Doing Archaeology in Non-State Space


  • James L. Flexner University of Sydney



community archaeology, consensus and collaboration, non-state space


Non-state space can be defined as a type of social space in which permanent hierarchies of various sorts are actively resisted or prevented from emerging. I reflect on my experiences working as an archaeologist doing collaborative field research on Erromango Island, Vanuatu, which fits many of the characteristic features of non-state spaces. Fieldwork on Erromango reflects paradoxical habits of scepticism regarding outsiders, while being welcoming and accommodating at the same time. A potential exists in the interfaces between state and non-state space to reconsider what is possible in research, and in our engagements with our own and other societies.


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Author Biography

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.


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How to Cite

Flexner, J. L. (2019). Doing Archaeology in Non-State Space. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 5(2), 254–259.



Anarchy and Archaeology Forum - OPEN ACCESS

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