International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 529–554

The Most Wretched of Beings in the Cage of Capitalism


DOI: 10.1007/s10761-014-0268-z

Cite this article as:
Sayers, D.O. Int J Histor Archaeol (2014) 18: 529. doi:10.1007/s10761-014-0268-z


We can no longer afford to ignore the horrendous misery and abuse that humans have inflicted on beings from other species throughout all modern history. We also cannot continue to ignore how those oppressive actions and processes dialectically reverberate across most social dimensions of our modern world. This essay is an effort to promote a heretofore seldom-considered social justice cause in historical archaeology: animal emancipation. I advocate an approach that challenges alienated anthropocentric views, ideologies, and practices in historical archaeology and the wider social and political-economic world. I also offer some ideas on how an archaeology of animal emancipation might appear and some suggestions on preliminary steps we can take to see such an archaeology emerge alongside and in conjuncton with other engaged archaeologies.


Animal emancipation Social justice Alienation Speciesism 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyAmerican UniversityWashingtonUSA

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