Archaeologies of contemporary past (What is contemporary archaeology?…
Archaeologies of contemporary past
Fuday, Dutch shipwreck 16th / 17th century trading vessel- evidence of capitalism and modernity.
Archaeologia (Latin) "aquarian lore", from Greek arkhaios ("primal, old, ancient") = logos "speech, oration, study".
Archaeology is about finding out where their society comes from, and people in the modern world trying to relate their life to the past.
Past and present
when does the past end and the present begin- is an archaeology of WW1 useful? - invasion defences- anti-tank fences.
What is contemporary archaeology?
Modern is a historical period from the 16th c to the present.
How much of the modern world has changed in our and our parents lifetimes?
What do we collect? what do we preserve as evidence? how do we decide what to protect?
What we document is very personal, significant things in our life. However thorough we think we're being we will always over look mundane things e.g. making a cup of tea- unlikely to be recorded but may stop being practised.e.g. library stamps- details that might be forgotten.
The way that we depict ourselves in the media is very different from the way to the way things are to us. e.g. single use plastics and the over abundance, but this is never represented in films etc.
The ruins of St Peters seminary
Made the 100 most endangered sites lift
Became amandoned- highly protected, although falling apart.
Arguments of modern-era archaeology
Rationale for contemporary archaeology
Glasgow's M74- most significant recent Scottish archaeological project, as it caused such disruption to the Urban landscape. The fine detail of life in early industrialised Glasgow had been lost until the excavation.- The idea of protecting these buildings is a very new thing.- we also get a picture of the material culture- emergence of culture we assumed existed, but is slightly starting to vanish.- showed circular washhouses.
Dixon Iron Work (Dixon's Blazes)- iron work that is constantly blazing, came from Yorkshire (built on a model from yorkshire) and set up a very modern iron works in Glasgow, build because of the coal deposits. 5 blast furnaces.- the people would have lived in very small tennement's, pictures and depictions were inaccurate and didn't provide an insight into the peoples actual lives, as it depends on who had the resources to print these images.
We learn a lot about the way people lived through modern archaeology as a lot of people aren't represented in the written records- a lot of records of wealthy people documented, working class aren't documented very well.
The remineralisation of things we are partially familiar with but aren't sure how they work.
Defences in Britian
falling into the sea, being built over nd buried, cannot protect them all as they are everywhere.- went round and documened all war defences in Britian.- not well preserved as they were only meant to survive the duration of the war.
Pillboxes- even though some of these aren't very helpful people make them to feel like their part of the war effort.
Mudock anti- aircraft batteries- protect industry in Glasgow during the war.
The Churchill bariers, Orkney- to enclose scapa flow and prevent submarines from entering. Changed it as it went from water-based to more orientated around roads.
Prisoner of war camps e.g. Lamb Holm, Orkney
documentation very poor as they weren't published, left of of maps deliberately, mainly known through word of mouth.
The "Italian Chapel" Catholic chapel, with the support of the local community, changed this modern architecture into something entirely different.
Many Italian prisoners of war stayed in Scotland- and many who went back to Italy still had a fondness of Scotland.