Anarchy and Archaeology


  • James L. Flexner University of Sydney
  • Edward Gonzalez-Tennant University of Central Florida



Anarchism, radical archaeologies, politics and archaeology, archaeological theory


Anarchist theory is having a ‘moment’ in the social sciences. A growing number of scholars draw on anarchist thought to conceptualize human history and offer solutions grounded in direct democracy for a range of modern ills, including racism, sexism, and structural violence. As scholars wake to the realization that universities have become instruments for the advancement of capital, and as contemporary politics continues to embrace ethnonationalism, neoliberalism, and patriarchy, engagements with anarchist thought and practice have emerged in the academy and more broadly. What does this mean for contemporary archaeology? Here, we raise questions relating to three potential threads: the archaeology of anarchists; the use of anarchism to inform archaeological theory and practice; and the use of archaeological knowledge to inform contemporary anarchisms.


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Author Biographies

James L. Flexner, University of Sydney

James Flexner is a lecturer in historical archaeology and heritage at the University of Sydney. He has ongoing collaborative fieldwork projects in Vanuatu, Tasmania, and Queensland. Address for correspondence: Department of Archaeology, Quadrangle Building (A14), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

Edward Gonzalez-Tennant, University of Central Florida

Edward Gonzalez-Tennant is a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida. Details about his work are available at Address for correspondence: Department of Anthropology, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd, Howard Phillips Hall Rm 309, Orlando, FL 32816-1361, USA.


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How to Cite

Flexner, J. L., & Gonzalez-Tennant, E. (2019). Anarchy and Archaeology. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 5(2), 213–219.



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