There is no shortage of television coverage of ‘big-name’ sites like Stonehenge. As I write I am still digesting the ‘new’ revelations of last week’s programme on Channel Five which presented a detailed breakdown of research on the big pits surrounding Durrington Walls.
Archaeologists like to pigeonhole things. It helps us to categorize and interpret the data we find. But life does not always conform to quite such clearly defined ways. We have to be careful that our organizational need for boundaries does not
The world of archaeology in the United Kingdom has been rocked this year by the announced closure of various university archaeology departments; some well publicised, some sneaking through with nary a comment. I felt a blog coming on about the loss of opportunity to put the past in perspective and consider the depth it provides to British society today. You do not have to take up a career in archaeology for a degree in the subject to be worthwhile. But then I was sidetracked by some rather ill-informed words in the Spectator about immigration and ‘the country’s original inhabitants’.
I’ve been enjoying some time with others, exploring the archaeological sites of Orkney. I always appreciate the variety of monuments here. There are sites relating to all the major periods of prehistory and history and it is a great opportunity to discuss not only the developing course of human society and lifestyles through time, but also the ways in which archaeologists untangle and analyse data. There are locations that lend themselves to a discussion of the traditional world of archaeology into which I was educated, and sites where it is possible to think about the myriad of forensic applications that can now be used to add a wealth of data to the pot. Archaeological interpretations have become so intimate and detailed that I sometimes think there is little privacy left for those who once inhabited an area once an archaeological research team has set their sights on it.
Hindsight, we are told, is a wonderful thing. In many ways, it is. But in some ways, it can hinder our view of the world.
Over the past few years, I have been part of a team researching the changing Continue reading Hindsight
I am old enough to remember the introduction of immersive ‘time travel’ type heritage displays. They often involved using electric ‘cars’ to progress through a reconstruction, or series of reconstructions, of the past. There were even sounds, and appropriate smells, along the way. I, along with many others, loved them. Continue reading Warts and All…