Archaeological theory and the politics of cultural heritage

by Laurajane Smith : Routledge, 2004

Laurajane Smith's controversial new book, which explores the relationships between indigenous peoples and the archaeological establishment, has been well received by the critics.

'Laurajane Smith's book is the most important interpretation of Cultural Resource Management archaeology since Tom King's famous works. She shows how archaeology has been hijacked by a combination of government bureaucrats and unreflective practitioners who have no theory to ground them in the business of power, or the power of anthropology. Smith is pointed, critical, but refreshing when she urges archaeologists to understand power and its effects before they become fully subordinate to classist uses of our knowledge while simultaneously being blinded to this process by preoccupation with science and artefacts.'
Mark Leone, University of Maryland

'Smith's stunning book will change the discipline by forcing archaeologists to recognise some fundamental connections between archaeological practice and descendant communities' demands for accountability'
Larry J. Zimmerman, University of Iowa

Laurajane Smith is Senior Lecturer in cultural heritage studies and archaeology. She previously taught Indigenous Studies at the University of New South Wales, Sydney and worked as a cultural heritage consultant for many years. Her research interests include heritage and the construction and negotiation of cultural and social identities, and public policy and heritage management, archaeological theory and politics, feminist archaeology.