Selective RemembrancesArchaeology in the Construction, Commemoration, and Consecration of National Pasts

Selective RemembrancesArchaeology in the Construction, Commemoration, and Consecration of National Pasts

Philip L. Kohl, Mara Kozelsky, and Nachman Ben-Yehuda

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226450582

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

When political geography changes, how do reorganized or newly formed states justify their rule and create a sense of shared history for their people? Often, the chapters in this book reveal, they turn to archaeology, employing the field and its findings to develop nationalistic feelings and forge legitimate distinctive national identities. Examining such relatively new or reconfigured nation-states as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, India, and Thailand, the book shows how states invoke the remote past to extol the glories of specific peoples or prove claims to ancestral homelands. Religion has long played a key role in such efforts, and the contributors take care to demonstrate the tendency of many people, including archaeologists themselves, to view the world through a religious lens—which can be exploited by new regimes to suppress objective study of the past and justify contemporary political actions.

Table of Contents

Front Matter

1 Russia and Eastern Europe

2 The Near East

3 Israel/Palestine

4 South and Southeast Asia

End Matter