Whereas Sarr and Savoy (2018) focus on artefacts taken from various African countries after 1885, Incidental archaeologists, considers “the first four decades of the French conquest and pacification of Algeria under the authority of the French military Government General” (p. 24). Throughout the volume, Effros presents a convincing argument in which the social history of military infrastructure lays the groundwork for the future of the French civilising mission. She is clear about the magnitude of the task that the book is engaged in; it provides links between early French archaeologists and epigraphers and their place within the development of the disciplines. It also considers the ways by which romanticised narratives, created by French officers, about the classical archaeology of Algeria led to irresponsible destruction of antiquity, violence against local resistant populations and classifications that became constitutive of colonial archaeological interest and practice.
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