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.
, Anne Clarke
, Ursula Frederick
Left Coast Press Inc
Country of Publication:
31 December 2014
Further / Higher Education
Preface 1. Introduction: narrating intimacy, affect and things Steve Brown, Ursula Frederick and Anne Clarke 2. What this awl means Janet Spector 3. On toothpicks and elephants Alexandra Kelly 4. Walking straight through places and times: finding an Acheulian hand ax Allison Mickel 5. Marooned! The old people, a dolphin and a model canoe Anne Clarke 6. Shalimar Denis Byrne 7. TBC Emma Waterton 8. Tradition and inventiveness: decolonising an Indian bell Giovanna Vitelli 9. A voyage of discovery: biography and identity in early Medieval Dublin and today Harold Mytum 10. A steely gaze: my captivation with the American tintype Heather Law Pezzarossi 11. A cake of spinifex resin Heidi T. Pitman 12. Can, door, heritage: a conflict to post-conflict object narrative John Giblin 13. Pointing to the past Lesley A. Beaumont 14. The reality of whales: reflections from a follower of whales Lynette Russell 15. The Salt Pan Creek boondi Paul Irish 16. Transformative material, transformative object: the impact of a bronze axe Rachel Crellin 17. The prosaic platter Ralph Mills 18. The claw: a song of electrons Robert Maxwell 19. Reflections and connections Robin Torrence 20. Dido and the basket: fragments towards a non-linear history Ruth Tringham 21. A Neolithic house with two hearths at Osanni, South Korea Sarah Milledge Nelson 22. Naughtiness on the mission Steve Brown 23. The materiality of Polynesian plainware pottery Tom Sapienza 24. Man with hat and pipe: inscribing convict identities in time and place Tracy Ireland 25. Sandman Ursula Frederick 26. Afterword: the resonance of a trowel Jane Lydon Index
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
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 ...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