Field Schools without Trowels: Teaching Archaeological Ethics and Heritage Preservation in a Collaborative Context

Bibliographic Information


Field Schools without Trowels: Teaching Archaeological Ethics and Heritage Preservation in a Collaborative Context

Book Title

Collaborating at the Trowel's Edge: Teaching and Learning in Indigenous Archaeology


Mills, Barbara J. and Altaha, Mark and Welch, John R. and Ferguson, T.J.


Silliman, Stephen W.

Year of Publication


Chapter Pages


Publisher Name

The University of Arizona Press

Publisher Location

Tucson, AZ

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Additional Information



Source Type

Book Chapter


Book description:

 fundamental issue for twenty-first century archaeologists is the need to better direct their efforts toward supporting rather than harming indigenous peoples. Collaborative indigenous archaeology has already begun to stress the importance of cooperative, community-based research; this book now offers an up-to-date assessment of how Native American and non-native archaeologists have jointly undertaken research that is not only politically aware and historically minded but fundamentally better as well.

Eighteen contributors—many with tribal ties—cover the current state of collaborative indigenous archaeology in North America to show where the discipline is headed. Continent-wide cases, from the Northeast to the Southwest, demonstrate the situated nature of local practice alongside the global significance of further decolonizing archaeology. And by probing issues of indigenous participation with an eye toward method, theory, and pedagogy, many show how the archaeological field school can be retailored to address politics, ethics, and critical practice alongside traditional teaching and research methods.

These chapters reflect the strong link between politics and research, showing what can be achieved when indigenous values, perspectives, and knowledge are placed at the center of the research process. They not only draw on experiences at specific field schools but also examine advances in indigenous cultural resource management and in training Native American and non-native students.

Theoretically informed and practically grounded, Collaborating at the Trowel’s Edge is a virtual guide for rethinking field schools and is an essential volume for anyone involved in North American archaeology—professionals, students, tribal scholars, or avocationalists—as well as those working with indigenous peoples in other parts of the world. It both reflects the rapidly changing landscape of archaeology and charts new directions to ensure the ongoing vitality of the discipline.

Additional tags: archaeological field schools; teaching ethics


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