New paper in Advances in Archaeological Practice
Recent trends in the practice of archaeology have seen the emergence of the active involvement of stakeholders in the research process. This is an important development, given that the relationship between archaeologists and the communities that they work with has been tenuous, particularly when archaeological findings contest ethnic identities. As a case in point, the findings of the Ifugao Archaeological Project (Philippines) question the bases of Ifugao identity. Ifugao identity is centered on wet-rice production and resistance to colonialism. Previously, the dating of the inception of the Ifugao rice terraces was placed at 2,000 years ago. The findings of the Ifugao Archaeological Project (IAP), however, suggest that the construction of the terraces coincided with the arrival of the Spanish in the northern Philippines. Initially, this finding did not sit well the larger Ifugao descendant communities, but, as our article narrates, the pursuit to actively involve stakeholders in the research process resolved this issue. Our experience in Ifugao has shown that the inclusion of the voices of stakeholders in the interpretation of the past is inadequate because it suggests that indigenous stakeholders are simply contributors to, and not co-investigators of, research projects. As our work in Ifugao demonstrates, primary stakeholders are now co-investigators (exemplified by this coauthored article).