Examining three local initiatives, Schmidt draws on his experience as an anthropologist invited to collaborate and co-produce with the Haya to provide a poignant rendering of the successes, conflicts, and failures that punctuated their participatory community research efforts. This frank appraisal privileges local voices and focuses attention on the unique and important contributions that such projects can make to the preservation of regional history. Through this blend of personalized narrative and analytical examination, the book provides fresh insights into African archaeology and heritage studies.
Community Archaeology and Heritage in Africa reflects a determined effort to change how archaeology is taught to future generations. Through community-based participatory approaches, archaeologists and heritage professionals can benefit from shared resources and local knowledge; and by sharing decision-making with members of local communities, archaeological inquiry can enhance their way of life, ameliorate their human rights concerns, and meet their daily needs to build better futures. Exchanging traditional power structures for research design and implementation, the examples outlined in this volume demonstrate the discipline’s exciting capacity to move forward to achieve its potential as a broader, more accessible, and more inclusive field.