Despite changes in archaeological theory and practice over the past 40 years, most archaeologists are still not very good at acknowledging that “significance” is context-dependent and non-material. In this paper I present two cases studies from New England where archaeologists collaborated with Native peoples on sites that had significant preservation concerns. I evaluate to what extent these projects were successful in their goal of decolonizing archaeology. I call for a definition of materiality that acknowledges that tangible objects and their intangible contexts and meanings are inextricable, and that values are continuously created and recreated in the present by a variety of memory communities.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/chilton_elizabeth/41/