Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 April 2018
We thank all of the commentators for raising crucial points that provide us with the opportunity to make important clarifications. Bernbeck and Pollock point out that in our work, only the people of the present matter, rather than those in the past. Although our discussion centres on living people, we also believe that the past is unfinished and that working with it allows us to build a different future. We also believe that archaeology has a responsibility towards the dead. We are, in a Derridean spirit, committed to “those others who are no longer or [. . .] not yet there, presently living, whether they are already dead or not yet born” (Derrida 2012: 18). There is, however, more than an ethical dimension to this; our plea for a new objectivity means that we are interested in the past qua past, not just in representations of the past in the present.