The Ethics Of Archaeology Under Dictatorship Essays

1216 Words Nov 24th, 2014 5 Pages
Examining the process of archaeology in the dictatorial contexts of authoritarianism and totalitarianism, this essay proposes that archaeology under dictatorship involves significant ethical challenges, which require important reflexivity on the part of practicing archaeologists. This is specifically seen with an examination of the way in which the Nazi regime made use of archaeology so as to perversely support its notions of racial purity, the essay moves forward to note the ethical elements of archaeology under dictatorship. Archaeologists face difficult decisions in which an oppressive regime can use archaeological findings for the purpose of oppression. The essay then moves onto the destruction of archaeological sites due to dictatorship. Proposing that the poverty brought about by dictatorship lies at the core of the antiquities theft patterns occurring in these places, the essay argues that dictatorship also affects archaeology by virtue of creating a context in which the poor peoples who live within such oppressive contexts are sometimes put into positions where their livelihoods depend on the selling of their countries’ natural treasures. Concluding with an overview of how investigative archaeology can be used for good, so as to correct historical inaccuracies of even investigate phenomena such as, the Holocaust, the essay thus proposes that archaeology under dictatorship fundamentally requires reflection in relation to ethics at all times. To understand the…

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