Archaeology and the Modern World: Colonial Transcripts in by Martin Hall

By Martin Hall

Archaeology and the trendy World advances a brand new debatable concept of historic archaeology. utilizing new case experiences, Martin corridor evaluates the most important theoretical traditions in old archaeology whereas contributing considerably to the controversy. during this research the writer areas an emphasis on fabric tradition and the hot prior to deliver to mild an image of an risky and violent early colonial global within which fabric tradition performed a very important mediating function.

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Extra info for Archaeology and the Modern World: Colonial Transcripts in South Africa and Chesapeake

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Spivak's concepts dovetail well with Scott and Foucault's ideas of the discourse of power. We can reasonably assume that a public transcript has a purpose. The substantial investment of effort and money that went into the construction of patriarchal fas;ades in the Chesapeake and the Cape was motivated, in part, by the needs of powerful men to assert, reassert, and assert again their position in society because they felt it to be threatened. The source of the threat may now be difficult, or impossible, to see directly in the archaeological or the historical record.

In their public transcripts slave owners may have argued that slavery was part of a natural order of the world and that women should know their place. 40 Archaeology and the modern world In their public fronts, whether in the verbal records that have survived them as the raw material of history, or whether in the fa<;ades of their houses, patriarchs asserted their right of domination and the obligations of subservience. However, they lived in constant fear of insurrection. Whether or not frequent slave uprisings were a historical reality, many slave owners certainly believed such rebellion to be a constant possibility.

But, as Spivak (1985) has insisted, the female subject exists beyond this mere absence of texts. Indeed, the fact that everyone insists on speaking for her means that she 'is rewritten continuously as the object of patriarchy or of imperialism' (Young 1990: 164). Thus women's presence is continuously rewritten through its very denial in the male transcripts of domination. 32 Archaeology and the modern world To make a space for this 'other voice'- the non-verbal experiences or yet-tobe-discovered accounts of women that contributed to the 'hidden transcripts' of the colonial Cape and Virginia- it is necessary to try and unravel contemporary, male accounts.

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