By Alejandro Haber, Nick Shepherd
While books on archaeological and anthropological ethics have proliferated in recent times, few try to circulate past a traditional discourse on ethics to contemplate how a dialogue of the social and political implications of archaeological perform may be conceptualized in a different way. The conceptual rules approximately ethics posited during this quantity make it of curiosity to readers open air of the self-discipline; in truth, to someone attracted to modern debates round the probabilities and barriers of a discourse on ethics. The authors during this quantity got down to do 3 issues. the 1st is to trace the ancient improvement of a dialogue round ethics, in tandem with the improvement and “disciplining” of archaeology. the second one is to envision the meanings, outcomes and efficacies of a discourse on ethics in modern worlds of perform in archaeology. The 3rd is to push past the language of ethics to contemplate alternative routes of framing a suite of issues round rights, accountabilities and meanings when it comes to practitioners, descendent and affected groups, websites, fabric cultures, the ancestors and so on.
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Additional resources for After Ethics: Ancestral Voices and Post-Disciplinary Worlds in Archaeology
Shepherd the foregrounding of archaeological methods at the expense of other approaches: oral history, social history, and archival research. In rejecting the “hidden histories” that archaeologists purported to unearth, they were rejecting a narrowed and restricted conception of history as archaeometric measurement and statements of probability linked to diet and point of origin. In their account, the “learning” to be derived from Prestwich Street is not confined to a catalogue of facts about the past, but includes the status and meaning of the past in its relation to the present.
At this point, the state heritage agency, SAHRA, made the first of a number of questionable decisions. The new heritage legislation provides for a 60-day notification period during which work on site would normally be halted. SAHRA issued a permit for a “rescue exhumation of human remains” to run concurrently with the 2 Undisciplining Archaeological Ethics 17 notification period (SAHRA 2003a). By the time the first public meeting was held, 7 weeks into the 60-day period, 500 individuals had been exhumed from the Prestwich Street site.
Disciplinary knowledges and the regime of care of the museum/ archive are founded on a number of inter-related forms of epistemic violence. One of these is a violence of excision, or cutting, whereby phenomena are excised from one context and set of relations (the regime of care “of life”) and subjected to another, competing regime of care. The dead of Oakhurst Cave existed in relation to known territories and ways of life. Their co-presence conditioned the world of the living, to whom they were linked by memory, descendency, and the powerful and multivalent ties connecting the living and the dead.