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The past of the present. Archaeological memory and time

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Abstract

Several recent publications on ‘the past in the past’ raise the issue that remains from older pasts existed in younger pasts, just like the fabric of our present-day world is made up of materials from the past. Archaeology in fact studies material culture that exists in the present; it deals with memory recorded in matter and not with events or moments from the past. This essay explores the consequences of this for archaeology's understanding of time. It argues that historic time should not be viewed as the ‘empty and homogeneous’ time of historicism – the time of dates, chronologies and periods – but on the contrary as the full and heterogeneous time of the fusion between the present and the past.

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... Movement is fun- damentally concerned with the relationship(s) among time, object, person, and space. Contemporary scholarship has highlighted the enmeshed nature of people and things (Olsen, 2010 ), with a particular focus on temporality as an expression of overlapping durational fl ows (Olivier, 2004(Olivier, , 2008. In our globalized world, archae- ologists of the recent past are faced with a proliferation of movement episodes that shaped and are shaping the archaeological record (cf. ...
... It has been 85 years since Benjamin began penning his Arcades Project and 13 years since the text was translated into English. The work has been a gateway into his larger corpus for many humanities scholars, myself included, and discussions relating his writing to archaeological study have been thought-provoking (e.g., Olivier, 2004 ). For example, Olivier ( 2004 ) found great utility in Benjamin's nonlinear understanding of time, arguing that material culture demonstrates this reality as it exists in various stages of growth, movement, and aging. ...
... The work has been a gateway into his larger corpus for many humanities scholars, myself included, and discussions relating his writing to archaeological study have been thought-provoking (e.g., Olivier, 2004 ). For example, Olivier ( 2004 ) found great utility in Benjamin's nonlinear understanding of time, arguing that material culture demonstrates this reality as it exists in various stages of growth, movement, and aging. has explored Benjamin's writings on ruination and decay and applied them to her investigation of sites of modern disaster and decline. ...
Book
This collection of essays in Archaeologies of Mobility and Movement draws inspiration from current archaeological interest in the movement of individuals, things, and ideas in the recent past. Movement is fundamentally concerned with the relationship(s) among time, object, person, and space. The volume argues that understanding movement in the past requires a shift away from traditional, fieldwork-based archaeological ontologies towards fluid, trajectory-based studies. Archaeology, by its very nature, locates objects frozen in space (literally in their three-dimensional matrices) at sites that are often stripped of people. An archaeology of movement must break away from this stasis and cut new pathways that trace the boundary-crossing contextuality inherent in object/person mobility. Essays in this volume build on these new approaches, confronting issues of movement from a variety of perspectives. They are divided into four sections, based on how the act of moving is framed. The groups into which these chapters are placed are not meant to be unyielding or definitive. The first section, "Objects in Motion," includes case studies that follow the paths of material culture and its interactions with groups of people. The second section of this volume, "People in Motion," features chapters that explore the shifting material traces of human mobility. Chapters in the third section of this book, "Movement through Spaces," illustrate the effects that particular spaces have on the people and objects who pass through them. Finally, there is an afterward that cohesively addresses the issue of studying movement in the recent past. At the heart of Archaeologies of Mobility and Movement is a concern with the hybridity of people and things, affordances of objects and spaces, contemporary heritage issues, and the effects of movement on archaeological subjects in the recent and contemporary past.
... Moreover, I contend that while it is more important to understand sound as a quality of things and for archaeology to deal with other sensory aspects of material presence, this rationale alone does not go far enough towards presenting a sufficient justification for what we can actually gain from attending to the aural. I maintain that the problem of understanding the potential for listening in archaeology is also connected to a thoroughly modernist temporality, one that the discipline continues to embrace (Olivier, 2003; see also Lucas, 2005). In building upon a non-modernist notion of time whereby entities and events quite distant in a linear temporality are proximate through their simultaneous entanglement and percolation (which I argue, contrary to Thomas (2004), to be fundamentally archaeological), I suggest we might learn what we can know from tuning into the acoustic properties of the material past. ...
... Time, as the folded and crumpled inscription, is related here as the solid, the material -an immutable mobile that visualizes time as a linear and laminar sequence of events, much like a clip from a film reel made up of a series of frames (Olivier, 2003). But this exercise is only a small step toward understanding something of the chaos and turbulence of time. ...
