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Community-Based Archaeology

Community-Based Archaeology: Research with, by, and for Indigenous and Local Communities

Sonya Atalay
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Pages: 328
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  • Book Info
    Community-Based Archaeology
    Book Description:

    Archaeology impacts the lives of indigenous, local, or descendant communities. Yet often these groups have little input to archaeological research, and its results remain inaccessible. As archaeologists consider the consequences and benefits of research, the skills, methodologies, and practices required of them will differ dramatically from those of past decades. As an archaeologist and a Native American, Sonya Atalay has investigated the rewards and complex challenges of conducting research in partnership with indigenous and local communities. In Community-Based Archaeology, she outlines the principles of community-based participatory research and demonstrates how CBPR can be effectively applied to archaeology. Drawing on her own experiences with research projects in North America and the Near East, Atalay provides theoretical discussions along with practical examples of establishing and developing collaborative relationships and sharing results. This book will contribute to building an archaeology that is engaged, ethical, relevant, and sustainable.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95346-8
    Subjects: Archaeology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. ONE A Sustainable Archaeology
    (pp. 1-28)

    Archaeology is at an exciting juncture. As those in the field explore new directions, facets of archaeological research simultaneously evoke tensions, raise ethical dilemmas, and open possibilities. One such area is how archaeologists have engaged with Indigenous, descendant, and local communities. The past two decades have brought important changes to the ways archaeologists see these communities and are shifting their relations with them.

    Another area of change is how archaeologists engage the public at large. Public involvement, heritage management, and collaboration with communities are now major concerns, and archaeologists are responding to the public with serious scholarly attention. The public...

  6. TWO Origins of Community-Based Research in Archaeology
    (pp. 29-54)

    In contemporary archaeology, heritage management, community and joint stewardship, cultural tourism, and accessibility of archaeological knowledge combine with more traditional areas of archaeological excavation and survey work to form new and exciting directions of inquiry. Now pervading archaeological research, collaboration is woven into many theoretical discussions, publications, and on-the-ground practices. This convergence is garnering archaeologists’ interest and attention.

    Collaborative approaches with descendant and local communities are not limited to newer topics of archaeological inquiry, though, but are also having an impact on more established areas of archaeological research. Not all projects will work effectively as collaborations. In some cases, CBPR...

  7. THREE Guiding Principles of Community-Based Participatory Research
    (pp. 55-88)

    Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is best understood by examining the principles that guide the practice. The primary principle is collaboration with community members. Wondolleck and Yaffee (2000, xiii) discuss what is meant by a “collaborative relationship.” They rely on collaboration scholar Barbara Grey’s defining criteria, which includes three points: “(1) pooling of appreciations and/or tangible resources, e.g., information, money, labor, etc., (2) by two or more stakeholders, (3) to solve a set of problems which neither can solve individually.” As Chapter 2 explained, not all collaborations use a CBPR framework; many do not. CBPR involves a specific type of collaborative...

  8. FOUR Connecting with Community Research Partners
    (pp. 89-127)

    Because CBPR projects are community-driven and are conceived and designed in partnership with community members, some of the first concerns are the following: How do I initiate a CBPR project? How does the start-up differ from embarking on a conventional, researcher-driven project? In practical terms, how do community and researchers connect with each other to begin a CBPR project? The CBPR literature outlines some successful approaches communities have used to connect with scholars and vice versa (Long 2008; McIntyre 2008; Stoecker 2005). But overall, this topic is poorly covered in the CBPR literature. Archaeologists are equally light on details with...

  9. FIVE Building a Strong Foundation
    (pp. 128-166)

    The CBPR process hinges on successful working relationships between researchers and their community partners. The better the relationships are, the more effective and productive the project, and the more detailed the results. Practitioners of community-based research consistently emphasize how important it is to build a strong foundation right from the start. Practices established at the outset of the collaboration set the tone for the rest of the project and often affect how the work goes in future projects. Early practices have an impact on the long-term success of a partnership, either enhancing or narrowing the potentials for collaboration. Some elements...

  10. SIX Identifying Research Questions and Developing a Research Design
    (pp. 167-195)

    Making the initial connection between archaeologist and community, and putting in the necessary time and effort to build a solid foundation for the research partnership can be time-consuming and present complex challenges, in part because archaeologists have limited experience and less familiarity in these areas than they do with initiating a conventional research project. Once a research partnership is established, though, the steps that follow put archaeologists on more familiar ground. Just as with other archaeological research, conducting a community-based research project involves developing research questions; defining methods to answer those questions; planning the project, which includes a plan for...

  11. SEVEN Gathering Data and Sharing Results
    (pp. 196-239)

    As detailed in Chapter 6, scholars and communities can work effectively to develop research designs that are relevant for both groups. But how do they move from planning a project to putting CBPR principles into practice for data collection and analysis? And what happens when analysis is complete and the task turns to interpreting information and presenting results? What is most important at this stage is that archaeologists not impose a set of standard field practices on community members, but that they provide communities with tools and training to make informed decisions. This process can be lengthy and may present...

  12. EIGHT Lasting Effects
    (pp. 240-276)

    Previous chapters focused on the theoretical engagements with CBPR and the methodological practicalities of applying the approach to archaeology. Taking action is an equally important component of conducting community-based participatory research. “Action” can mean many things within the context of community-based archaeology: It includes creating products that are beneficial for communities and created specifically for their use, and usually involves (re)engaging local communities in the planning and management of their cultural heritage. And, in some cases, action from CBPR projects may also have further-reaching impacts by linking archaeology and cultural tourism endeavors to other socially beneficial endeavors, such as educational...

    (pp. 277-302)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 303-312)