james flexner on historical archaeology in oceania

05Aug13

James L. Flexner, ‘Historical Archaeology, Contact, and Colonialism in Oceania’, Journal of Archaeological Research (August 2013).

The archaeology of colonialism can destabilize orthodox historical narratives because of its critical engagement with multiple lines of evidence, revealing ways that different perspectives can complement or contradict what was assumed to be known about the past. In Oceania, archaeology that blends evidence from landscapes, sites, and artifacts with written documents as well as oral traditions reveals the role of indigenous people in shaping colonial encounters across the region over the last five centuries. The challenge lies with how to interpret this material in terms of ongoing struggles over land, resources, and identity in the region today, encapsulated by the tension between global and local.



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