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Concealed Communities: The People at the Margins

Sam Turner and Rob Young
International Journal of Historical Archaeology
Vol. 11, No. 4 (December 2007), pp. 297-303
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20853136
Page Count: 7
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Concealed Communities: The People at the Margins
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Abstract

The "concealed communities" of our title are the people archaeologists have often labeled as "marginal." Archaeologists writing about both prehistoric and historic periods have commonly made a range of assumptions about margins and marginality, and their discussions have often categorized marginality as ecological, economic, or socio-political. Whilst it has been common to privilege one or other of these categories in order to explain how societies worked, they are rarely mutually exclusive. In addition, since marginality is relative, virtually any group might be made marginal depending on people's perspectives in the past or present. Sometimes marginality can be imposed (economically or politically), and sometimes even actively chosen. Defining the "margin" is a complex business, and the term needs sensitive, context-orientated use to make it useful for archaeologists.

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