Historical Archaeologies in the Middle East and Asia
As in Europe, there are a number of different archaeologies studying the historical periods of the Middle East. We have Egyptology, Assyriology, biblical archaeology, classical archaeology, Arabian archaeology, and Islamic archaeology. Unlike the specialities in Europe, however, the historical archaeologies of the Middle East are not of indigenous origin. They were instead created in a Europe that started to dominate the Middle East politically and economically when the Ottoman Empire began to disintegrate. By amassing knowledge about the “magnificent” past of the area, the European great powers saw themselves as more worthy heirs of the old civilizations than the modern-day inhabitants. A knowledge of the region’s past could thus justify European claims to power here (Said, 1978). The historical archaeologies concerning the Middle East are still in large measure dominated by European and American archaeologists.
KeywordsMiddle East Historical Archaeology Archaeological Excavation Eighth Century Landscape Archaeology
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