... It cannot be overemphasized that in leaping temporal distances, we transform the material presence of the past, which is intermittent, random and messy, into immutable, mobile, legible, fungible, verifiable inscriptions (Witmore, 2004a;pace Latour, 1999). The belles noiseuses, which are sieved away in this process, have the potential to trigger memories, connections and associations (Olivier, 2003;Serematakis, 1994). Must we always filter these out? ...
Article
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Why in the articulation of archaeological knowledge have wider sensory properties of the material world been over looked? This article considers this question in relation to sound. It argues that the neglect of sound is partly the product of human transactions with instruments and media in practice. Moreover, the denial of sound as a relevant category of archaeological inquiry arises out of modernist notions of space-time that reside at the heart of the discipline. So while the visual is linked with spatial properties that are resistant to change, the aural is connected with the temporal and is considered momentary and fleeting in nature. Still, it is argued that sound as a quality of things is fundamental to human sensation - to being. In building upon a non-modernist notion of time where entities and events quite distant in a linear temporality are proximate through their simultaneous entanglement and percolation I suggest we might learn what we can understand from tuning into the acoustic properties of the material past. But rather than reproduce an unnecessary dualism between seeing and hearing, this endeavor will require us to relearn how to see and hear at the same time through other, complimentary modes of articulation and engagement.
... In addition, retentions and protentions (Husserl 1991;2008), intrinsic to the manner through which we live internal time consciousness, are, in Antarctica, filled with memories of many places and plans for the future, connecting spaces and times in a non-linear way. In all of this, these non-linear forms of experienced temporality are not lived as separate from physical time (Fabian [1983] 2014), chronos (Witmore 2014) or historicity (Olivier 2004). ...
... This humanistic take on time moves away from notions of things-in-themselves and time in itself, both taken as a world's hard physicality, bringing nature and culture closer. Thus time can also be discussed as a construct and a powerful tool in politics and heritage management (for several discussions on chronopolitics, see Hamilakis & Anagnostopoulos 2009;Norum & Mostafanezhad 2016;Wallis 1970;Witmore 2014) and human sciences' epistemology (Fabian [1983(Fabian [ ] 2014Gell 2014;Lucas 2005;Olivier 2004). In all these cases, forms of human time emerge, based on subjective and social experiences, and may be perceived as heterogeneous, non-linear and irregular (Hissa 2016). ...
... In turn, time A, without much difficulty, allows for other arrangements. Olivier (2004) argues for alternative arrangements in historic time. According to the author, the historicist approach considers past and present as an interrupted flow of events and instants. ...
Article
Antarctica differs from all other regions in the world, not only from its unique geography, but also in the way humans understand it and have incorporated it into global relations. Considering Antarctica's distinctive landscapes and human relations, this paper discusses aspects of how time is humanly perceived in Antarctica. Basing on elements from different human occupations, nineteenth-century sailor-hunters and current incursions, this discussion approximates different historical groups in their experiences of Antarctica, connecting their personal lives, past and present. Meanwhile, also put into issue are the dualities that separate nature and culture, physical and relative time, and past and present , as well as the related notions of time in itself, perceived time speed and internal time consciousness .
... Archaeological and anthropological approaches to material culture are helpful in engaging with the distribution of different forms of agency across these vibrant and often unruly heterogeneous assemblages, which include both human and other-than-human actors, and in recognising the ways in which their pasts are contained within, and continually remade in their presents (Olivier 2004). To study such assemblages in the present thus acknowledges the dynamic and manifold relationships between humans, non-humans and the collectives they form, as well as their agency in assembling new pasts and futures in the present (Harrison 2011). ...
... In order to determine what remains of the past within the present (Olivier 2004(Olivier , 2011Olsen et al. 2012) and how it continues to collaborate with human as well as non-human entities in the making and unmaking of emergent, parallel lifeworlds, this chapter describes six conflict sites that act as a sample of, and exemplify, the different kinds of Chaco War sites within the region. First, I describe Puerto Casado and Km 145, which are two examples of war-related sites that never saw any actual ground fighting. ...
... Taking a critical archaeological approach to the study of the Chaco's militarised landscapes and their afterlives instead allows us to unveil the fluid entanglements of people and things that make up the material as well as the emotional memories of the war within the present. The conflict landscapes of the Chaco War are thus 'not a record but a recording' (Bender 2002, 103) as the 'past is not passed but still has action' (Witmore 2007, 556; see also Olivier 2004Olivier , 2011. Not only is archaeological practice part of that action in the present but it also has the power to shape the future. ...
