Inherited Identities: Constructing the Self through Archaeology in Houten, The Netherlands
Boogaard, F.C. van den
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This thesis deals with the matter of identity construction through history, heritage and archaeology in the town of Houten, the Netherlands. History and heritage are politically constructed concepts that, in spite of their dynamic nature, are associated with unchanging and essential thruths. In a Western scientific paradigm the notion is held the study of history can reap results that are objectively true and accurate representations of 'what really happened'. In this thesis, through looking at the case of volunteer archaeology in Houten, this image of the past being comprised of essential truths is negotiated, and alternative ways of coming to an understanding of history and heritage are shown. These understanding are then linked to the construction of a unique, local identity of Houten to demonstrate how general scientific theories about the construction of history, heritage, and identity operate on a practical level. Through doing so discrepancies between theories and practice are explored to show that archaeology can be a force of connection in communities looking for a shared identity.