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Catherine J. Frieman

What leads to innovativeness? Are some groups really more creative than others? If previous chapters of this book concerned themselves with asking what innovation is and how it operates as a social practice, then perhaps this chapter is best read as my attempt to answer the rather abstract question “Why is innovation?” In the previous chapter, I explored conservatism, which I pulled apart into various threads – tradition, resistance, continuity, persistence. In this one, I conduct the same sort of dissection of innovativeness. I have already suggested that most

in An archaeology of innovation
Catherine J. Frieman

of singular acts of invention is likely futile. That said, from an archaeological perspective, it is worth our time to question whether invention is simply a momentary conjunction of person, place, thing, and concept, rather than a more extensive and culturally embedded process. Consequently, this chapter will explore the concept of invention – both as a creative act and as part of larger technological systems – to suggest that, like innovation, it emerges from and exists within complex relationships between individuals, technological systems, and wider social

in An archaeology of innovation
Open Access (free)
Face to face with the past
Author: Melanie Giles

The ‘bog bodies’ of north-western Europe have captured the imagination of poets as much as archaeologists, confronting us with human remains where time has stopped – allowing us to come ‘face to face’ with individuals from the past. Their exceptional preservation allows us to examine unprecedented details of both their lives and deaths, making us reflect poignantly upon our own mortality. Yet this book argues that they must be resituated within a turbulent world of endemic violence and change, reinterpreting the latest Continental research and new discoveries in this light. The book features a ground-breaking ‘cold case’ forensic study of Worsley Man: Manchester Museum’s ‘bog head’ and brings the bogs to life through both natural history and folklore, as places that were rich, fertile, yet dangerous. Finally, it argues that these remains do not just pose practical conservation problems but philosophical dilemmas, compounded by the critical debate on if – and how – they should be displayed, with museum exemplars drawn from across the globe

Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

otherwise have been vandalised or destroyed by air pollution (Greenfield 1996 : 63; Bring 2015 : 90, 97f). Eric Hobsbawm turned the concepts of renewal and tradition around in a creative manner by showing that changes can create traditions. As is seen from the anthology The Invention of Tradition, Hobsbawm took the view that traditions can be constructions. When rapid change in society weakens or destroys social patterns, newly formed traditions become a way of showing that part of the modern world is unchanged (Hobsbawm & Ranger 1983 : 1ff; also Connerton 1989

in Heritopia
Curatorial bodies, encounters and relations
Noelle M.K.Y. Kahanu, Moana Nepia, and Philipp Schorch

involves three scholars whose research, interests and collaborations coalesce around concepts of Indigenous creative and curatorial practice.3 Kahanu focuses on Bishop Museum’s exhibition E Kū ana ka paia: Unification, Responsibility and the Kū Images (2010), which featured important Hawaiian temple images loaned from the British Museum, UK, and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, USA. She utilises the Hawaiian framework of he alo ā he alo to illustrate Indigenous curatorial practices, and to show how it underpins the development of key cross

in Curatopia

The dynamic processes of knowledge production in archaeology and elsewhere in the humanities and social sciences are increasingly viewed within the context of negotiation, cooperation and exchange, as the collaborative effort of groups, clusters and communities of scholars. Shifting focus from the individual scholar to the wider social contexts of her work, this volume investigates the importance of informal networks and conversation in the creation of knowledge about the past, and takes a closer look at the dynamic interaction and exchange that takes place between individuals, groups and clusters of scholars in the wider social settings of scientific work. Various aspects of and mechanisms at work behind the interaction and exchange that takes place between the individual scholar and her community, and the creative processes that such encounters trigger, are critically examined in eleven chapters which draw on a wide spectrum of examples from Europe and North America: from early modern antiquarians to archaeological societies and practitioners at work during the formative years of the modern archaeological disciplines and more recent examples from the twentieth century. The individual chapters engage with theoretical approaches to scientific creativity, knowledge production and interaction such as sociology and geographies of science, and actor-network theory (ANT) in their examination of individual–collective interplay. The book caters to readers both from within and outside the archaeological disciplines; primarily intended for researchers, teachers and students in archaeology, anthropology, classics and the history of science, it will also be of interest to the general reader.

Open Access (free)
World Heritage and modernity
Author: Jes Wienberg

Heritopia explores the multiple meanings of the past in the present, using the famous temples of Abu Simbel and other World Heritage sites as points of departure. It employs three perspectives in its attempt to understand and explain both past and present the truth of knowledge, the beauties of narrative, and ethical demands. Crisis theories are rejected as nostalgic expressions of contemporary social criticism. Modernity is viewed as a collection of contradictory narratives and reinterpreted as a combination of technological progress and recently evolved ideas. The book argues that while heritage is expanding, it is not to be found everywhere, and its expansion does not constitute a problem. It investigates the World Heritage Convention as an innovation, demonstrating that the definition of a World Heritage site succeeds in creating a tenable category of outstanding and exclusive heritage. The book introduces the term “Heritopia” in order to conceptualise the utopian expectations associated with World Heritage. Finally, it points to the possibilities of using the past creatively when meeting present-day and future challenges.

Jes Wienberg

apparently contradictory. The Convention is a creative construction, since it has generated new thinking and practice both about what can be cultural and natural heritage and about what protection and preservation may mean. World Heritage sites are cross-border and glocal; but the full complexity of the phenomenon is not captured by the glocal concept. A similarity to franchising in business may be pointed out, too; there, payments are made to obtain a share of a well-known brand. In the case of World Heritage, however, the point is not to trade under a certain brand

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
Melanie Giles

people to those moments – it tries to keep that interpretive door open. To do so, as I have argued, requires a post-biographical approach to the remains that takes us from the moment of discovery, through analysis and interpretation, to display and the creative legacy they leave imprinted upon our imagination. To that end, let us begin, by turning the pages of one of the very first written accounts of a British ‘bog body’.

in Bog bodies
Art, process, archaeology

This book presents a study of material images and asks how an appreciation of the making and unfolding of images and art alters archaeological accounts of prehistoric and historic societies. With contributions focusing on case studies including prehistoric Britain, Scandinavia, Iberia, the Americas and Dynastic Egypt, and including contemporary reflections on material images, it makes a novel contribution to ongoing debates relating to archaeological art and images. The book offers a New Materialist analysis of archaeological imagery, with an emphasis on considering the material character of images and their making and unfolding. The book reassesses the predominantly representational paradigm of archaeological image analysis and argues for the importance of considering the ontology of images. It considers images as processes or events and introduces the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is divided into three sections: ‘Emergent images’, which focuses on practices of making; ‘Images as process’, which examines the making and role of images in prehistoric societies; and ‘Unfolding images’, which focuses on how images change as they are made and circulated. The book features contributions from archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists. The contributors to the book highlight the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic societies, demonstrating that archaeologists need to recognise the dynamic and changeable character of images.