By Michæl Dietler
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Extra info for Archaeologies of Colonialism: Consumption, Entanglement, and Violence in Ancient Mediterranean France
This colonial legacy, of course, extends much deeper than these recent Euro-American manifestations. Indeed, two thousand years ago, perhaps half the world’s population lived under the sovereignty of two immense empires (Roman and Chinese), and one could reasonably make the case that a good part of at least the past five thousand years of human history consists of an incessant series of colonial encounters. And it is not unreasonable to argue that something more than superficial understanding of the present requires a comparative exploration of the broad range of strategies and practices employed in the effort to exert control over other societies around the world and throughout history and the myriad repercussions of those practices.
This discussion serves as the foundation for presenting, in chapter 3, an approach to the colonial encounter that points the way toward circumventing some of these vexing problems. The Renaissance was not so much a “rebirth” as an invention, a self-conscious attempt to link the present directly to a long dead and poorly understood period of the past by negating a millennium of intervening history and a wide variety of other cultural influences. As Michel-Rolph Trouillot has noted, “we need not take the naïve history of the West at face value: Greece did not beget Europe.
Hence, colonization is, ultimately, solidified or maintained through colonialism, but colonialism can also operate without the formal subjugation of foreign territories that colonization implies. Or it may precede an eventual colonization. The nature and effectiveness of such practices defined as colonialism, and their potential permutations, may be extremely variable from one colonial context to another, ranging from such things as trade, to missionary activities, to warfare and raiding, to political administration, to education.
Archaeologies of Colonialism: Consumption, Entanglement, and Violence in Ancient Mediterranean France by Michæl Dietler