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Making archaeology abroad. A postcolonial perspective in Malta

Rossi, AM; (2015) Making archaeology abroad. A postcolonial perspective in Malta. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This research is about the archaeological making of the Tas-Silġ site in Malta. Archaeological investigations in Tas-Silġ have been mainly carried out by a foreign research entity (Missione Archeologica Italiana a Malta). This research explores nature, development and impact of the Italian project within the wider context of Maltese political and archaeological decolonisation. To unpack the making of the Tas-Silġ site, this study looks into the micro politics of the archaeological process and unravels the tensions that have accompanied it. In particular this study: 1) microexcavates the convoluted process that established and maintained an Italian research team as privileged interpret of the archaeology in Tas- Silġ; 2) assesses impacts and relevance of this long-term Italian project in postcolonial Malta; and 3) examines how archaeological process and site layout interact to produce forms of intellectual and physical dislocation. The research adopts a qualitative approach to give voice to the whole gamut of participants that have defined, negotiated and challenged the making of Tas-Silġ. The research shows that Missione control over the site and the archaeological knowledge derived from its investigations is highly controversial. However it reaches the conclusion that Missione involvement in Malta cannot be assessed against binary categories of local/foreigner and colonial/postcolonial although those elements have a role in defining this association. In addressing the situated complexity of making archaeology in Tas-Silġ, this research sets up a space of discussion on the ambivalence of foreign archaeology in decolonised countries.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Making archaeology abroad. A postcolonial perspective in Malta
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471971
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