Archaeology and Humour
Humour and the Individual in Museum and Site Archives
Saturday 26th May 2012
At the 2011 Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference, a number of themes arose from a session on humour and archaeology in relation to museum and site archives:
a) The loss of personal anecdote in site archives – problems of the loss of the individual voice as site archives are systematically ‘cleaned up’ in a digital format.
b) The presence of significant bodies of humour and anecdote in site archives, including historic site archives – the materiality of the formal and informal archive.
c) The loss of anecdotal detail in HER records, both paper and electronic – instances of the [rare] preservation of humour in such locations.
d) Informal records – diaries, audio and visual recordings, site songs and communal memories – the ‘site hut’ as a repository for the larger memories of a project and its participants.
e) The use of humour as a method of communication within site and museum interpretation.
Technology, policy and practice are increasingly leading to an airbrushed view of archaeological practice, in which the realities of life in the field and archive alike are removed from final archives and formal publications.
Building on the TAG session, this workshop at the Institute of Archaeology, London seeks to explore such ‘marginal expressions of individuality – not only because they tell us something about the way projects developed but also because they remind us of what fuels archaeology – togetherness, thirst, lust and dreams’ (Duncan Brown).
Registration for the workshop is essential. Please register here.