, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 48–65 | Cite as

Unpacking Neoliberal Archaeological Control of Ancient Indigenous Heritage

  • Paulette SteevesEmail author


Archaeologists often discuss the First People of the Western Hemisphere (the Americas) and their descendants, as Immigrants from Asia or Solutreans from France. In this paper, I discuss how archaeologists as handmaidens of the late modern state control the past in the present. This control keeps Indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere as recent migrants on a global history time scale. Arguing against recent initial migration time frames to the Western Hemisphere, I discuss the Indigenous Palaeolithic of the Americas; and what an acknowledgement of the ancient past may bring to contemporary Indigenous communities.

Key words

Archaeology Decolonize Heritage Indigenous North and South America 


Les archéologues décrivent souvent les Premières Nations de l’hémisphère occidental (les Amériques) et leurs descendants en tant qu’immigrants de l’Asie ou solutréens de France. Dans le présent article, je traite de la façon dont les archéologues, valets de l’État moderne tardif, contrôlent le passé dans le cadre du présent. Ce contrôle fait en sorte que les peuples autochtones de l’hémisphère occidental demeurent des migrants récents sur la frise historique mondiale. En m’opposant aux cadres temporels de la migration initiale récente vers l’hémisphère occidental, je discute de l’âge paléolithique autochtone des Amériques et de ce que la reconnaissance du passé ancien pourrait représenter pour les communautés autochtones.


Los arqueólogos a menudo hablan de los Primeros Pueblos del Hemisferio Occidental (las Américas) y de sus descendientes, como Inmigrantes de Asia o solutrenses de Francia. En el presente documento, trato de cómo los arqueólogos como servidores del estado tardío moderno controlan el pasado en el presente. Este control mantiene a los pueblos indígenas del Hemisferio Occidental como migrantes recientes en una escala temporal de la historia global. Argumentando contra los recientes marcos temporales de la migración inicial hacia el Hemisferio Occidental, trato del paleolítico indígena de las Américas; y lo que un reconocimiento del antiguo pasado puede aportar a las comunidades indígenas contemporáneas.


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Copyright information

© World Archaeological Congress 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Native American Indigenous StudiesAmherstUSA

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