Date of Graduation

Fall 12-14-2018

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Museum Studies

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Museum Studies

First Advisor

Stephanie Brown

Abstract

In colonial times, Western empires used orientalism to justify and perpetuate colonialism and imperialism over countries that they believed inferior to their own. These imperial powers plundered cultural heritage artifacts from the nations they oppressed and took these objects back to their national museums to be displayed as trophies of subjugation. The ownership of cultural heritage remains a point of contention throughout the field of museum studies. Despite cries for repatriation, these artifacts continue to be housed in universal museums today. One of the most well-known cases is that of the Rosetta Stone, stripped from the city of Rashid, Egypt in 1799 and displayed thereafter in the British Museum. This capstone advocates for the British Museum to atone for its role in imperial museology and return the Rosetta Stone to the community of Rashid. Based on the methodology of collaborative archaeology, this project proposes a joint effort in collaborative museology between the British Museum, Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the community of Rashid, Egypt.

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