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Transcending Dualities and Forging Relationships: An Example from Staunton, Virginia

Author(s): Tatiana Niculescu

Year: 2016

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Summary

For archaeologists artifacts are data, objects to be measured, weighed, described, and interpreted.  They are items that can shed light on past political, economic, and social systems.  However, the objects we excavate in the field or study in museums also forge multiple connections and obligations in the present and into the future.   Considering objects in this way allows one not only to better understand the past, but also to more effectively engage the present. More effectively presenting the relationships swirling around artifacts that transcend the past/present, public/private, secular/religious, and general interest/academic dualities, will allow archaeologists to better articulate the relevance of our field beyond simply providing historical background for the present.  In this paper I will focus on one object, a nineteenth century mezuzah curated by a small town synagogue, and the relationships in which it was and is actively enmeshed and the apparent dichotomies which it transcends.    


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Cite this Record

Transcending Dualities and Forging Relationships: An Example from Staunton, Virginia. Tatiana Niculescu. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434911)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 200

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