Re-visiting the field: Collaborative archaeology as paradigm shift

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The emphasis of the JFA on field methods resonates strongly with current disciplinary interest in multivocality and participatory research. In this new epistemology of inclusiveness, communities play an active role in the production of archaeological knowledge as well as in the conservation of cultural heritage. From the perspective of archaeologists trained in the U.S. who conduct research in Latin America, we historicize changes in the triadic relationship among archaeologists, contemporary communities, and things of the past. This examination focuses on the evolving social context of archaeological practice. The social milieu within which archaeology is conducted is explored further by reference to a recent survey of archaeologists that elicited comments on grand challenges to archaeology. A few examples of the many forms that an engaged archaeology might take are offered from the Maya region. Although collaborative research poses challenges that emerge as communities entangled with archaeological practice become research partners, we suggest that the enhanced relevance that accompanies this transformation is well worth the effort.