Doing Archaeology in 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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