Cities against the state: a new collaboration between archaeology and Forensic Architecture
David Wengrow, DPhil.
Professor of Comparative Archaeology
Institute of Archaeology
University College London
Building on my work with David Graeber (The Dawn of Everything), I will briefly introduce a new collaboration with Forensic Architecture (Eyal Weizman). We suggest an alignment between these two projects, which both seek to query the authority of state narratives by extracting counter-archives of information: respectively from the archaeological record, and from crime scenes. To explore this alignment, I will discuss the case of 6000-year-old settlements identified by archaeologists on the Bug-Dnieper interfluve, in modern Ukraine, which have been used to question the definition of “urbanisation” and the position of the modern state as a telos of human social development.