Inauthentic Archaeologies: Public Uses and Abuses of the Past

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Archaeology has an impact on the public far beyond what any archaeologist would imagine. In this concise, student-friendly look at the public appropriation of archaeology, Troy Lovata examines outright hoaxes, fanciful re-creations, artistic representations, commercial enterprises, and discredited replicas of the past. The book explores examples from around the world and across time to help readers understand how the past becomes social currency for both professional archaeologists and the public at large. Lovata addresses central questions of authenticity, ownership of the past, and the use of archaeology by everyone from artists to multinational corporations. Examples include the Piltdown Hoax, replica Anasazi cliff dwellings at Manitou Springs, Colorado, reconstructed Spanish torreons, and playful Stonehenge replicas. Student exercises, cartoons, interviews, and illustrations add to the pedagogical value of this concise, fascinating work for students in introductory archaeology classes.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Most of us are clear-cut on what constitutes legitimate archaeology and therefore we should not have much of a problem deciding what is not legitimate or authentic. In this useful book Troy Lovata challenges the idea that such a demarcation between authentic and inauthentic archaeology is straightforward and a simple matter of crossing a threshold. The book is a good introduction to identifying and defining inauthentic archaeology. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the broader role of archaeology and the use of archaeological information in society…What is valuable about this book is that it does not shy away from engaging with inauthentic archaeologies. They do not have to be our secret pleasures or shames." - Denis Gojak, Australian Archaeology

"Lovata's Inauthentic Archaeologies is an unconventional and entertaining book for both professionals and student audiences. His critical but contextually interpretive approach to inauthentic archaeologies is refreshing and perceptive and the volume’s brevity and approachability should make it attractive to instructors. This volume would be a fine addition to the library of most archaeologists, historic preservation specialists, and museum anthropologists who are faced with (and must interpret) the inauthentic on a regular basis." - Jamie C. Brandon, Museum Anthropology Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598740110
  • Publisher: Left Coast Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Troy Lovata is an assistant professor in the University Honors Program at the University of New Mexico and previously served as a senior lecturer in the Technology, Literacy, and Culture Program at the University of Texas. He holds Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Anthropology, with a focus on the visual presentation of archaeology, from the Universityof Texas. He also serves on the Arts Board for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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