Book
Conflict, Heritage and World-Making in the Chaco documents and interprets the physical remains and afterlives of the Chaco War (1932-35) – known as South America’s first ‘modern’ armed conflict – in what is now present-day Paraguay. It focuses not only on archaeological remains as conventionally understood, but takes an ontological approach to heterogeneous assemblages of objects, texts, practices and landscapes shaped by industrial war and people’s past and present engagements with them. These assemblages could be understood to constitute a ‘dark heritage’, the debris of a failed modernity. Yet it is clear that they are not simply dead memorials to this bloody war, but have been, and continue to be active in making, unmaking and remaking worlds – both for the participants and spectators of the war itself, as well as those who continue to occupy and live amongst the vast accretions of war matériel which persist in the present. Framing the study as an exploration of modern, industrialised warfare as Anthropocene ‘hyperobject’ (Morton 2013), This book shows how the material culture and heritage of modern conflict fuse together objects, people and landscapes, connecting them physically and conceptually across vast, almost unimaginable distances and time periods. She offers a unique perspective on the heritage of conflict, the natural environment, practices of recycling, the concept of time, and the idea of the ‘Anthropocene’ itself, as seen through the lens of the material legacies of war, which remain firmly and stubbornly embedded in the present and which continue to actively shape the future. It makes a major contribution to key debates in anthropology, archaeology, environmental humanities, critical heritage and material culture studies on the significance of conflict in understanding the Anthropocene, and the roles played by its persistent heritages in assembling worlds.
... Archaeologists often describe such locales as "persistent places" (Schlanger 1992); areas that have a social, aesthetic, or cosmological gravity that attracts and holds human attention over many generations. Such persistent places are often points at which past events and people are remembered, becoming "memory anchors" (Van Dyke 2017), places where individuals, families, and communities emplace their histories into the landscape and from which they often self-identify (Borić 2009;Hamilakis 2013;Jones 2007;Lucas 2005;Oliver 2004;Olsen 2010). While important worldwide, Native American authors describe how memorious places often take on particular importance within their communities as they are points where past, present, and future collapse and through which knowledge and wisdom are revealed (Cordova 2007;Norton-Smith 2010;Verney 2004). ...
... In this fashion, memory anchors are akin to monumental architecture and constructions in that they are viewed as continuing into the future and often extending into the past (Bradley 2002;Hamilakis 2013;Holtorf 1997). The power of particular places (and things) to persist over long periods of time means that they often acquire (and lose) meaning, valence, and salience over their existence (Borić 2009;Hamilakis 2013;Jones 2007;Lucas 2005;Oliver 2004;Olsen 2010). ...
Article
Native Americans created numerous shell rings – large circular or arcing middens surrounding open plazas – across the coastal Southeast U.S. during the Late Archaic (ca. 4800–3200 cal B.P.). While archaeologists have long studied how Late Archaic peoples formed and used shell rings, their later histories are less well known despite these constructions being long-lasting and visible for millennia after their formation. We describe how later southeastern coastal occupants engaged with one such ring, the Sea Pines Shell Ring, by cremating human and non-human bodies more than a thousand years after its initial construction. This ritual reuse echoes similar practices engaged more than a thousand years earlier at another nearby ring and suggests that these sites were viewed as powerful places both during their initial construction and for hundreds of years afterwards. Relying on Native American philosophers, we suggest that shell rings, like other powerful places, are best understood as revelatory locales where time could be collapsed and communication with powerful entities, including ancestral peoples, established.
... In addition to these trends, the rise of scholarly interest in the more recent past has seen the expansion of historical archaeology around the globe and the emergence of sub-fi elds such as contemporary archaeology, confl ict archaeology and community archaeology. 7 While the 'condition of possibility' for the emergence of diff erent kinds of archaeologies is usually understood as a discovery or recognition of the 'otherness' of a particular past, 8 in these cases it is not deep time that is perceived as separating scholars or communities from these recent archaeological remains. But it may be the sense that a past is unrecognized, invisible, forgotten, deliberately hidden or is under threat. ...
... This is the reason why such approaches are called either as an archaeology of the contemporary past (Buchli, Lucas 2001a), an archaeology of the recent past (GonzálezRuibal 2008), or an archaeology in and of the present (Harrison 2011;Kobiałka et al. in press). Along these lines, for example, LaurentOlivier (2003Olivier ( , 2013) claims that the present is much more archaeological than a distant past. Such a claim seems to be quite true as long as archaeology is constituted by the research of material culture. ...
