Open eyes, open minds, open arms, and open hearts open archaeology

Author(s): John Welch

Year: 2017


Archaeologists share formidable qualities of mind and temperament: observational acuity, organizational skill, perseverance. These are necessary, of course, in the sifting through of vast arrays of questions to address, evidence to harness, methods to deploy, and interpretive lenses to employ. Such rigor-making attributes may not, however, be sufficient for effective practice at hazy contacts among material pasts and intangible presents, for negotiating meanings and values out of that haze, or for investing those meanings and values into projects with non-academic benefits and beneficiaries. Success in such pursuits, including transdisciplinary research and community-driven practice, often requires high tolerance for ambiguity in measures at least equal to precision and consistency. Keeping eyes, minds, and arms open to possibilities for unanticipated ways of seeing, knowing, and collaborating—a discipline dependent as much on relaxation as on rigour—opens archaeology to the benefits of humankind’s most potent ally, positive affect.

Cite this Record

Open eyes, open minds, open arms, and open hearts open archaeology. John Welch. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429766)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13290