Cities against the state: a new collaboration between archaeology and Forensic Architecture

Monday, April 17, 2023 12:00 PM

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.