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Dean's Lecture: Ancient Honduras: Heritage of Indigenous Nations

  • Prof.dr. Rosemary A. Joyce (University of California, Berkeley)
Thursday 16 February 2017
Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden

Central American archaeology is positioned to provide a demonstration of alternatives to the exhausted logic of regional political hierarchies coinciding with distributions of pre-defined "ethnic" groups employed by culture-historical archaeology in the early twentieth century.

Copyright: Luciérnaga.

That former structure of organisation of archaeological knowledge led to pre-Columbian Central America being treated as marginal, peripheral, or backward, even though it is an area where mastery of certain technologies was highly developed, and where societies sustained themselves over long periods of time. It divorced archaeology from the lives of contemporary indigenous people, substituting for local agency the actions of foreign or supposedly vanished local groups. As an alternative, concepts of communities of practice and networks of practice, combined with a contemporary approach to materiality, recognise the existence and creativity of indigenous people individually, as families, and as communities, in the production not only of the things archaeologists document but of histories that continue today.

About the Dean's Lecture

The Dean’s Lecture is a high level series of lectures given by prominent archaeologists and intellectuals, in which they highlight their work and passion.

For these lectures, the Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology invites scholars who look beyond the boundaries of their own field of  chronological or topographical specialisation, addressing, in a compelling way, our archaeological community at large.

The series has already featured many fascinating lectures. Please see the event archive for more information. 

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