Archaeology as our Urban Futures

Author(s): Vernon Scarborough

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Advancing Public Perceptions of Sustainability through Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Archaeology is at a crossroads with a new generation of scholars more mindful of our disciplinary role within the social milieu we occupy. For years, the word "applied" in several corridors of our discipline implied something other than rigor and certainly of less significance than the real work of reconstructing past environments or modeling ancient societal activity. Although anthropology on campuses of the late 60s and 70s was a match for our politics, with time most of us invested in the immediacy of earning our degrees focusing on well-defined paradigms and the intellectual safety of our disciplinary silos. Most of us have carried that latter orientation and perspective forward in making anthropological archaeology a formidable study with incredibly well-controlled datasets. However, we are now in a position to significantly address our futures and at a time when few other disciplines can. This paper will examine the role of our urban futures drawing from the resilience of dispersed but sizable urban aggregates found in past contexts; and why the notion of "city state," with our new realities like climate change, community cohesion, geographical scalar issues, etc., may be more flexible and better positioned than our current views of the nation state.

Cite this Record

Archaeology as our Urban Futures. Vernon Scarborough. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450647)

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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22805