Item Details

Archaeo-Becoming, Zarankin-Centrism and Contaminated Presents

Issue: Vol 7 No. 1 (2020)

Journal: Journal of Contemporary Archaeology

Subject Areas: Archaeology

DOI: 10.1558/jca.36915


Some time ago Cristóbal Gnecco and Henry Tantalean had the provocative idea of encouraging a reflection about the way archaeologists and non-archeologists change their lives by working and existing together. This encounter between people is not considered important, or material for analysis for archaeology. However, they are “contaminants” (in the sense of both being affected by one another).

In the specific case of Antarctica, these other “actors” are non-human (there are no native people – besides the researchers and logistic personnel). Animals, things, light/darkness, cold, snow, landscapes, etc., are the “actors” with which we interact. It is from this contact through time, that we change them and ourselves as well. This “contaminations” end affecting the histories we build and the way we do it. At the same time, I have asked myself several times: where in our academic texts are the experiences that marked us? The adventures? The sadness? The smiles and spilled tears?

Another issue in my history as an archaeologist was the work at concentration camps from the last dictatorship in Argentina. The people I have met, the materiality from these places of destruction, affected and changed me.

It is in this sense that this work is a personal self-reflection of my affective and transformative “relationship” with these two themes in which I have been working during the past 20 years.

Author: Andrés Zarankin, Iván Zigarán

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