Within this issue, readers will find the remaining papers resulting from the session we organized at the 2016 meeting of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS), in Montréal, Canada. The first papers of the session were published in early 2018, in volume 66, issue 1, of História: Questões & Debates. While some papers in that issue relate to the practice of archaeology and the management of buried heritage locally, in the Province of Quebec, other papers explore international examples, such as management of heritage in Turkey and the impact of archaeology on the local population in Egypt, a centre for cultural tourism since the 19th century. A methodological case study presents the classification of Chinese large-scale archaeological sites. Several First Nations were present at the meetings, and five of these Nations presented papers or participated in our session. The Waban-Aki Nation contributed to the first set of published papers, presenting its approach to co-managing cultural heritage and natural resources.
The present group of papers brings together a variety of topics surrounding how heritage studies can serve the development of identity. Their contents span community archaeology in Newfoundland and Labrador, a 14th-century mythical figure having built castles in southern France, a hermit living on a small island in the St. Lawrence River, the need for an emic perspective in archaeological research into Huron-Wendat heritage, the Cherokee conception of landscape, the memory of enslavement in French Guiana, and public archaeology in Brazil.
What do these seven papers have in common? First, they all answer the question “What does heritage change?” The answers stem from a thoughtful and purposeful archaeology that considers visitor interest and the development of knowledge. Second, they all relate to the theme of economics, reminding us of a question asked two years ago by economists concerning heritage. They argued that, rather than asking “What does heritage cost?” to a society that values the study of its past, we should be asking “How much does heritage contribute to societal development?” Through the spirit and meaning it gives to a place, heritage can be a means of creating a sense of belonging. Together, economic benefits and a sense of belonging enhance the quality of life.
As we mentioned above, the ACHS meetings are an appropriate venue for bringing together scholars who have chosen to study heritage as a field of critical inquiry. Critical heritage studies challenge conservative views and encourage inclusive, participatory practices while increasing dialogue and debate among researchers, practitioners, and communities. Critical heritage studies also contribute to the decolonization of the humanities through the encouragement and training of communities and through collaborations with indigenous communities (BAIN & AUGER, 2018).
In the current issue, the first paper, by Gaulton and Rankin, discusses the use of archaeology as a catalyst for public engagement. The authors eloquently demonstrate how the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador was the first to ask itself “What does heritage change and what can it bring to the province?” rather than “How much does it cost?” Through conscious community engagement – first at the World Heritage Red Bay site and now at the Ferryland site, which has become an important purveyor of employment – archaeology has been making a difference in Newfoundland and Labrador since 1979. The authors’ most recent community archaeology project, in southern Labrador, has brought a sense of identity and recognition to Labrador Métis communities. Their public engagement “prioritized community-based research agendas, promoting social justice at the local scale by providing education; training; and economic opportunities; and, more recently, paths toward reconciliation with indigenous communities.” Gaulton and Rankin show how each project learned from the previous ones about the economy of heritage studies.
What characterizes the next two papers is that both of these projects in public archaeology were initiated at the request of the local community, both involved a local legend, and both were intended to stimulate the economy through tourism. The archaeology undertaken went beyond simply reinforcing local lore and, instead, documented history properly, through good archaeological practices. Béague challenges the existence of a legend from the Middle Ages which insists that a particular style of castle construction can be attributed to a larger-than-life figure, that of Gaston Fébus.
Béague developed a project in the Béarn region of southwestern France, where the mythical figure was supposed to have built a defensive line as protection against an English invasion. This is an exemplary project in public archeology, as it demonstrates that a scientific approach to archaeology can appeal to a wider audience in search of a sound explanation of history and legend.
As for Savard and Beaudry’s contribution, they took the opportunity that was offered to them, in a project conceived by a well-intentioned group of laypeople, and went beyond proving what was already known about a mythical figure reputed to have lived during the 18th century on an island in the estuary of the St. Lawrence River, opposite the town of Rimouski, Quebec. They used the assignment at hand to show their sponsor that anchoring a regional tourism attraction with a single event or character is problematic. They eventually expanded their mandate to include the interpretation of the prehistory of a wider area. Although the project was short-lived, it did allow for the creation of a field school to train students registered in the history and geography programs at the University of Québec in Rimouski.
Two other papers examine indigenous history. The first paper, by Sampeck, discusses how research on landscape heritage is used as a tool for the development of self-identity, while the second paper, by Hawkins and Lesage, takes the reader one step further in making explicit the need to draw up a research design which tries to take into account an emic perspective when practicing archaeology with First Nations peoples.
