chapter  26
14 Pages

: Cultural Identity, and Colonial and Postcolonial Archaeologies

BySarah Croucher

Cultural identities draw together multiple people within a notion of shared cultural practice and a shared sense of “sameness.” Conceiving of identities at this scale has been foundational to the way in which archaeology has conceptualized past societies and related these to identities within the present. These concepts were created within a framework of colonial politics, but the ideas formulated decades ago continue to be pervasive in dividing particular groups from their cultural heritage today. Moving forward, postcolonial theory is providing a framework with which to critique past conceptions of cultural identity, as well as to highlight the importance of archaeological formations of cultural identities to contemporary postcolonial identities. These critiques are vital, given the central importance of cultural identities to our classification of archaeological remains.