Session: #515

Theme & Session Format

5. Assembling archaeological theory and the archaeological sciences
Session format:
Session with presentation of 6 slides in 6 minutes

Title & Content

New Realities? A Critical Approach to Recreating Objects for Examining and Presenting the Past
The advent of 3-D printers, experimental archaeology, cultural heritage parks, community archaeology and even Virtual Reality and archaeological computer games have created new ways of exploring and thinking about the past. These processes of replicating, reproducing and recreating provide unique ways for archaeologists and students to investigate how people engaged with materials and artefacts across time. While we can make multiple copies of an artefact with a 3-D printer to take the past into the schoolroom we can also attempt to revive the techniques of the past as a way of replicating not just the object but the practice. Reproduction is no longer just about filling museum shops but about extending the life of the object. At the same time all these activities risk separating the object from its cultural context. If we turn the bust of Nefertiti into a t-shirt design or a piece of street art, what are the consequences for the original? How does that prototype now fit into our present? At the same time can such replicas provide ways to remedy colonial appropriations retaining the replica in the museum where the plunder was housed and returning the original to the descendants of that first crafter? From resources for teaching to tools for analysis this session encourages presenters to take a critical approach to different types of recreated objects in presenting and discussing the past. In papers of no more than six minutes in length and using only six slides participants are invited to reflect on the issues raised by the reproduction of the past and to consider doing so by focusing on a single object.
Reprpoductions, Recreations, Replicas
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Main organiser:
Emily Miller Bonney (United States) 1
Sophia Adams (United Kingdom) 2
1. California State University Fullerton
2. SUERC, University of Glasgow