The central argument of Sampeck’s paper is that cultural dispossession has worked against the Cherokee Nation. Their culture was almost destroyed during the contact period, when trans-Atlantic colonists took half of their territory. The current collaboration helps restore the Cherokee’s connection to their lands. Spaces that were previously simply considered “empty” have been identified as being crucial to the construction of Cherokee communities.
As exemplified by the first set of papers published in História: Questões & Debates, a theme that has developed over the past decade is the decolonization of archaeology and anthropology. The paper on Huron-Wendat heritage is an example of what the practice of decolonization can mean in archaeology. The authors show that First Nations are now actively making decisions related to the study of their past. Citing Warrick and Lesage (2016), Hawkins and Lesage define the respective limits of competence and responsibility of each: “… archaeology can make meaningful contributions to interpretations about technology, economy, and settlement patterns but […] archaeologists are not qualified to make pronouncements on the ethnic identity of past peoples.” Quoting Warrick and Lesage (2016, p.139), they state, “Indigenous people know best who they are and where they come from.” This position highlights two contrasting, yet valid, paradigms of their history.
The paper by Auger, on the work he and his collaborators conducted on a plantation cemetery in French Guiana, discusses their experience of making archaeology socially relevant. They created a lieu de mémoire, with the intention of memorializing the place occupied by the local population and their ancestors in France’s colonial history and of thus beginning a dialogue about this history. They discuss the dilemma of working on the delicate issue of slavery in the Caribbean and the reaction of the local, French authorities.
The last paper, presented by three Brazilian scholars, Garraffoni, Funari, and de Almeida, focusses on the use of archaeology and material culture as tools of social inclusion in Brazil. The authors discuss the history of Brazilian archaeology across various political regimes and examine how archaeology can be “instrumentalized” to suit a specific political vision. During the 20th century, archaeology in Brazil was heavily influenced by European practices. Today, Brazil is strongly invested in developing its own brand of public archaeology, which strives to be inclusive, while being aware of the present political climate.
Our Ontario colleague Gary Warrick, who was present at the ACHS meetings in Montréal, has kindly prepared a discussion that addresses the conference’s main question: “What does heritage change?” Covering both sets of papers, this discussion is presented at the end of this issue. He has grouped the papers into two themes: ownership and management of archaeological heritage and community-based archaeology. While his discussion highlights both strengths and challenges facing our discipline, Warrick rightfully reminds us that “archaeological heritage is best conserved, examined, and interpreted through collaborative partnerships of archaeologist and community members, in which ownership […] and production of knowledge is shared.”
We offer our sincere acknowledgment to the organizing committee and to Lucie K. Morrisset, chair of the 2016 ACHS meetings, for the invitation to participate. The CELAT research centre of Université Laval, Québec, and the Groupe de recherche en archéométrie at Université Laval also generously supported our initiative. We wish to thank all the participants in our session for the lively discussions and for preparing their contributions to these two issues of História: Questões & Debates in a timely manner. Finally, we wish to mention the support we received from the editorial board of História: Questões & Debates while preparing the papers for publication; it has been a wonderful collaboration.
BAIN, Allison, and AUGER, Réginald. Introduction. História: Questões & Debates, n. 66 (1), 2018, p. 7–9.
WARRICK, Gary, and LESAGE, Louis. The Huron-Wendat and the St. Lawrence Iroquoians: New Findings of a Close Relationship. Ontario Archaeology, n. 96, 2016, p. 133–143.
Allison Bain – Professors of Archaeology, CELAT, Université Laval, Québec, QC, CANADA, G1V 0A6. E-mail: [email protected]
BAIN, Allison; AUGER, Réginald. Introduction. Apresentação. História – Questões & Debates. Curitiba, v.66, n.2, jul./dez., 2018. Acessar publicação original [DR]
This collection of papers, featured in two issues of História: questões e debates, is the result of discussions held at the 2016 Association for Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) conference in Montréal, Canada. Over two days, participants from seven countries and four indigenous nations (referred to as First Nations in Canada) presented a diverse array of papers. These meetings were an appropriate venue to bring together these scholars, as the ACHS strives to study heritage as a field of critical inquiry, challenging more conservative views, while encouraging inclusive, participatory practices. The ACHS Manifesto prepared for the 2012 conference suggests “the integration of heritage… with studies of memory, public history, community, tourism, planning and development… while increasing dialogue and debate between researchers, practitioners and communities.” Furthermore, it seeks to democratise “heritage by consciously rejecting elite cultural narratives and embracing the heritage insights of people communities and cultures that have traditionally been marginalised in formulating heritage policy… thereby including diverse non-Western cultural heritage traditions.” Like many archaeologists, we feel that the ACHS Manifesto expresses how we hope archaeology will evolve as a discipline. Since the 2000s, an increasing amount of scholarship is devoted to decolonising the humanities, encouraging training and collaboration with First Nations (ATALAY, 2006; CHALIFOUX and GATES ST-PIERRE, 2017; LYDON and RIZVI, 2010; SAILLANT et al. 2011), as well as creating a more collaborative, or public, archaeology (see the journal Public Archaeology; MATSUDA and OKAMURA, 2011; MOSHENKA, 2017; SKEATES et al., 2012). While most archaeology is robustly multi-disciplinary, a decidedly Western narrative continues to dominate archaeological practice.
