Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Commemorative Tales: Archaeological Responses to Modern Myth, Politics, and War

Helle Vandkilde
World Archaeology
Vol. 35, No. 1, The Social Commemoration of Warfare (Jun., 2003), pp. 126-144
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3560216
Page Count: 20
  • Download ($45.00)
  • Cite this Item
Commemorative Tales: Archaeological Responses to Modern Myth, Politics, and War
Preview not available

Abstract

Academic archaeology of the twentieth century has strangely ignored warfare and violence as relevant aspects of past human activity despite sufficient evidence of war-related traumata, weaponry, warrior burials, and war-celebrative iconographies. Instead - and relatively independently of paradigmatic shifts - two commemorative tales about warriors and peasants in the European societies of the Stone and Bronze Ages have been created. The two archaeological tales are stereotypes positioned at opposite ends of the scale, and they confirm or react against contemporary politics, ideologies, gender hierarchies, and wars. The generally weak presence of war and the final breakthrough of war studies in the mid-1990s can indeed be linked to contemporary politics and war. They are simultaneously entrenched in two myths about the primitive other, which have persuasively influenced European thought at least since the seventeenth century. The emergence of warfare studies in archaeology can be understood as a social response to the many ethnic-based wars of the 1990s. Yet the theme of war is treated in a rational manner, which belies the disaster, suffering, and horror involved in all wars, past or present. This rationalization of prehistoric war begs further consideration: through a comparison with the newest anthropology of war it is discussed how the archaeology of war can avoid becoming celebration of war and thus reproduction of the war mythology of the nation state.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[126]
    [126]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
127
    127
  • Thumbnail: Page 
128
    128
  • Thumbnail: Page 
129
    129
  • Thumbnail: Page 
130
    130
  • Thumbnail: Page 
131
    131
  • Thumbnail: Page 
132
    132
  • Thumbnail: Page 
133
    133
  • Thumbnail: Page 
134
    134
  • Thumbnail: Page 
135
    135
  • Thumbnail: Page 
136
    136
  • Thumbnail: Page 
137
    137
  • Thumbnail: Page 
138
    138
  • Thumbnail: Page 
139
    139
  • Thumbnail: Page 
140
    140
  • Thumbnail: Page 
141
    141
  • Thumbnail: Page 
142
    142
  • Thumbnail: Page 
143
    143
  • Thumbnail: Page 
144
    144