Collective Re-Excavation and Lost Media from the Last Century of British Prehistoric Studies

Authors

  • Jennifer Wexler MicroPasts Project, British Museum
  • Andrew Bevan University College London
  • Chiara Bonacchi University College London, UK
  • Adi Keinan-Schoonbaert University College London
  • Daniel Pett British Museum
  • Neil Wilkin British Museum

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.v2i1.27124

Keywords:

archives, Bronze Age, card indexes, digitization, media archaeology, MicroPasts Project

Abstract

There are thousands of forgotten archaeological archives hidden away in repositories all over the world, lost worlds where many scholars have toiled away for years, trying to record every detail and bit of information available about rare and precious archaeological objects in an attempt to bring order and understanding to an almost incomprehensible past. This paper discusses how these archives can be approached through Huhtamo’s definition of media archaeology as a ‘historically-attuned enterprise’ that involves ‘excavating forgotten media-cultural phenomena’, focusing on the MicroPasts digitization project. It is shown that greater utilization of digital media simply changes and extends the terms of engagement, accessibility, and flow of information from antiquated archaeological archives to the community and back again.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Jennifer Wexler, MicroPasts Project, British Museum

Jennifer Wexler is Bronze Age Index Manager in the MicroPasts Project at the British Museum and an honorary research associate at the UCL Institute of Archaeology

Andrew Bevan, University College London

Andrew Bevan is Professor of Spatial and Comparative Archaeology at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

Chiara Bonacchi, University College London, UK

Chiara Bonacchi is a Research Associate on the MicroPasts and MicroPasts Knowledge Exchanges Projects at the UCL Institute of Archaeology

Adi Keinan-Schoonbaert, University College London

Adi Keinan-Schoonbaert is a digital curator at the British Library and an honorary research associate at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

Daniel Pett, British Museum

Daniel Pett is the former ICT officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme (finds.org.uk) and is now developing of creative digital projects at the British Museum. He is an Honorary Lecturer at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

Neil Wilkin, British Museum

Neil Wilkin is Curator of the British and European Bronze Age collection at the British Museum.

References

Bennett, T. 2013. “The ‘Shuffle of Things’ and the Distribution of Agency.” In Reassembling the Collection: Ethnographic Museums and Indigenous Agency, edited by R. Harrison, S. Byrne, and A. Clarke, 39–60. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press.

Bevan, A., D. Pett, C. Bonacchi, A. Keinan-Schoonbaert, D. Lombraña González, R. Sparks, J. Wexler and N. Wilkin. 2014. “Citizen Archaeologists. Online Collaborative Research about the Human Past.” Human Computation 1(2): 183–197.

Bonacchi, C., ed., 2012. Archaeology and Digital Communication: Towards Strategies of Public Engagement. London: Archetype Publications.

____., A. Bevan, D. Pett and A. Keinan-Schoonbaert. 2014. “Crowd- and Community-fuelled Archaeology. Early Results from the MicroPasts Project.” Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, CAA 2014, edited by L. Costa, F. Djindjian, F. Giligny and P. Moscati, 1–10. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

____., A. Bevan, D. Pett, A. Keinan-Schoonbaert, R. Sparks, J. Wexler and N. Wilkin. 2014. “Crowd-sourced Archaeological Research: The MicroPasts Project.” Archaeology International 17: 61–68.

Bradley, R. 2013. “Time Traveller: Montelius and the British Bronze Age after 100 Years.” In Counterpoint: Essays in Archaeology and Heritage Studies in Honour of Professor Kristian Kristiansen, edited by S. Bergerbrant and S. Sabatini, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 2508: 649–653. Oxford: Archaeopress

curiouscraig42 [C. Horton] (2014) Comment on forum thread “Just a Silly Thought.” 4 June. Available online: http://community.micropasts.org/t/just-a-silly-thought/140/6

Doherty, J. 2014. “Crowdsourcing the Bronze Age.” Pybossa 5 June. Available online: http://pybossa.com/blog/2014/06/05/crowdsourcing-the-bronze-age/

Ernst, W. 2013. Digital Memory and the Archive. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Harris, V. 2002. “The Archival Sliver: Power, Memory, and Archives in South Africa.” Archival Science 2: 63–86.

Harrison, R. 2014. “Observing, Collecting and Governing ‘Ourselves’ and ‘Others’: Mass-Observation’s Fieldwork Agencements.” History and Anthropology 25(2): 227–245.

Huhtamo, E. 2010. “Natural Magic: A Cultural history of Moving Images.” In The Routledge Companion to Film History, edited by W. Guynn., 3–15. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Keinan-Schoonbaert, A., 2014.“MicroPasts – An Innovative Place for Progressing Research.” British Archaeology 139: 50–55.

Latour, B. 1986. “Visualisation and Cognition: Drawing Things Together.” In Knowledge and Society: Studies in the Sociology of Culture Past and Present, Volume 6, edited by H. Kuklick and E. Long, 1–40. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Mu?ller-Wille, S. and S. Scharf. 2009. Indexing Nature: Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) and his Fact-Gathering Strategies. Working Papers on The Nature of Evidence: How Well Do ‘Facts’ Travel? 36/08. London: Department of Economic History, London School of Economics. Available online: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/pdf/FACTSPDF/3909MuellerWilleScharf.pdf

Murray, T. 2014. From Antiquarian to Archaeologist: The History and Philosophy of Archaeology. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword Archaeology.

Newman, M. 2011. “The Database as Material Culture.” Internet Archaeology 29. Available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.29.8

Parikka, J. 2013. “Archival Media Theory: An Introduction to Wolfgang Ernst’s Media Archaeology.” In Digital Memory and the Archive, edited by W. Ernst, 1–22. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Richardson, L. 2013. “A Digital Public Archaeology?” Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 23: Art. 10 (online edition). http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/pia.431

Downloads

Published

2015-09-02

How to Cite

Wexler, J., Bevan, A., Bonacchi, C., Keinan-Schoonbaert, A., Pett, D., & Wilkin, N. (2015). Collective Re-Excavation and Lost Media from the Last Century of British Prehistoric Studies. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 2(1), 126–142. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.v2i1.27124

Issue

Section

Forum