Session: #341

Theme & Session Format

1. Widening horizons through human-environment interconnections
Session format:
Discussion session (with formal abstracts)

Title & Content

Wide Horizons - No Limits? Dynamically Formulating the Boundaries of Archaeology
The theme of EAA-2021 is: Widening Horizons. – Are there indicators that the horizon limits are being approached? What characterizes the widening? And what characterises the limits?
– There is a Norwegian expression: «forstrekke seg», literally meaning: stretching too far, so that muscles and joints hurt, and the expression has the symbolic meaning: To try to encompass and include too much, which may lead to «a gap» in the middle, and ultimately: a falling apart.
– Has this happened to archaeology lately?
– It has embraced and enrolled DNA-research, anthropology, gender-studies, psycho-neurology, experimental and experiential elements, sensory archaeology, psychological analyses of prehistoric people, art in archaeological imagination, video games, materiality of living memory, urban waste, litterscapes in the present anthropocene, archaeology of popular music, archaeology used to understand homelessness and migrant death along present borders – and much more.
– Is there a danger of archaeology loosing its identity because the horizons are too wide? It has been defined as the science of material remains and objects from the past. These objects were produced and used by living people in prehistory, so their objects may tell us something about them, their institutions, and practices. By comparison and analogies, they may even tell us something about ourselves. And indeed, in archaeological method and theory today, there is a tendency towards archaeologies of the contemporary.
– How far into our own times and lives can we go, and still call our discipline “archaeo-logy”?
– How easily do we risk projecting ourselves too much into the prehistorical analyses?
– This session invites papers that are concerned about the limits of widening the horizons of archaeology.
horizons, limits, identity of archaeology, archaeological theory, recent trends in archaeology, future of archaeology
Session associated with MERC:
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Main organiser:
Torill Christine Lindstrom (Norway) 1,2
Ezra Zubrow (Canada) 3
1. Department of Psychosocial Science, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen
2. SapienCE CoE, Faculty of Humanities, University of Bergen
3. Dept. of Anthropology, University of Buffalo, USA