Archaeological Knowledge Production and Global Communities: Boundaries and Structure of the Field

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Open Archaeology, Volume 4, Number 1, p.350-364 (2018)

URL:

http://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2018-0022

Keywords:

archaeology-related communities, digital heritage, nonprofessional archaeology, semiosphere theory, Yuri Lotman

Abstract:

Archaeology and material cultural heritage enjoys a particular status as a form of heritage that, capturing the public imagination, has become the locus for the expression and negotiation of regional, national, and intra-national cultural identities. One important question is: why and how do contemporary people engage with archaeological heritage objects, artefacts, information or knowledge outside the realm of an professional, academically-based archaeology? This question is investigated here from the perspective of theoretical considerations based on Yuri Lotmans semiosphere theory, which helps to describe the connections between the centre and peripheries of professional archaeology as sign structures. The centre may be defined according to prevalent scientific paradigms, while periphery in the space of creolisation in which, through interactions with other culturally more distant sign structures, archaeology-related nonprofessional communities emerge. On the basis of these considerations, we use collocation analysis on representative English language corpora to outline the structure of the field of archaeology-related nonprofessional communities, identify salient creolised peripheral spaces and archaeology-related practices, and develop a framework for further investigation of archaeological knowledge production and reuse in the context of global archaeology.

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Sheds new light on the potential of extra-academic knowledge-making as a contribution in formations of knowledge throughout society, explores extra-academic knowledge as a useful resource in academy, policy development, evidence based practices, and innovation, and focuses on the informational dimensions, stemming from and grounded in an informationscience perspective, which provides the means to address practical information-related issues throughout knowledge-making processes.

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