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Theory, representation and cultural politics, Page 2

Experiencing difference

With Lucy Shipley; Photos: Andrew Crosby Last semester the archaeology department launched a new Year 1 UG module called Archaeological Thought. Lucy and I taught the introduction to social/cultural anthropology section and we wanted to somehow give the students an opportunity to experience in a direct, immediate way just how fundamentally strange and different other people’s worlds and practice can be. Continue reading →

Spartan Myths

  Spartan Myths In the early hours of Thursday 17 January, 26-year-old Shehzad Luqman rode his bicycle from the Peristeri suburb of Athens to the farmers’ market (or bakery, according to other reports) in Petralona, not far from the Acropolis, where he’d been working for several months. He was paid 20 euros a day, most of which he sent back to his family in Pakistan. [...] Continue reading →

The death of prehistory

I know this will upset many archaeologists but let’s admit it, prehistory is dead. Adding a pre- to history no longer makes any sense. Pre-history rightly belongs to the Jurassic’s dinosaurs and the wriggling worms of the Cambrian explosion; those shaley superstars Opabinia and Wiwaxia that Stephen Jay Gould trumpeted so loudly in Wonderful Life. Human prehistory deserves better than being lumped with big lizards and creatures with less neurons than an Arctic midge. Continue reading →

Communicating Above Water

This week I have been reflecting on language, not least because I’m writing this on a train travelling through the vowel laden Danish landscape, but also because it has been a recurrent theme within my meetings. I am on my way back from an interesting conference on ‘Offshore Industry and Archaeology’ held in Esbjerg and sponsored by the Offshore Centre, Denmark and Syddansk University. Continue reading →

On the beauty of ancient objects

On the recent Guardian onartblog Jonathan Jones asks Is Archaeology the New Art. Writing about the British Museum’s two new exhibitions on ice-age art and the ancient sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Jones notes how ancient objects are ‘thrilling’ and ‘still fascinate and beguile’. In drawing attention to these distinctive qualities of archaeology, Jones suggests that an emphasis on such attributes is the ‘best way for archaeologists to popularise their research’. Continue reading →

Forthcoming international conference Creativity: An Exploration Through the Bronze Age and Contemporary Responses to the Bronze Age

Members of the HERA-funded project Creativity and Craft Production in Middle and Late Bronze Age Europe (CinBA) ( co-ordinated by myself are getting ready for the forthcoming international conference Creativity: An Exploration Through the Bronze Age and Contemporary Responses to the Bronze Age to be held on 10th-11th April 2013 at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, UK. There is a fantastic line up of speakers drawn from all across Europe ( Continue reading →

A new year at Portus

The New Year has begun auspiciously for all those of us involved with the Portus Project and related work. At one level, we are pushing ahead steadily with completion of the post-excavation work that will form the basis of the final reports on the project. In January, we held the first of three planned Workshops at the British School at Rome (BSR). This was organized by Christina Triantafillou and myself and was very well attended. Continue reading →