Martin argues that determinations of where and when Iroquoian groups entered the region have political implications that relate to such modern concerns as American Indian land claims.
He writes that “archaeology’s role in society is not purely academic.” It can have immediate consequences for a variety of stakeholders.
Archaeologists, therefore, have a responsibility to become more attuned to the social context in which we do our work.
What this article hints at is something known well among scientists: like artists, they are dependent on benefactors. Benefactors like to appear good to EVERYONE which means they cannot offend ANYONE or a negative voice against them is heard, which counts more than a thousand positive voices.
So they want no controversy. That means if a living Indian tribe says that certain artifacts came from an Indian tribe and not a European one, that has to be “the truth.” After all, an underdog has more sympathy value with The Crowd than someone who is comfortably making science from a trouble-free background.
This means that our desires for conclusions overshadow our ability to discern truth; we’re literally declaring what we’ll find and then find it, since we have politically eliminated parts of the truth.
Tags: cognitive dissonance