The Role of Historical Artefacts in Forging National Identities

This Friday, Americans celebrate the independence of their nation and what it means to be American.  Join our host as he explores the ways in which archaeology has informed and been informed by national identities, not only in North America but in other parts of the world as well.  Think of the objects that embody the values of a particular society – the liberty bell for the US, the Stone of Scone for Scotland, etc.  Dr. Schuldenrein also considers the historical tendency of nationalism to influence research questions and interpretations of finds and how modern nationalistic agendas influence the teaching of history and archaeology in primary schools.  Finally, we wrap up with a discussion of the role nationalism plays in popularizing archaeology, and the question of whether making archaeology relevant to society might compromise its scholarly value.

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