Community archaeology in Pakistan: three sites in Gandhara as a case study
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This thesis examines the scope of conducting a community archaeology project at three archaeological sites from Gandhara, Pakistan; Mankiala, Mohra Muradu and Jandial. In analyzing this possibility, the context in which such a project would be conducted is presented through a look at Pakistan’s history of archaeological research, as well as a variety of factors that have contributed to the decrepit state of Pakistan’s cultural heritage, today. Community archaeology as a method of archaeological research is discussed in detail, along with its meaning as understood by various scholars, and its importance within archaeological research today. The proposed methodology is then presented; the Community Archaeology Project Quseir (CAPQ) methodology, devised for a project in Quseir, Egypt, has become a primary guiding principle for community archaeology projects worldwide. Its applicability in Pakistan is examined in this study through fieldwork conducted in the form of one-on-one interviews with people residing around the three selected sites, as well as external observations made during site visits. This anthropological fieldwork aimed to explore how interviewees perceived the sites they live around, through conversations about their knowledge regarding the respective sites, and their views on tourism, archaeological research, and possible educational interventions which can aid in enhancing their knowledge, experience and interpretation of archaeological sites. The results of this fieldwork display, amongst other findings, a heightened interest in the aforementioned educational interventions, a positive sign for future archaeological research in the country.