Object Stories: Artifacts and Archaeologists

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Steve Brown, Anne Clarke, Ursula Frederick
Left Coast Press, Dec 31, 2014 - Social Science - 246 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
11
1 Encounter Engagement and Object Stories Steve Brown Ursula Frederick and Anne Clarke
13
2 What This Awl Means Janet Spector
29
3 On Toothpicks and Elephants Alexandra Kelly
35
Finding an Acheulian Hand Axe Allison Mickel
43
5 Marooned The Old People a Dolphin and a Model Canoe Anne Clarke
51
6 Shalimar Denis Byrne
57
7 Karmas Fathers Cup Emma Waterton
65
The Impact of a Bronze Axe Rachel Crellin
131
17 The Prosaic Platter Ralph Mills
139
A Song of Electrons Robert Maxwell
147
19 Reflections and Connections Robin Torrence
153
Fragments Towards a Nonlinear History Ruth Tringham
161
21 A Neolithic House with Two Hearths at Osanni South Korea Sarah Milledge Nelson
169
22 Naughtiness on the Mission Steve Brown
177
23 The Materiality of Plainware Pottery in Polynesia Tom Sapienza
185

Decolonising an Indian Bell Giovanna Vitelli
71
Biography and Identity in Early Medieval Dublin and Today Harold Mytum
77
My Captivation with the American Tintype Heather Law Pezzarossi
85
11 A Cake of Spinifex Resin Heidi T Pitman
93
12 Can Door Heritage John Giblin
103
13 Pointing to the Past Lesley A Beaumont
111
Reflections from a Follower of Whales Lynette Russell
119
15 The Salt Pan Creek Boondi Paul Irish
125
24 Man with Hat and Pipe Tracy Ireland
193
25 Enter Sandman Ursula Frederick
201
26 Naming Our Love Jane Lydon
209
References
219
Index
229
About the Authors and Contributors
245
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Steve Brown is a Cultural Heritage Researcher with the New South Wales government, Australia and a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. 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.

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