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My Father's Things

Author(s): Hein B. Bjerck

Year: 2013

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In the morning of April 5 2009 my father died; he was almost 86 years old. He lived alone, was in good health, and died suddenly. The confrontation with his silenced house was perhaps the worst moment of all. It was here, amidst his material realm, that I could see for myself that he was gone. At the same time, I realized that I had lost more than my father. My father’s home was changed into a material construction.  The human component – my dad – was the coherent force that had kept this complex integration of human-thing-relations in place as a functional whole – a "home". In a single day the home had transformed into a ruin in the making, an initial stage of an archaeological site. His absence accentuated the presence of his material world – and enhanced an awareness of how he was mirrored in his things.

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Cite this Record

My Father's Things. Hein B. Bjerck. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428614)


context Memory Things

Geographic Keywords
Norway Western Europe

Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: 4.883; min lat: 57.988 ; max long: 31.074; max lat: 71.138 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 398

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America