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Object Stories

Artifacts and Archaeologists

Steve Brown Anne Clarke Ursula Frederick



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Left Coast Press
31 December 2014
Archaeologists are synonymous with artifacts. With artifacts we construct stories concerning past lives and livelihoods, yet we rarely write of deeply personal encounters or of the way the lives of objects and our lives become enmeshed. In this volume, 23 archaeologists each tell an intimate story of their experience and entanglement with an evocative artifact. Artifacts range from a New Britain obsidian tool to an abandoned Viking toy boat, the marble finger of a classical Greek statue and ordinary pottery fragments from Roman England and Polynesia. Other tales cover contemporary objects, including a toothpick, bell, door, and the blueprint for a 1970s motorcar. These creative stories are self-consciously personal; they derive from real world encounter viewed through the peculiarities and material intimacy of archaeological practice. This text can be used in undergraduate and graduate courses focused on archaeological interpretation and theory, as well as on material culture and story-telling.
Edited by:   Steve Brown, Anne Clarke, Ursula Frederick
Imprint:   Left Coast Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   408g
ISBN:   9781611323849
ISBN 10:   1611323843
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   31 December 2014
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Further / Higher Education
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Steve Brown is a Cultural Heritage Researcher with the New South Wales government, Australia and a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, Australia. Steve's research interests include the intangible values of landscape (particularly around attachment, belonging and place); the heritage of ephemeral and 'ordinary' physical traces of history across landscapes; applied approaches to managing heritage values of biocultural landscapes; and the heritage of landscapes with the imprint of Indigenous and colonial settler interaction. Steve has recently authored Cultural Landscapes: A Practical Guide for Park Management (2010). Anne (Annie) Clarke is a Senior Lecturer in Heritage Studies and Archaeology at the University of Sydney. Annie's current research interests include the art and archaeology of cross-cultural interactions; mark-making practices at colonial/settler sites of immigration, incarceration and internment; the textual analysis of interpretive signage in protected areas; archaeological approaches to the analysis of ethnographic museum collections; and the creation of archaeological narratives. Her most recent book is Unpacking the Collection: Networks of Material and Social Agency in the Museum, co-edited with Sarah Byrne, Rodney Harrison and Robin Torrence (Springer 2011). Ursula Frederick is an artist and archaeologist based at the Australian National University, Canberra. Her doctoral research (in progress) concerns the art and aesthetics of car cultures. Ursula's broader research interests include visual and material culture and the study of mark-making practices across cultures and time.

Reviews for Object Stories: Artifacts and Archaeologists

So, please, join me in applauding and savouring and launching this beguiling, witty, valuable book, this loving book about objects and the value they bring to the world. --Ross Gibson, Centenary Professor of Creative & Cultural Research, University of Canberra, Australia. 14 May 2015 Object Stories is about the intimate encounters between archaeologists and things. Compiling two dozen personal narratives from around the globe, the editors effectively demonstrate that in finding artifacts archaeologists may also find pieces of themselves. Or did the artifacts find them? --Cornelius Holtorf, Linnaeus University

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