Archaeology for the People: Joukowsky Institute Perspectives [Paperback]

John Cherry (Editor); Felipe Rojas (Editor)

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ISBN: 9781785701078 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Joukowsky Institute Publication | Volume: 7 | Year of Publication: 2015 | Language: English 240p, H240 x W170 (mm)

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Archaeology for the People


In 2014, the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World organized an international writing competition calling for accessible and engaging essays about any aspect of archaeology. Nearly 150 submissions from over two dozen countries were received. Archaeology for the People gathers the best of those entries. Their diverse topics—from the destruction of historic, urban gardens in contemporary Istanbul to the fall of the ancient Maya city— offer a taste of the global reach and relevance of archaeology. Their main common trait, however, is that they prove that archaeology can offer much more to a general audience than Indiana Jones or aliens building pyramids. All of the articles collected in this book combine sophisticated analysis of an exciting archeological problem with prose geared at a non-specialized audience. This book also offers a series of reflections on how and why to engage in dialogues about archaeology with people who are not specialists. These include a stunning photo-essay that captures the challenges of life at an archaeological site in northern Sudan, interviews with a number of leading archaeologists who have successfully written about archaeology for a broad public or who are actively engaged in practicing archaeology beyond academia, and a discussion of the experience of teaching a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about archaeology to over 40,000 students. This book should be of interest to anyone who has wondered how and why to write about archaeology for people other than archaeologists.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Archaeology for the People (John Cherry & Felipe Rojas)
2. The Sanctuary: The World’s Oldest Temple and the Dawn of Civilization (Elif Batuman) [Reprinted from The New Yorker, December 19, 2011; permission to reproduce pending]
3. The Urban Gardens of Istanbul: An Archaeology of Sustenance (Marta Ostivich, Aleksandar Sopov, and Chantel White) [Prize-winning essay in the Archaeology for the People competition]
4. Origins: The Elusive Search for the First Native Americans (Chip Colwell)
5. Remembering Slack Farm (A. Gwynn Henderson)
6. Loot and the Biography of Pots (Vernon Silver)
7. The Decline and Fall of the Classic Maya City (Keith Eppich)
8. Digging Deep: A Hauntilogy of Cape Town (Nick Shepherd)
9. Photo Essay: Eating in Uronarti (Laurel Bestock)
10. Responses to a Questionnaire (Brian Fagan, Colin Renfrew, Alfredo González Ruibal, Marilyn Johnson, Cornelius Holtorf, Leonardo López Luján, Yannis Hamilakis, Kara Cooney, Lynn Meskell)
11. MOOCs: Teaching Archaeology to 45,000 Students (Susan Alcock, Andrew Dufton, Müge Durusu-Tanrıöver)

Reviews & Quotes

"Archaeology for the People is a useful and important volume that contains thought-provoking stories about a controversial past that is often deliberately ignored, including by many archaeologists secluded in the ivory tower of academia. Books like this one prevent the past from becoming an Ignoreland, to cite the title of a critical and mordant track included in REM’s album Automatic for the People."
European Journal of Archaeology (28/07/2017)

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