Beyond colonialism? A comment on the formulation of ‘contact’ archaeology in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Australian archaeologists have been grappling with the complexities of ‘contact archaeology’ since the early 1990s, following pioneering work undertaken by Jim Allen, Judy Birmingham and Campbell Macknight, amongst others. Since that time various alternatives to the usage of the term ‘contact’ have been offered, including ‘cross-cultural encounter’, ‘interaction’, ‘engagement’, ‘negotiation’, ‘exchange’ and ‘entanglement’. Readers well-versed in the Australian literature will recognise this as a familiar problem rather than a revelation. Nonetheless, this paper highlights that ongoing issues persist with regard to how we name, frame and explain archaeologies of culture contact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-98
Number of pages3
JournalAustralian Archaeology
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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