Stovel Publishes “Concepts of Ethnicity and Culture in Andean Archaeology”

“Concepts of Ethnicity and Culture in Andean Archaeology,” by Emily M. Stovel, associate professor of anthropology, was published in the March 2013 issue of “Latin American Antiquity,” published by the Society for American Archaeology. Although Andean archaeology has long used the term “ethnic” to refer to human groups, new understandings of ethnicity have injected less static understandings of contextualized identity construction into our models of the past.

A review of recent work on ethnicity in the field reveals, however, that methodological approaches to these social entities do not always follow suit and rather favor normative synchronic comparisons. This paper explores the origins and trends in the study of ethnic groups and ethnicity in Andean archaeology, arguing that we may be seeing the persistence of the culture concept in the guise of ethnicity. It also examines best practices in the literature in order to make recommendations concerning the adoption of local, contextual, and diachronic methods in conjunction with multiple lines of evidence.


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