The Archaeology of Colonialism

Symposium Papers

The Archaeology of Colonialism

edited by Claire L. Lyons & John K. Papadopoulos


296 pages

PDF file size: 31.5 MB


The Archaeology of Colonialism demonstrates how artifacts are not only the residue of social interaction but also instrumental in shaping identities and communities.

Claire Lyons and John Papadopoulos summarize the complex issues addressed by this collection of essays. Next are four case studies illustrating the use of archaeological artifacts to reconstruct social structures. Gil Stein analyzes ceramic objects from Mesopotamian colonists in fourth-millennium Anatolia. Adolfo Domínguez assesses Greek influence on early Iberian sculpture and language. Kenneth Kelly investigates how architecture on the west African coast changed after European slave traders arrived. Peter van Dommelen studies settlements across Punic Sardinia to assess the blending of cultures.

The remaining essays look at the roles myth, ritual, and religion played in forming colonial identities. Irad Malkin identifies the cultural middle ground established among Greeks, Etruscans, and locals of the Bay of Naples. Nicholas Thomas evaluates clothing as an instrument of Spanish colonialism in nineteenth-century Oceania. Tom Cummins looks at sixteenth-century Andean urban planning and kinship relations. Stacey Jordan and Carmel Schrire consider how the Dutch East India Company settlement at the Cape of Good Hope helped shape colonial South Africa.

Table of Contents

  • Part I. Objects
    • Colonies without Colonialism: A trade Diaspora Model of Fourth Millennium B.C. Mesopotamian Enclaves in Anatolia, Gil Stein
    • Greeks in Iberia: Colonialism without Colonization, Adolfo J. Dominguez
    • Indigenous Responses to Colonial Encounters on the West African Coast: Hueda and Dahomey from the Seventeenth through Nineteenth Century, Kenneth Kelly
    • Ambiguous Matters: Colonialism and Local Identities in Punic Sardinia, Peter van Dommelen
  • Part II. Ideologies
    • A Colonial Middle Ground: Greek, Etruscan, and Local Elites in the Bay of Naples, Irad Malkin
    • Colonizing Cloth: Interpreting the Material Culture of Nineteenth-Century Oceania, Nicholas Thomas
    • Forms of Andean Colonial Towns, Free Will, and Marriage, Tom Cummins
    • Material Culture and the Roots of Colonial Society and the South African Cape of Good Hope, Stacey Jordan and Carmel Schrire
  • Biographical Notes on the Contributors
  • Illustration Credits
  • Index

About the Authors

Claire Lyons is head of the Department of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

John Papadapoulos is former associate curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.