Just before Christmas a new book came out. Researching the Archaeological Past Through Imagined Narratives is edited by Daniel van Helden and Robert Witcher. It is published by Routledge. The ideas for the book have been long in gestation, and were first aired together at a session of the Theoretical Archaeology Group conference in Bradford in 2015. It is rather nice to see them come to fruition in what will, I hope, be a useful publication for many. The topics are wide ranging but all focus on the role of narrative fiction in archaeology. Some look at the construction of narrative, some at the relationship between fiction and fact, some at varying uses of fiction. They cover different types of fiction too; from novels, to poetry, plays, and screen. The pieces examine a wide time range from the Mesolithic to Medieval. I’ve got a chapter in it which was fun to put together and considers something I have come to feel passionately about: the way in which there is no ‘archaeological truth’.
Have a look for yourselves. Though the hardback is expensive, there is an ebook, and, of course, possible library options!