History is of critical importance for anthropology because, in human affairs, the present is intimately linked to the past. Archaeology is important to the study of history because the material remains of the past supplement and interrogate historical documents. Collaboration between cultural anthropologists and archaeologists will produce a broader knowledge of past worlds and how those worlds have been constructed in historical texts, both past and present. Cultural anthropologists and archaeologists should also compare the ways in which they engage in discussions about the past with both the American public and local communities—discussions that are quite different in the two subfields.

[Erratum, Closure]

An erratum has been published for this article:
It's A Material World: History, Artifacts, and Anthropology

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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