In proposing a session that corresponded to the ACHS 2016 theme What does heritage change? and in the spirit of the ACHS 2012 Manifesto, we argued that archaeology, in going above and beyond the traditional goals of research and post-excavation analyses, may indeed contribute to education and to the creation of identities and communities. Our session began with papers on how the practice of archaeology is managed and legislated. Regardless of planned outcomes, the legislation and management of buried heritage is a key part of the archaeological process. Archaeological sites are managed by multiple forms and branches of legislation at the local, regional, provincial / state, and national levels. Competing and at times conflicting interests, poor funding, and weak legislation may hinder the proper integration of archeological heritage in the planning and management of cities, First Nations lands, outlying regions slated for development, and parklands. Four papers and two case studies present some of these shared challenges while also highlighting archaeological success stories.
Desrosiers’ paper outlines how archaeology is legislated and practiced in the Canadian province of Québec, while Moss discusses management at the municipal level in the city of Québec. They discuss the experiences of archaeologists in a legislative setting that is ambiguous about the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders. Tanaka’s paper focuses on the complex management of archaeology at the site of Patara, Turkey, and explains how a variety of government bodies apply their specific legislations to the site. The perception of what is an archaeological site has evolved since excavations began at Patara, and Tanaka’s paper grapples with these diverging narratives. Treyvaud and her colleagues from the Abenaki Nation in southern Québec explain the Waban-Aki approach to comanaging cultural heritage and natural resources. Incorporating and exploring a variety of research methodologies, they view archaeology as a means to study the Nation’s past as well as to affirm its presence today.
This volume concludes with the presentation of two case studies. Wang and Nakamura discuss the relatively recent classification of Chinese large-scale archaeological sites and presents us with three examples, while Hesham and Baller focus on Luxor, Egypt, and how archaeology has impacted both the local community and the cultural landscape since the nineteenth century. Their papers propose concrete recommendations for improved management and legislation of these sites that, if applied, would improve the lives of local community members, while also respecting the need to maintain and interpret archaeological sites deemed to be significant symbols of national heritage.
We wish to thank all participants in our session and for their lively discussions and their contributions to these volumes. Warm thanks also go to Lucie Morrisset, Université de Québec à Montréal, and the Chair of the 2016 ACHS meetings for the invitation to organize our session. The CELAT research centre of Université Laval, Québec, and the Groupe de recherche en archéométrie at Université Laval generously supported this initiative.
1. Association for Critical Heritage Studies, 2012 Manifesto, www.criticalheritagestudies.org / history /
ATALAY, Sonya. Indigenous Archaeology as Decolonizing Practice. American Indian Quarterly, n. 30 (3 / 4), pp. 280-310, 2006.
CHALIFOUX, Éric and Christian GATES ST-PIERRE. Décolonisation de l’archéologie : émergence d’une archéologie collective. Salons Érudit, 2017. salons.erudit.org / 2017 / 08 / 01 / decolonisation-de-larcheologie /
LYDON, Jane and Uzma Z. RIZVI (eds.) Handbook of Postcolonial Archaeology. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2010.
MATSUDA, A., and OKAMURA, K. Introduction: New Perspectives in Global Public Archaeology. In: A. Matsuda and K.Okamura, (eds). New Perspectives in Global Public Archaeology. London: Springer, pp. 1–18, 2011.
MOSHENSKA, G. Key Concepts in Public Archaeology. London: UCL Press, 2017.
SAILLANT, Francine, KILANI, Monder and Florence Graezer BIDEAU, (eds.). Le Manifeste de Lausanne : pour une anthropologie non hégémonique. Montréal, Québec : Éditions Liber, 2011.
SKEATES, Robin, MCDAVID, Carol and J. CARMAN (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
Allison Bain – Professors of Archaeology, CELAT, Université Laval, Québec, QC, CANADA, G1V 0A6. E-mail: [email protected]
BAIN, Allison; AUGER, Réginald. Introduction.História: Questões e Debates. Curitiba, v.66, n.1, jan. / jun., 2018. Acessar publicação original [DR]