Indigenous Archaeologies

Bibliographic Information

Course Title

Indigenous Archaeologies


Randall McGuire

Institution Where Taught

Binghamton University

Semester or Date Taught

Spring 2017

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Course Level

Course Description

This graduate seminar introduces the student to the growing international movement for an Indigenous archaeology. Indigenous archaeology is archaeology informed by Indigenous values and agendas. It is archaeology conducted by and for Indigenous people. I require Graduate standing for the course but no prior course work in archaeology is necessary. I will assume that each student has a basic grounding in Anthropology. The course will prepare graduate students in archaeology to incorporate Indigenous archaeology into their practice. It will give students in the other three sub disciplines of anthropology an introduction to archaeological research and it will address a variety of concerns about Indigenous peoples that cross cut the sub-disciplines. The course is principally intended for graduate students in anthropology. The course counts towards the sub-field distribution requirement for graduate students in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, Biological Anthropology and Linguistics. There are four key facets to the praxis of Indigenous archaeology. First, Indigenous archaeology serves the interests of Indigenous communities. Second, the method of working with these communities is collaboration. Third, collaboration requires that many voices be heard. And finally that archaeology should be of use to indigenous peoples. This course will focus on the development of Indigenous archaeology in the United States and link those developments to the international scene. It will begin with a review of the legal, economic, cultural and political realities of Native Americans in the United States today. Based on this review, the course will consider the how these realities have shaped relations between archaeologists and indigenous communities. Repatriation will be a major topic of the course.

Syllabus Available



The PDF above is made available on Dr. McGuire's webpage:

A PDF version of this syllabus isalso available through the Society for American Archaeology's webpage for "Syllabi: Ethics and Archaeology." Please contact instructor for further information.


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