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Archaeologies of Listening$
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Peter R. Schmidt and Alice B. Kehoe

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056241

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056241.001.0001

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Listening and Waiting, Excavating Later

Listening and Waiting, Excavating Later

(p.177) 9 Listening and Waiting, Excavating Later
Archaeologies of Listening

Peter R. Schmidt

University Press of Florida

Careful listening to oral traditions, a significant part of Tanzanian Haya heritage, for nearly a year led to an ancient shrine where Haya elders encouraged excavations. This was early participatory community archaeology, where indigenous knowledge and the initiative of elders paved the way to significant archaeological finds about iron technology and the enduring qualities of knowledge preserved by ritual performance. Patient apprenticeship to knowledge-keepers during ethnoarchaeological observations of iron technology also led to significant insights into inventive techniques in iron technology that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Listening with epistemic humility, opening ourselves to other ways of constructing history and heritage, unveils heritage under treat. A forgotten massacre by German colonials, the knowledge of which has been erased by disease and globalization, was revealed and is now preserved only by listening closely to Haya elders five decades ago.

Keywords:   Haya, Tanzania, Indigenous knowledge, Epistemic humility, Participatory Community Archaeology, Oral Traditions

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