Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society

Paperback | February 1, 2002

byNadia Abu El-Haj

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Archaeology in Israel is truly a national obsession, a practice through which national identity—and national rights—have long been asserted. But how and why did archaeology emerge as such a pervasive force there? How can the practices of archaeology help answer those questions? In this stirring book, Nadia Abu El-Haj addresses these questions and specifies for the first time the relationship between national ideology, colonial settlement, and the production of historical knowledge. She analyzes particular instances of history, artifacts, and landscapes in the making to show how archaeology helped not only to legitimize cultural and political visions but, far more powerfully, to reshape them. Moreover, she places Israeli archaeology in the context of the broader discipline to determine what unites the field across its disparate local traditions and locations.

Boldly uncovering an Israel in which science and politics are mutually constituted, this book shows the ongoing role that archaeology plays in defining the past, present, and future of Palestine and Israel.

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Archaeology in Israel is truly a national obsession, a practice through which national identity—and national rights—have long been asserted. But how and why did archaeology emerge as such a pervasive force there? How can the practices of archaeology help answer those questions? In this stirring book, Nadia Abu El-Haj addresses these qu...

From the Jacket

In this incisive book, Nadia Abu El-Haj demonstrates the role that archaeology has played in Israeli society, examining how it emerged as a pervasive force that has shaped the region's social and political imaginations and has inspired violently contested territorial and national-cultural struggles. Based on archival research and ethno...

Nadia Abu El-Haj is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:363 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:February 1, 2002Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226001954

ISBN - 13:9780226001951

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Author's Note
1. Excavating Archaeology
2. Scientific Beginnings
3. Instituting Archaeology
4. Terrains of Settler Nationhood
5. Positive Facts of Nationhood
6. Excavating Jerusalem
7. Extending Sovereignty
8. Historical Legacies
9. Archaeology and Its Aftermath
10. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index