Archaeologies of the Past and in the Present in 2014: Materialities of Human History

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Research from the past year demonstrates archaeologists' diverse contributions to the anthropological study of human experience and social relationships in time and space. I divide literature published from late 2013 to late 2014 into five themes. First, archaeological research on space focuses on the persistence and materiality of landscapes, the creation and dynamics of communities and cities, and the mobility and migration of people. Second, studies of climate change and environmental interaction stress that organizational relationships and their long-term legacies are fundamental to ecological sustainability. Third, archaeologists offer anthropology the ability to contextualize the causes and the manifestations of violence and conflict through longitudinal cases studies and material analysis. Fourth, work on objects, bodies, and identity emphasizes that social subjectivities are not only variable but are historically connected to material worlds. Finally, fifth, archaeologists engaged with the present offer critical understandings of heritage policies and promote an activism that seeks more ethical practices with descendent communities and within the discipline itself. Despite differences, the recent literature reveals archaeologists' contributions to these significant anthropological topics by studying long-term, historical legacies and the materiality of human relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-344
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Materiality
  • Year in review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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