Select Page

Opening Archaeology

Repatriation’s Impact on Contemporary Research and Practice

Edited by Thomas W. Killion

In 1989–90, Congress enacted two laws, the National Museum of the American Indian Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, that required museums and other repositories of Native American human remains and cultural items to consult with, share information about, and return some items to federally recognized Indian tribes and Native Alaskan and Hawaiian communities. What effects have these laws had on anthropological practice, theory, and education in the United States? In 2004–2005, the School for Advanced Research and the Society for Applied Anthropology gathered together a group of anthropological archaeologists to address this question. This volume presents their conclusions and urges a continuing and increasing cooperation between anthropologists and indigenous peoples.

2008. 288 pp., 1 illustration 8 tables, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Tamara Bray, Kathleen Fine-Dare, Ann M. Kakaliouras, Thomas W. Killion, Keith W. Kintigh, Dorothy Lippert, Stephen Loring, David Hurst Thomas, Joe Watkins, Larry Zimmerman

Download an excerpt.

Opening Archaeology…is recommended for most tribal college libraries.

[The book includes] histories of anthropology’s interactions with Native peoples, discussions of colonialism and anthropology, and case studies of post-NAGPRA projects that would be of interest to many in the triblal college community.”
—Emily Lena Jones, Tribal College Journal, Vol. 20, No. 4, Summer 2009

“This is an excellent collection of papers…on the controversies that have rocked archaeology over the past fifteen years….[A] perfect textbook for introducing students to the history of ethical controversies.”
—K. Anne Pyburn, University of Indiana

“This thought provoking collection of essays draws scholarly attention to one of the unintended consequences of repatriation, that is, how NAGPRA and the NMAI Act have increased interaction with Native Americans in a positive manner that is significantly changing archaeological method, theory, and practice.”
—T. J. Ferguson, University of Arizona


  1. Opening Archaeology: Repatriation’s Impact on Contemporary Research and Practice
    Thomas W. Killion
  2. Histories of the Repatriation Movement
    Kathleen Fine-Dare
  3. American Archaeology in the Twenty-First Century: Back to the Future?
    David Hurst Thomas
  4. Repatriation and Archaeology’s Second Loss of Innocence: On Knowledge, Power, and the Past
    Tamara L. Bray
  5. Multivocality, Descendant Communities, and Some Epistemological Shifts Forced by Repatriation
    Larry J. Zimmerman
  6. Toward a “New and Different” Osteology: A Reflexive Critique of Physical Anthropology in the United States since the Passage of NAGPRA
    Ann M. Kakaliouras
  7. A View from the Trenches: Memories of Repatriation at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
    Thomas W. Killion
  8. The Rise of Indigenous Archaeology: How Repatriation Has Transformed Archaeological Ethics and Practice
    Dorothy Lippert
  9. The Repatriation Arena: Control, Conflict, and Compromise
    Joe Watkins
  10. The Wind Blows Everything off the Ground: New Provisions and New Directions in Archaeological Research in the North
    Stephen Loring
  11. Repatriation as a Force of Change in Southwestern Archaeology
    Keith W. Kintigh
  12. The Impact of NAGPRA on Anthropology: A View from Cultural Resource Management in the Pacific Northwest
    Darby C. Stapp

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.