Negotiating the Past in the Past

Negotiating the Past in the Past
Author : Norman Yoffee
Publisher : University of Arizona Press
Total Pages : 267
Release : 2007
ISBN 10 : 0816526702
ISBN 13 : 9780816526703
Language : EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that Òall history becomes subjective,Ó that, in fact, Òproperly there is no history, only biography.Ó Today, EmersonÕs observation is hardly revolutionary for archaeologists; it has become conventional wisdom that the present is a battleground where interpretations of the events and meanings of the past are constantly being disputed. What were the major events? Whose lives did these events impact, and how? Who were the key players? What was their legacy? We know all too well that the answers to these questions can vary considerably depending on what political, social, or personal agenda is driving the response. Despite our keen eye for discerning historical spin doctors operating today, it has been only in recent years that archaeologists have begun exploring in detail how the past was used in the past itself. This volume of ten original works brings critical insight to this frequently overlooked dimension of earlier societies. Drawing on the concepts of identity, memory, and landscape, the contributors show how these points of entry can lead to substantially new accounts of how people understood their lives and why things changed as they did. Chapters include the archaeologies of the eastern Mediterranean, including Mesopotamia, Iran, Greece, and Rome; prehistoric Greece; Achaemenid and Hellenistic Armenia; Athens in the Roman period; Nubia and Egypt; medieval South India; and northern Maya Quintana Roo. The contributors show how and why, in each society, certain versions of the past were promoted while others were aggressively forgotten for the purpose of promoting innovation, gaining political advantage, or creating a new group identity. Commentaries by leading scholars Lynn Meskell and Jack Davis blend with newer voices to create a unique set of essays that is diverse but interrelated, exceptionally researched, and novel in its perspectives. CONTENTS 1. Peering into the Palimpsest: An Introduction to the Volume Norman Yoffee 2. Collecting, Defacing, Reinscribing (and Otherwise Performing) Memory in the Ancient World Catherine Lyon Crawford 3. Unforgettable Landscapes: Attachments to the Past in Hellenistic Armenia Lori Khatchadourian 4. Mortuary Studies, Memory, and the Mycenaean Polity Seth Button 5. Identity under Construction in Roman Athens Sanjaya Thakur 6. Inscribing the Napatan Landscape: Architecture and Royal Identity Lindsay Ambridge 7. Negotiated Pasts and the Memorialized Present in Ancient India: Chalukyas of Vatapi Hemanth Kadambi 8. Creating, Transforming, Rejecting, and Reinterpreting Ancient Maya Urban Landscapes: Insights from Lagartera and Margarita Laura P. Villamil 9. Back to the Future: From the Past in the Present to the Past in the Past Lynn Meskell 10. Memory Groups and the State: Erasing the Past and Inscribing the Present in the Landscapes of the Mediterranean and Near East Jack L. Davis About the Editor About the Contributors Index

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