A Political Archaeology of Latin America’s Recent Past: A Bridge Towards our History

Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)


In Latin America, archaeologists have begun to apply their theories and methodologies to the 1960s and 1980s, a period that witnessed the rise and fall of numerous oppressive dictatorships. The era of dictatorship was characterized by the implementation of economic, political, and social projects and by the disappearance and killing of thousands of people. These extreme methods were part of a range of strategies aimed at effecting widespread social transformation. How can the archaeologist study these fearsome acts of repressive governments – is the discipline of archaeology able to continue working within its usual paradigms, or does the study of morbid topics such as mass graves and torture call for new theories and methods? In this chapter, we consider the role of the archaeologist in negotiating, understanding, and interpreting these complex, painful pasts in Latin America.


Mass Grave Truth Commission Historical Memory Detention Centre Historical Subject 
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We extend our gratitude to the survivors of El Pozo who worked with us on this project, and without whom the project would not have been possible. We would also like to thank Silvia Bianchi, coordinator of The Political-Cultural Memory Research Team, and the other members of the team. Finally, we would like to thank Erin Kaipainen for her revising of our English.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Political-Cultural Memory Research Group (E.I.Me.Po.C.)Universidad Nacional de RosarioRosarioArgentina
  2. 2.Political-Cultural Memory Research Group (E.I.Me.Po.C.)Universidad Nacional de Rosario/CONICETRosarioArgentina

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