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Special Collection

Inequality and Race in the Histories of Archaeology

Collection launched: 06 May 2021

This special issue gathers together a selection of short articles reflecting on the historical construction of inequality and race in the histories of archaeology. The articles also suggest ways in which the discipline might grapple with the—often obvious, sometimes subtle—consequences of that historical process. Solicited via an open call for papers in the summer of 2020 (one made with the aim of speedy publication), the breadth of the topics discussed in the articles reflect how inequality and race have become more prominent research themes within the histories of archaeology in the previous five-to-ten years. At the same time, they show that research can—and should—be connected to attempts to promote social justice and an end to racial discrimination within archaeological practice, the archaeological profession, and the wider worlds with which the discipline interacts. Published at a time when a pandemic has not only swept the world, but also exposed such inequalities further, the special issue represents a positive intervention in what continues to be a contentious issue.

Image: "The Singer" leading the Egyptian archaeologists during the Egypt Exploration Society excavation of the sacred animal necropolis at Saqqara. (EES archive number SAQ-SAN.SLI.W.030) (photograph scanned and recaptured for #EESUnpackingColonialism by Julia Hamilton ) Courtesy of the Egypt Exploration Society.