Archaeologists as People
Lolita Nikolova (Bulgaria/USA) & Claire Smith and Heather Burke (Australia)
International Institute of Anthropology
Official website of 6 WAC at http://www.ucd.ie/wac-6/index.html
ARCHAEOLOGISTS AS PEOPLE
Presentation at the 6th World Archaeological Congress, Dublin, Ireland

Lolita Nikolova (
lnikolova@iianthropology.org), Claire Smith
(
Claire.Smith@flinders.edu.au) and Heather Burke (Heather.Burke@flinders.edu.au)

Archaeology is often criticised for focussing on objects, sites, assemblages and contexts-things-rather than the people
behind the things.  One of the main artefacts of archaeology is the changing constructs of the discipline that have been
inherited from generation to generation The paradox of this view, of course, is that while archaeological theory can seem
boring, the lives of archaeologists are actually extremely interesting, if not flamboyant and, at times, enthralling.  The debates
between Binford and Bordes, for example, over whether differences in Mousterian stone tool assemblages were due to ethnic
differences or were simply a reflection of different activities, not only engaged a contemporary audience, but are still
thought-provoking 30 years later.  It is not only the issues themselves that are interesting, but also the different opinions that
archaeologists bring to the material and how this affects their interpretations of past human behaviour.  The challenge for us
all is to marry the intrinsic excitement of the discipline and the achievements of its practitioners to the teaching of issues that
have shaped the direction of the discipline over the last 150 years.


The theme of Archaeologists as People is crucial for the development of the global archaeology as a
humanistic discipline. We need to approach critically and constructively the past, present and future of the
archaeology as a social practice from the point of you how archaeologists as personalities have contributed
to the development of archaeology as a profession.   We hope this session will include the consideration of
some of the following questions:


What kind of personalities does archaeology need in its different fields of research and practice?
What is the role of the different formal and non-formal social networks of archaeologists for the development
of their personalities ?
How do the systems of employment  and of funding of the archaeologists' projects influence the
archaeologists as people? Do we need changes?
How can we benefit from the development of the social psychology?
How does the anthropology of everydayness influences the self-awareness of the archaeologists Which are
the shortest roads to the success in archaeology?
Which values of archaeologists as people are of special use in the 21st century?


We anticipate that the topic will include material ranging from the influence of personal ethics on social justice agendas and
archaeological practice; how the social and political contexts of particular countries influence the development of
archaeological personalities; archaeological biographies (archaeologists dead and alive); the manner in which the increasing
number of Indigenous archaeologists are influencing the disciplines; amateur visions (those of people who were involved in
archaeological ideas or discoveries but whose work has been dismissed or overlooked by the mainstream); and how
individuals negotiate the interface between archaeology and political action.


Insights

Enculturation, Self-awareness, Success and the  Archaeologists

by
Lolita Nikolova
Last updated July 13th, 2008

Archaeologists are a professional category in the contemporary world that have several important missions: to document the
past, the communicate the past and to express personalities that relate to, produce and reproduce the best values of the
human civilization.
The theme of Archaeologists as People is crucial for the development of the global archaeology as a humanistic discipline.
Our understanding is that we need to approach critically and constructively the past, present and future of the archaeology as a
social practice from the point of you how the archaeologists as personalities have contributed to the development of the
archaeological science and archaeology as a profession.        
In our research paper to be represented at the 6th World Archaeological Congress we will try to analyzed the social and
psychological roots of the controversy of the archaeologists as people and will try to answer the following questions:
What kind of personalities does the archaeology need in its different fields of research and practice?
What is the role of the different
 formal and non-formal social networks of archaeologists for the development of their
personalities ?
How do the systems of employment  and of funding of the archaeologists' projects influence the archaeologists as people?
Do we need changes?
How can we benefit from the development of the social psychology?
How does the anthropology of everydayness influences the self-awareness of the archaeologists?
Which are the shortest roads to the success in archaeology?
Which values of the archaeologists as people are of special value in the 21st century?
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Claire Smith who promoted the topic of Archaeologists as
People
Heather Burke
Lolita Nikolova