Archaeologies of the Present and Sedimented Futures
Reflections from Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
Keywords:Andes, craft production, development, ethnoarchaeology, futurities, ruination
AbstractIn this article, I argue for the merits of a future-oriented ethnoarchaeology that engages recent critiques of ethnoarchaeology and underscores the material traces of our own practices. I develop such an approach by discussing the recent work of the Proyecto Ollero Titicaca Sur, an archaeological, ethnographic, and historic project that explores ceramic craft production in the Lake Titicaca basin, Bolivia. This research was originally framed as an analogy-driven ethnoarchaeological project, connecting dynamics of pottery production with research into crafting communities in the deeper past. However, ongoing work has revealed a community defined not just by the material traces of a historical tradition but also by differential and “arrested” futures. This plurality of futures includes the often-unacknowledged relationship of the ethnoarchaeologist to a larger landscape of development.
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