... Some of these studies indicate the creativity and agency of prisoners of war; others study slave labour and its material remains (Myers & Moshenska 2011;Mytum & Carr 2012, 2013. In short, it is a cliché worth repeating: archaeology through objects can shed new light on the grand narratives of the twentieth century (Olivier 2003;Schofield 2005), and such stories can be told because of the memories that objects hold (Olsen & Pétursdóttir 2014;Olsen & Witmore 2014). ...
Article
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During the final stages of the Second World War, a trench was dug in woodland near a small Polish village, probably by prisoners of war. There are no eye witness accounts and very few artefacts survive. The only way the story of these prisoners can be told is through the material memory held by the woodland. This paper aims to broaden the concept of material culture by considering the archaeological record that is retained in the bark of living trees. The focus is on the beech trees of Chycina that may hold the only record of the construction of a small section of the Festungsfront Oder-Warthe-Bogen in western Poland in 1944.
... Societies have long been confronted with the physical manifestations of their own past. Material things thus embed themselves in the subsequent present (Olivier 2004). The past is therefore a key element in forming collective identities (Gosden 1994, Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983, Lowenthal 1985). ...
Article
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In this paper, it is argued that the sculpted or moulded body serves as a medium of social expression and cohesion. The body is viewed as primarily a social, not biological, entity. Further, it is argued that naturalistic views of the body are inherently limiting. To illustrate the potential of body theory and embodiment, reference is made to images from the Neolithic to the Iron Age in Sardinia, Following Alfred Gell (1998), objects, in this case figurines, are seen to have secondary agency. The social interactions between primary and secondary agency are illustrated through the biography of the body.
... Gavin Lucas, building on Laurent Olivier (2004), argues that imprints, such as the 3.6 million-year-old footprints of hominids encountered at Laetoli in Tanzania, are not simply 'signs of' an event, they are residual physical memories, the 'extended ripples' of an object, assemblage, or event along a 'continuum on which the past is stretched into the present' and out into the future (Lucas 2012, p. 208). Timothy Morton describes this link between fossil prints and the modern viewer as 'some shared sensual space'; a sensuous connection that is mediated 'interobjectively' between the realities of the hominid, the prints, the rock, and ourselves, despite their vastly differing timescales (Morton 2013, p. 86). ...
Article
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This paper explores some ontological aspects of archaeological voids and enclosures together with their translations and substitutions, and considers the nature of spaces within material archaeological deposits and artefacts. The dematerialized and rematerialized bodies of the victims of Vesuvius in CE 79 are reappraised as a case study. By problematizing the voids we are able to think critically about the ontological status of the victims’ persistent traces and residues. Specifically, using Gavin Lucas’ grid of forces models, we explore how these traces and residues have been transformed into different kinds of objects, including, most recently, rematerializations in the digital, through their ongoing intra-actions within the domains of archaeology, museology, and additive manufacturing. Through this analysis the ambivalent nature of these traces and residues becomes more sensible.
... La arqueología, por su propia naturaleza, localiza objetos inmovilizados en sus matrices tridimensionales en sitios en los que únicamente los restos revelan la antigua presencia de los actores humanos. La investigación contemporánea, sin embargo, ha resaltado la naturaleza entrelazada de las personas y las cosas (Olsen, 2010), con un enfoque particular sobre la temporalidad como una expresión de la superposición y duración de flujos (Olivier, 2004(Olivier, , 2008. Los temas recurrentes en las arqueologías de la movilidad incluyen redes, flujos, tierra natal, globalización, migración, colonialismo y colonización, arqueología multi-local, transiciones y transformaciones, y affordances de lugar y espacio, así como consideraciones sobre el acto del movimiento mediante objetos, personas y espacios. ...
Article
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En este artículo se delinea la historia de los enfoques arqueológicos sobre el movimiento y la movilidad y se discute la reciente aparición de un “nuevo paradigma de movilidades” en muchas disciplinas, incluyendo la arqueología, en el que los temas más frecuentemente explorados se centran en torno a redes, flujos, tierra natal, globalización, migración, colonialismo y colonización, arqueología multi-local, transiciones y transformaciones, y affordances de lugar y espacio. Los autores respaldan un enfoque basado en la trayectoria del movimiento que se centra en las relaciones fluidas entre personas, objetos, tiempo y espacio y proporcionan una visión general de la literatura reciente sobre estudios de casos en arqueologías de la movilidad.
... Comparable then to ritual encounters with signs, scholars have recently stressed that archaeology deals more with issues of presence and the evocation of memory than historical reconstruction (Olivier 2004;Lucas 2005;Byrne 2007;González-Ruibal 2014, 15). As Lucas argues (2001, 16-17): ...
