Unsettling Sin and Seeding Healing: Developing the Conversation Around Coloniality in the European Mesolithic

Benjamin Elliott, Graeme Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


We wish to thank all the respondents for their thoughts on the issues we have raised, and the constructive framing of their various points of critique. We found the responses positive and useful, which is somewhat surprising given the demonstrably divisive nature of our position! It should be immediately apparent to those following this discourse that we have neatly split our audience over the utility of a decolonial approach to Mesolithic archaeology. Glørstad and Nilsson Stutz posit that the lens of colonial critique is ill-suited to critical reflection on the European Mesolithic, whilst Porr, Pitcher and Tiwari argue to the contrary. Of course, the position adopted by the respective authors emerges from their different positions of knowledge and experience. This breadth of opinions speaks to an underlying dynamic that we have not, as yet, addressed directly, that of positionality. The diversity in the professional backgrounds of our respondents vastly enriches this debate, whilst also hinting at the source of the mixed response to our approach. Is it any wonder that sociologists of race, Mesolithic researchers with experience of engagement with postcolonial studies outwith Europe, specialists in Indian Prehistory, and the director of one of Europe’s major museums would have wildly different experiences of colonial legacies and engage differentially with the extensive academic literature and analysis which surround them?
Original languageEnglish
JournalNorwegian Archaeological Review
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2023


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