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Book: Community Archaeology in Israel/Palestine

Chapter: The Nature and Development of Community Archaeology in Israel/Palestine: An Introduction

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44983


In the introduction, we discuss briefly the development of “community archaeology” in general and the issue of its definition. We opt for a broad definition (following Reid, Grima and others), namely: “archaeology of past communities, performed in cooperation between archaeologists and living communities, for the benefit of both.” Consequently, all archaeology is to some extent at least community archaeology, and community archaeologists are not special experts of a field within archaeology, but any archaeologist who is aware of her/his role in relation not just to the past, but also to living communities. The body of the introduction is a detailed catalogue of more than forty community-archaeology focused projects in Palestine/Israel since the 1990s. This is followed by a discussion of their forms, growth, and changing ideologies. We touch on the complex issue of evaluating success/failure of such projects and end with the question whether there is a certain model of “true” community archaeology that can “liberate” us.

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