What makes us beat? Toward a heart-centered practice in archaeological research

Author(s): Kisha Supernant; Natasha Lyons

Year: 2017


Within the discipline of archaeology, we conventionally employ rational, science-based analyses to examine ancient cultures. Yet the lives of archaeological practitioners, contemporary descent communities, and the ancient peoples we study, are more than just minds and bodies. In this paper, we outline a framework for a heart-centered archaeological practice that draws from foundational literature on feminist, indigenous, and community-based archaeologies. We posit that a heart-centered archaeology will allow us to bring our whole and integrated selves to our practices and will broaden our understanding of and relation to the lives of the people we study. Like the organ we draw inspiration from, an archaeology of the heart flows through four main channels: 1) care; 2) emotion; 3) relationality, and 4) rigour, strengthening and feeding the structure of the discipline. Heart-centered practice, guided by these principles in the past and present, opens new avenues of research and pedagogy in which the relationships we build with ourselves, other humans, and the broader world inform our understanding of the material record and shift the ways we teach and learn about the past. Using examples from our experience, we work to discover how these principles can be applied to archaeological research and pedagogy.

Cite this Record

What makes us beat? Toward a heart-centered practice in archaeological research. Kisha Supernant, Natasha Lyons. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429774)


Geographic Keywords
North America-Canada

Spatial Coverage

min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16141