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Politics on a Small Scale: Archaeological Ethnography as a Lens of Understanding Community Politics.



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Gianniri, Klairi 


Archaeology, as it is known and being practiced in the West, often played a significant role in promoting colonial and nationalistic agendas. Although the colonial heritage of the discipline and its neocolonial present have been exposed and critiqued, the vast majority of archaeologists do not seem to be fully conscious that archaeology acts politically at various scales. Thus, politics in archaeology is usually associated with grand national narratives, rather than relationship networks in a local or community context. As a result, studying the way a small community is being affected by archaeological research is often considered to be of secondary importance, even though such activity carries profound political effects and implications. This paper aims to shed light on these implications through a case study at the mountainous areas of East Crete, where the utilisation of archaeological ethnography highlighted the role of archaeology as a mediator of the collective past and contested present.



Public Archaeology, Greek Archaeology, Community Archaeology, Archaeological Ethnography, Grand Narratives

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Archaeology and the Publics

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I feel the need to give special thanks to the community of Anatoli for their hospitality and friendship, and especially to Koula Angelaki and the Archos family (Manolis, Doxa and George), who unconditionally helped me in every phase of my research and stood by me as a second family