Genuine Reproductions: Ethics, Practicalities and Problems in Creating a Replica of a Zemi from Carriacou
Author(s): John Swogger
When is a copy not a fake?
In 2014, the Carriacou Archaeology Project (University of Oregon; University of London) excavated a unique stone zemi at the Grand Bay site on the island of Carriacou, Grenada. The decision was made to create casts of the zemi in order to facilitate simultaneous display of the object in multiple island museums. It was hoped this would allow both museums to advocate the small island of Carriacou as a site of particular archaeological significance, to stimulate scientific tourism and promote the research potential of the island to post-graduates.
However, the making of the casts has raised some potentially problematic issues. The original intention was that the museums would display the casts correctly labelled as copies. This has not happened, raising the question as to whether or not the casts are moving from being mere "replicas" to being fakes: copies which deceive - however unintentionally or benignly. And because the casts increase the "visibility" of the original they are adding new layers of economic and aesthetic value to the original – with potential implications for theft, forgery and looting.
Cite this Record
Genuine Reproductions: Ethics, Practicalities and Problems in Creating a Replica of a Zemi from Carriacou. John Swogger. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444921)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21217