Aftermath pp 185-196 | Cite as

Constructing Place: When Artists and Archaeologists Meet

  • John Schofield

Art and archaeological practice are closer than some might think. Some artists work with archaeological material, and interpret archaeological sites through a diversity of approaches and media. Equally, art can become archaeology–Francis Bacon's studio was ‘excavated’ after his death, for example. Even the processes overlap: archaeological fieldwork as performance; the similarity of ‘incavation’, intervention and excavation. Here it is argued that the role of the archaeologist, indeed the very definition of archaeology–to characterise and contextualise material records of the past–can usefully be expanded sometimes to include the contributions of artists.

Overturning Convention

Today we are all archaeologists. (Michael Shanks, commenting on Holtorf 2005).

Convention limits archaeology to the study of material remains from the remote past–from antiquity. Recently this definition has been expanded to include contemporary archaeology, which takes the definition of archaeological practice...


Archaeological Record Archaeological Practice Apartheid Regime Monumental Architecture Cruise Missile 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English HeritageSwindonUnited Kingdom

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