The Archaeology of Colonialism demonstrates how artifacts are not only the residue of social interaction but also instrumental in shaping identities and communities.
Claire Lyons and John Papadopoulos summarize the complex issues addressed by this collection of essays. Next are four case studies illustrating the use of archaeological artifacts to reconstruct social structures. Gil Stein analyzes ceramic objects from Mesopotamian colonists in fourth-millennium Anatolia. Adolfo Domínguez assesses Greek influence on early Iberian sculpture and language. Kenneth Kelly investigates how architecture on the west African coast changed after European slave traders arrived. Peter van Dommelen studies settlements across Punic Sardinia to assess the blending of cultures.
The remaining essays look at the roles myth, ritual, and religion played in forming colonial identities. Irad Malkin identifies the cultural middle ground established among Greeks, Etruscans, and locals of the Bay of Naples. Nicholas Thomas evaluates clothing as an instrument of Spanish colonialism in nineteenth-century Oceania. Tom Cummins looks at sixteenth-century Andean urban planning and kinship relations. Stacey Jordan and Carmel Schrire consider how the Dutch East India Company settlement at the Cape of Good Hope helped shape colonial South Africa.
Claire Lyons is collections curator at the Getty Research Institute. John Papadapoulos is former associate curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Series: Issues & Debates