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Archaeology as Storytelling

Author(s): Samantha Easy

Year: 2017

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The rise of open source publications has increasingly made archaeological research available to wider audiences and yet the knowledge we as archaeologists produce is not always freely accessible or available. It is fully understood within our discipline that archaeological sites have strong connections to the past; that they are embodied spaces and irreplaceable sources of knowledge. However, this view of sites does not always extend to the broader public or to communities with ties to those spaces. In the course of my research on the Mid to Late Stone Age, I have often encountered disparities between the way I value sites or artefacts and the ways in which they are seen by community members or developers. The potential for archaeology to be active in shaping social order lies in the way we imagine the connection between ourselves and the past, and in how reconstructions of the past influence everyday action. I argue that storytelling is a form of transformative pedagogy which has the potential to foster engagement with sites and artefacts, and to extend archaeological knowledge beyond academic institutions by establishing connections between sites and living communities and providing the space for people to engage with the past.

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Archaeology as Storytelling. Samantha Easy. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431733)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16660

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