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dc.contributor.advisorBoast, Robin
dc.contributor.authorPruitt, Tera Corinne
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the role of authority in the production of archaeological knowledge. It examines how fluid ideas and observations formed in the field become authoritative, factual, solid archaeological products, like scientific texts, reconstructions or museum displays. It asks, what makes a person, a thing or an account of history something that is authoritative? What makes someone an authority on the past? What is archaeological authority? This thesis deconstructs and exposes authority in archaeological practice. It targets how practitioners of archaeology actively enact, construct and implement authority in the process of producing knowledge. Formal representations of the past rely heavily on an underlying notion of the ‘authoritative account’. The entire process of reconstructing the past in archaeology is dependent on individuals and institutions existing as authorities, who actively or passively imply that artefacts, sites and final interpretations are ‘authentic’ or have ‘fidelity’ to the past. This study examines how authority and acts of legitimation are employed and distributed through the medium of science, and how they need to be actively performed in order to acquire and maintain status. This thesis not only argues that authority is embedded in every stage of the archaeological process, but importantly, it identifies how this authority manifests through the medium of scientific acts. This thesis is structured around two comparative case studies: one case of professional archaeology and one case of alternative archaeology. Both are archaeological sites that produce their own ‘authoritative’ accounts of the past through practices, publications and presentations. The first case is the professional archaeological project of Çatalhöyük in the Republic of Turkey, under the direction of Ian Hodder at Stanford University. This case offers insights about how the processes of inscription, translation and blackboxing establish and maintain authority in archaeological practice. It also addresses how physical and intellectual space, as well as issues of access in localised knowledge-producing social arenas, affect archaeological authority. The second case is the controversial pseudoarchaeological project in Visoko, Bosnia, commonly referred to as the Bosnian Pyramids. This project, under the direction of amateur archaeologist Semir Osmanagić, has successfully created an account of prehistory that has been received by the general Bosnian public as authoritative, despite objections by the professional archaeological community. This case demonstrates how authority can be constructed, mimicked and performed by drawing on academic arenas of scientific practice and by eager public participation. Specifically, this case study highlights the importance of socio-politics, authoritative institutions and performative behaviour in the construction of archaeological authority.en_GB
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Walesen
dc.subjectSociology of scientific knowledgeen_GB
dc.subjectArchaeological theoryen_GB
dc.subjectEthnography of scienceen_GB
dc.subjectScience communicationen_GB
dc.subjectPresenting the pasten_GB
dc.subjectHeritage managementen_GB
dc.subjectPolitics of displayen_GB
dc.subjectProduction of knowledgeen_GB
dc.subjectAuthoritative accountsen_GB
dc.subjectAlternative archaeologyen_GB
dc.titleAuthority and the production of knowledge in archaeologyen_GB
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridgeen_GB
dc.publisher.departmentDepartment of Archaeologyen_GB
dc.rights.generalAll images in this dissertation are property of the author unless otherwise indicated. Images from the original unpublished thesis for which the author does not permission to publish or copyright appear in this online thesis as placeholders, which include information about where the reader can find the original imageen_GB

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales
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