Selective Remembrances: Archaeology in the Construction, by Philip L. Kohl, Mara Kozelsky, Nachman Ben-Yehuda

By Philip L. Kohl, Mara Kozelsky, Nachman Ben-Yehuda

While political geography alterations, how do reorganized or newly shaped states justify their rule and create a feeling of shared historical past for his or her humans? frequently, the essays in Selective Remembrances display, they flip to archaeology, making use of the sector and its findings to boost nationalistic emotions and forge valid specific nationwide identities.

Examining such quite new or reconfigured geographical regions as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, India, and Thailand, Selective Remembrances exhibits how states invoke the distant earlier to extol the glories of particular peoples or turn out claims to ancestral homelands. faith has lengthy performed a key position in such efforts, and the participants take care to illustrate the tendency of many of us, together with archaeologists themselves, to view the area via a spiritual lens—which may be exploited by way of new regimes to suppress goal examine of the earlier and justify modern political actions.

The broad geographic and highbrow variety of the essays in Selective Remembrances will make it a seminal textual content for archaeologists and historians.

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Extra info for Selective Remembrances: Archaeology in the Construction, Commemoration, and Consecration of National Pasts

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Kohl and Fawcett, Nationalism, Politics, and the Practice of Archaeology, 5. 5. Some recent postings on the Internet have attempted to demonstrate that this disputed territory was part of Caucasian Albania, and not, as Armenian nationalists claim, part of ancient Armenia. Most likely, the claims of both sides are overstated and anachronistic: ancient kingdoms were, as a rule, multiethnic; and border areas, such as probably represented by today’s Nagorno-Karabagh, often were incorporated into different political states at different times.

Chmykhov’s ideas reached a broad audience. Despite their rejection by academic specialists, Chmykhov’s and Shilov’s ideas were included in a standard textbook in ethnography, which was approved by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine (Ponomariov 1994: 101–102). Shilov’s book depicting Ukraine as the Aryan homeland and the cradle of the earliest state, Aratta (Shilov 1995), was praised by the new elite Ukrainian journal Geneza. A reviewer emphasized that in Shilov’s view, Vedic literature had come into being along the Dnieper River banks.

The Russian nationalists who hate Ukrainian political independence try to isolate Ukrainians from Aryanism. While recognizing the relationship between the Ukrainian and Tripolye cultures, 45 VICTOR A. SHNIRELMAN they maintain that Semites developed the latter (Kirillin 2000). Somewhat more “elegant” are the views of the young historian A. V. Gudz’Markov, who opposes the eastern Mediterranean race of the Tripolye people to the “Indo-European race” (Gudz’-Markov 1997: 6). Unfortunately, sometimes in order to attract attention to their discoveries and to receive support from the authorities and the general public, archaeologists themselves use dubious rhetoric and add fuel to the fire of pseudoscience.

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