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Allison Mickel

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Allison Mickel

Research Interests: 
The way archaeologists write archaeology, and in investigating what role this process and this product plays in the way archaeological interpretations are created


My research performs an archaeology of archaeology itself, focusing on the histories of two longterm excavations in the Middle East and trying to rewrite them considering the perspective of the laborers hired to work at these sites-- a perspective which has not been considered before. I sit on mountaintops drinking tea with Bedouin men in Petra (Jordan) and share iftar with the past workers at Catalhoyuk (Turkey) in order to assemble oral histories of the 60-year archaeological projects conducted at these sites. I find that not only does this lead to new archaeological data that hasn't been recorded, but also helps to contextualize and deconstruct how conclusions are formed in the field and how archaeological knowledge is produced. Ultimately, using multimedia tools and techniques, I hope to propose a methodology for systematically recording these alternative perspectives in situ, during the course of archaeological excavation, aiming for an archaeology that is more dialogic, better informed, more transparent, and increasingly relevant to diverse audiences.

I received my B.A. from The College of William and Mary in Anthropology and Linguistics, and my M.A. from Stanford University in Anthropology.