political movements empowered communities to reclaim ownership of their heritage. These communities use archaeology and material culture to construct their heritage. However, few scholars have discussed how communities are constructing heritage with respect to disasters and social upheaval. This paper explores the multi-scalar construction of heritage and identity through material culture and archaeology in a post-colonial and post-disaster environment. Through a case study in Ireland, I explore heritage construction motivations and techniques following the Great Famine and the fight for independence through the present day. I compare heritage and identity on a national scale to a regional scale in County Galway and a local scale on Inishbofin, an Atlantic island off the western coast of Ireland. The examination of mutli-scalar heritage compares uses of the past following the suffering, death, and mass migration of over a million Irish people. This paper sheds light on how small communities construct their identity with material culture, discusses the disparities between various scale of heritage in post-disaster and post-colonial environments, and explores the consequences of those differences.

Cite this Record

Choosing Building Materials: Multi-scalar Construction of Identities and Heritage Following Disaster. Katherine Shakour. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445083)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22180