Lost in the Move: The Material Culture of Leaving

Author(s): Mary-Cate Garden

Year: 2014


The places and spaces that we mark as ‘home’ are filled with ‘’stuff’--objects imbued with value that make up our lives and help to define our spaces. From treasured objects to clutter, this is the material culture of everyday life (e.g. Miller 2009). This paper will ask what happens to these objects when people are compelled to leave their homes? What is kept and what is lost? A major infrastructure project currently underway in the Province of Ontario is resulting in the displacement of century farms and communities as land is being expropriated and residents relocated. In the process, most of the visual and spatial connections to ‘the past’ and to ‘home’ are being severed. Looking at these empty houses and farms as archaeological sites this paper, drawing in part on work by Buchli and Miller, will discuss new research that uses these ‘lost’ objects--’the small finds left behind when residents are compelled to leave--in order to explore ideas of value, loss, the connection between people/ place and the process of ‘leaving’.References: 2001 Buchli, V & Lucas, G Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past Abingdon: Routledge 2009 Miller, D Stuff London: Polity

Cite this Record

Lost in the Move: The Material Culture of Leaving. Mary-Cate Garden. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436695)

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-13,07