Article
Romantic notions that the advancement of archaeological knowledge depends on the thrill of unanticipated discoveries departs from the standard practice of interpreting data according to impartial research designs. However, the unexpected find commonly stymies the deductive testing of hypothesis, and the material traces (signs) upon which research relies often disrupt the course of archaeological investigations. The main objective of this article is to demonstrate that the distinct semiotic affordances of material remains can significantly affect archaeological interpretations. The undertheorized epistemological problems of revelation in archaeology are brought to bear through an examination of the spectral quality of graffiti etched onto the walls of the Moche ceremonial site of Huaca Colorada in northern Peru (CE 650–850). An interpretation of the graffiti in relationship to rituals of human sacrifice and architectural renovation demonstrates that the power of the monument was founded on its semiotic density; the complex layering of signs—that continually spawned new signs—created a place of limitless discovery and affect that profoundly shaped perceptions of the huaca for both Moche visitors and later archaeologists alike. Ultimately, the graffiti provide a rare data set that permits a consideration of the effects of signs as “intepretants” in the tradition of Peirce.
... Movement is fundamentally concerned with the relationship(s) among time, object, person, and space. Contemporary scholarship has highlighted the enmeshed nature of people and things (Olsen, 2010 ), with a particular focus on temporality as an expression of overlapping durational fl ows (Olivier, 2004(Olivier, , 2008. In our globalized world, archaeologists of the recent past are faced with a proliferation of movement episodes that shaped and are shaping the archaeological record (cf. ...
Chapter
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This collection of essays draws inspiration from current archaeological interest in the movement of individuals, things, and ideas in the recent past. Movement is fundamentally concerned with the relationship(s) among time, object, person, and space. Contemporary scholarship has highlighted the enmeshed nature of people and things (Olsen, 2010), with a particular focus on temporality as an expression of overlapping durational flows (Olivier, 2004, 2008). In our globalized world, archaeologists of the recent past are faced with a proliferation of movement episodes that shaped and are shaping the archaeological record (cf. Sheller & Urry, 2006).
... Likewise, the re-inscription of fourth-and fifth-century standing stones in Wales with Christian iconography in the 7th and 8th centuries transformed the stones into more appropriate cultural emblems (Longden 2003). By doing this, communities reshaped their collective memory, which helped strengthen their overall sense of identity and connection with a place (Longden 2003; see also Olivier 2004). ...
Chapter
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Introduction to edited volume: Objects of the Past in the Past. https://www.archaeopress.com/ArchaeopressShop/Public/displayProductDetail.asp?id=%7B01A1424E-7D35-4784-8624-824E09CDA8E1%7D
... Eu já sugeri anteriormente que uma das ideias-chave para o engajamento arqueológico com o presente e o passado recente envolve o reconhecimento que a arqueologia constitui uma intervenção discursiva e material no presente (Olivier, 2004(Olivier, , 2008Shanks, 2012). Essa é uma observação que tem sido essencial tanto para a arqueologia "histórica" quanto para a "contemporânea". ...
Article
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Este artigo traça a genealogia do subcampo que ficou conhecido como “arqueologia do passado contemporâneo” e argumenta por sua maior integração com o campo expandido da arqueologia histórica. Um dos desafios centrais da arqueologia nas próximas décadas será encontrar um modo de se engajar com fenômenos emergentes, contemporâneos e sócio materiais e, consequentemente, com questões – tanto contemporâneas quanto futuras – de interesse ecológico, social, político e econômico. Partindo do quadro de um novo projeto de pesquisa interdisciplinar, colaborativo e internacional – Futuros do Patrimônio – que procura compreender os processos material-discursivos do patrimônio e de outros campos similares como formas distintivas de práticas de construção de futuros (future-assembling) através da aplicação de um conjunto de métodos arqueológicos etnográficos, o artigo conclui que o potencial para um campo expandido da arqueologia histórica reside na sua habilidade de engajar-se com futuros emergentes através de arqueologias etnográficas que estejam sintonizadas com aspectos sociomateriais dessas (e de outras) práticas de construção de futuros (future-assembling).
... 18, no. 1], as well as Bailey 1987Bailey , 2007 Bradley 2002; Gosden 1994; Lucas 2005; Murray 1999; Olivier 2004; Van Dyke and Alcock 2003; Witmore 2006). But it is notable that most of these studies actually focus on antiquity in antiquity or deal with modern time only in meta-archaeological terms, ultimately failing to escape the temporal exceptionalism that historians and anthropologists grant the post-1450 period. ...
