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The New Nomadic Age

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It can be suggested that today we live in a new nomadic age, an age of global movement and migration. For the majority of people on earth, however, especially from the global south, crossing national borders and moving from the global south to the global north is risky, perilous, often lethal. Many are forced or compelled to migrate due to war, persecution, or the structural violence of poverty and deprivation. The phenomenon of forced and undocumented migration is one of the defining features of our era. And while the topic is at the centre of attention and study in many scholarly fields, the materiality of the phenomenon and its sensorial and mnemonic dimensions are barely understood and analysed. In this regard, contemporary archaeology can make an immense contribution. This book, the first archaeological anthology on the topic, takes up the challenge and explores the diverse intellectual, methodological, ethical, and political frameworks for an archaeology of forced and undocumented migration in the present. Matters of historical depth, theory, method, ethics and politics as well as heritage value and public representation are investigated and analysed, adopting a variety of perspectives. The book contains both short reflections and more substantive treatments and case studies from around the world, from the Mexico-USA border to Australia, and utilizes a diversity of narrative formats, including several photographic essays.
Chapter 17 is freely available under Creative Commons License BY 4.0here

Published: Nov 14, 2018

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
List of Figures Yannis Hamilakis
List of Tables Yannis Hamilakis
Preface Yannis Hamilakis
Archaeologies of Forced and Undocumented Migration Yannis Hamilakis
Chapter 1
The 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan: Migration, Material Landscapes, and the Making of Nations Erin Riggs, Zahida Jat
Chapter 2
“We Palestinian Refugees” – Heritage Rites and/as the Clothing of Bare Life: Reconfiguring Paradox, Obligation, and Imperative in Palestinian Refugee Camps in Jordan Beverley Butler, Fatima Al-Nammari
Chapter 3
Surveilling Surveillance: Countermapping Undocumented Migration in the USA-Mexico Borderlands Haeden Stewart, Ian Osterreicher, Cameron Gokee, Jason De Leon
Chapter 4
Place Making in Non-Places: Migrant Graffiti in Rural Highway Box Culverts Gabriella Soto
Chapter 5
The Materiality of the State of Exception: Components of the Experience of Deportation from the United States Agnieszka Radziwinowiczówna
Chapter 6
Lessons from the Bakken Oil Patch William Caraher, Bret Weber, Richard Rothaus
Chapter 7
Empty Migrant Rooms: An Anthropology of Absence through the Camera Lens Eckehard Pistrick, Florian Bachmeier
Chapter 8
If Place Remotely Matters: Camped in Greece’s Contingent Countryside Kostis Kourelis
Chapter 9
Orange Life Jackets: Materiality and Narration in Lesvos, One Year after the Eruption of the “Refugee Crisis” George Tyrikos-Ergas
Chapter 10
Interrupted Journeys: Drawings by Refugees at the Kara Tepe Camp, Lesvos, Greece Angela Maria Arbelaez Arbelaez, Edward Mulholland
Chapter 11
Abandoned Refugee Vehicles “In the Middle of Nowhere”: Reflections on the Global Refugee Crisis from the Northern Margins of Europe Oula Seitsonen, Vesa-Pekka Herva, Mika Kunnari
Chapter 12
The Garden of Refugees Rui Gomes Coelho
Chapter 13
Reframing the Lampedusa Cross: The British Museum’s Display of the Mediterranean Migrant Crisis Morgan Breene
Chapter 14
What Anchors the Tu Do? Denis Byrne
Chapter 15
“Heritage on Exile”: Reflecting on the Roles and Responsibilities of Heritage Organizations towards Those Affected by Forced Migration John Schofield
Chapter 16
Digging up sounds, images and words together in Athens: Conversations with Kurosh Dadgar (Hossein Shabani) and Saeid Ghasemi on refugee experiences and self-representation through art and heritage management Christina Thomopoulos, Kurosh Dadgar, Esra Dogan, Saeid Ghasemi, Sophia Thomopoulos
Chapter 17
Commentary: Belonging and Belongings: On Migrant and Nomadic Heritages in and for the Anthropocene Rodney Harrison, Staffan Appelgren, Anna Bohlin
Chapter 18
Commentary: Nomadic Ethics Elisabeth Kirtsoglou
Chapter 19
Commentary: Whither the History of Forced and Undocumented Migration? Notes for Genealogical and Comparative Approaches Parker VanValkenburgh
End Matter
Index Yannis Hamilakis


Moving is a keyword for this timely collection of papers: The authors focus on people and their things moving through landscapes and material culture as symbols of movement and barriers. Some of the papers also emphasize a need to move the discourse of forced migration. Furthermore, the papers in this book contribute to move the scope of archaeology by documenting how archaeological methodology is highly favourable to the study of ongoing processes in addition to past phenomena. Lastly, these papers are also moving in a different sense; it is emotional to read about migrant deaths, a child drawing floating bodies, orange lifejackets spread along the shore, and people searching for a permanent situation. The New Nomadic Age provides detailed and diverse perspectives on moving in all these senses of the word and is a highly recommended read.
Archäologische Informationen

An incredible transdisciplinary and transcultural study of the global phenomenon of migration, the collected texts cover a wide range of political, cultural, and geographical sites and subjects, bringing together essays, documents, and photographs from such places as Mexico, the US, Finland, Palestine, Syria, India and Pakistan, and Australia. The contributors tackle complex topics such as “surveilling surveillance,” the drawings and gardens of refugees, the relationship between belonging and belongings, and more. The book also interrogates our complicity in how the migrant is often perceived as either a threat or a figure lacking agency, transforming these toxic misconceptions by foregrounding the migrant-refugee experience—and the inclusion is devastating. Timely, and an interdisciplinary prototype, this text should be necessary reading for curators, editors, and educators.
(Best Books of 2019)