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Illuminating History by Lily Díaz, 25.IX.2000

has been noted that the proposition that artefacts can express or contain ideas as language has been instrumental in the opening up of areas of discourse in archaeology

that would otherwise remain inaccessible from scientific inquiry.1 1 0

This is because it

has enticed scholars to question how the archaeological record is part of, and contributes, to the development of structures of power in a given society. In the case of pre-history, for example, where there is no written record, how are the narratives pertaining the distant ancestors formulated? How do tools such as seriation and chronology mediate between the archaeological find and its interpretation? What discourses inform the activities involved in the creation of the archaeological record? How does the organization of labour affect the activities of an excavation? And how is archaeological data used to support the construction of archetypes about the past of a given community? In this context, archaeology has been seen as instrumental in supplying data used to create historical narratives.

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XXX(Insert section about excluded past, and prehistory?)

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XXX(Insert section on museums.)


In the physical sense, boundaries point to in-between territories of intense activity, spaces of transition where everything is in constant state of flux: Identity, economy, and sovereignty, for example, are up for negotiation at the boundary between two states. Boundaries can operate at the individual and personal, as well as at the collective and social level. At the level of the individual physical boundaries signal the reach and extent of the body. Boundaries can also be of time. In this manner they frame states of being, such as the significant moments in time in the individual's life-cycle. Thus, "being at the boundary" is accompanied by the

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110. Buchli, V., "Interpreting material culture, the trouble with text", IMAGE imgs/index71.gif