Archaeology: The Contradictions of Value, Time and Power


  • Nabil Ali


Archaeology has been affected during the past years by many epistemological and theoretical changes that have shattered its unilateral and neutral system, which characterized it for a long period of time. Archaeology is no longer a neutral science, but rather is affected by contextual changes and societies' view of the past. Hence, it is of great significance to reconsider the concept of value and its relationship to archaeology and heritage, and to overcome the view which considered the past to consist solely of facts and "material things". To reevaluate the values of archaeology and heritage means to redefine their meanings in the present, and to re-address the concept of time and it relationship to the present. The reconceptualization of value to archaeology and heritage deemed also a deconstruction the laws of antiquities that were derived from the colonial era. Therefore, this study focuses on the historical dimension of the change of concepts related to value and its relationship with the past and the impact of power - whether political or academic - in the formation or re-formation of values from the past, especially within the stages of legislation related to antiquities from the Ottoman period to colonial and to post-colonial eras.




How to Cite

Ali, N. (2020). Archaeology: The Contradictions of Value, Time and Power. Dirasat: Human and Social Sciences, 47(4). Retrieved from