Tuesday, 19 August 2008

More (and more) "Radical Archaeology"

The end of the ACCG „benefit Auction” (more about this later) was trumpeted today as „ ACCG Raises $45,000 to fund the Struggle Against Radical Archaeologists” which is no doubt news to all those people whose collecting activities are an expression of an "interest in the past” and who thought they were bidding to raise money to fight the US government’s restrictions on import of undocumented archaeological artefacts from heavily-looted Cyprus. The ACCG have even gone so far as to post this “good news” on the CBA’s Britarch archaeology discussion forum, perhaps seeking approval, perhaps hoping to stir controversy, who knows?

There may however be a communication problem unforeseen by these non-archaeological transatlantic pieces-of-the-past consumers. In Great Britain, we already have a Radical Archaeology, and it's not an archaeology which is (as the portable antiquity collecting lobby loudly accuse) the so-called “Culture Property Nationalist” or “Retentionist” type (see David Gill’s Looting Matters post on their use of the term). The REAL Radical archaeology in quite the opposite.

I am sure we all wish that portable antiquity collectors would do a little research and thinking before they make their wild claims and try to attach labels to what they quite clearly have no understanding.

Illustration: From Archaeology Channel's Radical Archaeology Television Parody (yet another meaning of the term "radical archaeology")

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