This project will challenge a diverse network of researchers to rethink one of the oldest assumptions in archaeology: that material culture can reveal the identity of past peoples. It is a fundamental issue repeatedly cited yet rarely explored in depth. By assembling specialists covering a wide array of time periods and geographical areas, we aim to problematise the concept of archaeological identity, raising new questions and providing new approaches. Developed and led entirely by early career researchers affiliated with Archaeology at the University of Glasgow but representing five institutions in four countries, the project will involve a collaborative workshop culminating in an edited volume of papers. As well as this published outcome, the project is also sponsoring a series of seminars in autumn 2012 in which we invite scholars not affiliated with the project to present cutting edge research on identity.
This project aims to deconstruct the way archaeologists deal with identity, then reconstruct our approach by focusing on the creation, conception and consumption of material culture. Our objective is threefold: first, to commission new research from emerging voices in the field; second, to consolidate and disseminate these advances through a new peer-reviewed volume; and third, to promote a longer-term discussion by sponsoring a series of public lectures and backed with an accompanying website.