Mark Aldenderfer

Grant Type

Workshop Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Merced, U. of

Grant number

Gr. CONF-916

Approve Date

March 8, 2023

Project Title

Aldenderfer, Mark (California, Merced, U. of) "Working together for a vision of Himalayan archaeology"

Himalayan archaeology has been dominated by Western scholars who have set research agendas and published widely read reconstructions of the Himalayan past. Much of this work is based upon the efforts of national and local-level archaeologists who rarely have had the opportunity to engage in dialogue as equals with their Western counterparts. Further, the local and Indigenous peoples of the region are seldom consulted regarding research conducted in their communities. To address these concerns, we propose a workshop, and will invite archaeologists from Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and China, to engage in an open and frank dialogue about multiple visions of the future of Himalayan archaeology. To facilitate this dialogue, we will ask participants to reflect on three themes intended to decolonize archaeological research practices in the Himalayas; assess the state of the discipline in the region; how to move archaeological practice to create a collaborative or community-based archaeology; and the development of best practices for Himalayan archaeology that reflect a range of voices and perspectives and the realities of on-the-ground research in their respective nations. We believe this is the first pan-Himalayan workshop of its kind, one which we hope will create the foundation for a more inclusive archaeology.