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date: 19 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks to the contribution an archaeology of the contemporary past can make to reframing conceptions of Indigenous authenticity. Drawing on archaeological fieldwork experiences from the 1980s in New South Wales, Australia, the author, in retrospect, realizes the extent to which what he had framed, in positivist terms, as prehistoric stone artefacts that comprised a field of affective intensity for his Aboriginal co-worker. The chapter reviews new thinking on archaeological materiality and the potential it offers for a reconsideration of concepts such as authenticity and assimilation which have so influenced and constrained white thinking about the cultural ‘validity’ of contemporary Indigenous material culture.

Keywords: Indigenous, stone artefacts, New South Wales, Aboriginal, authenticity, assimilation

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