Theory in Collaborative Indigenous Archaeology: Insights from Mohegan

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Theory in Collaborative Indigenous Archaeology: Insights from Mohegan

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American Antiquity


Cipolla, Craig N

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English; French



There is little doubt that Indigenous, collaborative, and community-based archaeologies offer productive means of reshaping the ways in which archaeologists conduct research in North America. Scholarly reporting, however, typically places less emphasis on the ways in which Indigenous and collaborative versions of archaeology influence our interpretations of the past and penetrate archaeology at the level of theory. In this article, we begin to fill this void, critically considering archaeological research and teaching at Mohegan in terms of the deeper impacts that Indigenous knowledge, interests, and sensitivities make via collaborative projects. We frame the collaboration as greater than the sum of its heterogeneous components, including its diverse human participants. From this perspective, the project produces new and valuable orientations toward current theoretical debates in archaeology. We address these themes as they relate to ongoing research and teaching at several eighteenth- and nineteenth-century sites on the Mohegan Reservation in Uncasville, Connecticut.


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