... The decay that characterizes ski-jumping sites corresponds to their biographies by revealing a materiality that in a sense is a constantly present factor of the essence of these places throughout time (e.g. Olivier 2004). ...
Article
Between the late nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century numerous ski-jumping towers were built all across Sweden. This accumulation of large, monumental sporting facilities occurred even though ski jumping never attracted large numbers of practitioners. The building of such towers in the southern and central parts of Sweden, where snowy winters are far from guaranteed, is of particular interest. Today, most of the ski-jumping towers in the southern half of Sweden have been torn down, but they have left a hidden and forgotten material heritage. This paper examines the abandoned places of ski jumping, where fragmented material remains give witness to a phenomenon that once was of central importance in shaping and expressing ideals and social identities in the modernization of Sweden. The ski jumps became arenas for a new and spectacular sport that drew large crowds, but they also became landmarks and monuments of progress and prosperity in the new modern age.
... Hemos visto que lo anterior crea inevitablemente una nueva relación entre referentes y atributos, y finalmente entre objeto e individuo. El rol de la materialidad histórica se convierte desde entonces en un tema de investigación para la literatura (Brown, 2003(Brown, , 2004(Brown, , 2010Caraion, 2005Caraion, , 2007, luego en un problema de definiciones para el arte (Carroll, 1995;Danto, 1964Danto, , 1981 y, finalmente como resultado de lo anterior, en un interesante marco de análisis para la arqueología (Olivier, 2008). ...
... Esa transformación es observada en el presente tras la perdurabilidad, en formas que permanecieron, intactas, transformadas o readaptadas al presente. Consecuentemente, no podemos entender a la arqueología como una ciencia del pasado -tal como su denominación arkhaios lo pueda indicar-, o por lo menos no lo es tal como lo entendemos desde un punto de vista histórico 23 . El pasado de la arqueología perdura, está materializado en el presente a través de los artefactos, los mismos que son estudiados por los arqueólogos en un contacto "directo" con el pasado, en el presente 24 . ...
... Les archéologues manipulant ce matériau savent qu'autre chose doit être fait et dit avec lui, mais ils et elles ne semblent pas toujours savoir quoi (voir toutefois Bailey et Galanidou 2009, Bamforth 2007. Certains efforts néomatérialistes en ce sens poussent les archéologues dans un rapport au temps tellement horizontal que le passé en vient à être écarté (Gonzalez-Ruibal 2006, Harrison 2011, Holtorf 2002, Olivier 2004, Thomas 2015, Webmoor et Witmore 2008, Witmore 2007. ...
Thesis
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Ce doctorat lie les vestiges lithiques fragmentés et dispersés par des décennies de labours des terrasses marines constituant le site de La Martre (Gaspésie, Québec, Canada), pour y dégager certaines limites d’intelligibilité et de perceptibilité, et en tracer de nouvelles. Les labours forment un palimpseste archéologique spécifique : ils ont créé un effet de décontextualisation des pratiques lithiques contenues dans les bords de chaque biface et éclat lorsque les contextes de déposition permettant de rapprocher certains vestiges et d’en éloigner d’autres, et permettant d’exercer un contrôle chronologique sur ces vestiges ont été perturbés. Les seuls repères chronologiques disponibles sont (i.) un plancher d’habitabilité suivant la déglaciation du versant nord de la Gaspésie ; (ii.) l’exondation de terrasses marines dues au retrait de la mer de Goldthwait ; (iii.) des pointes de projectile dites « Plano » ayant permis d’affilier dans des travaux antérieurs une partie de La Martre au « Paléoindien récent » (entre 11 600 à 8000 cal BP dans le Nord-est américain). Conséquemment, les repères chronologiques de La Martre flottent dans une marée lithique mouvante formée de bifaces et d’éclats dans les labours sans le contrôle permis par les contours que des contextes de déposition mieux préservés permettraient. Ce contrôle préalable est indispensable pour pouvoir délimiter les échelles justifiant l’utilisation de certaines théories et méthodes d’analyse. Il est considéré que ces problèmes contextuels ne justifient aucunement l’exclusion des labours d’une narration archéologique, à condition d’opérer un renversement de nos pratiques. Les labours permettent d’exacerber des problèmes théoriques, épistémologiques et méthodologiques, constitutifs de toute pratique archéologique et que des contextes non labourés rendent invisibles. Ces problèmes peuvent être ramenés à celui provoqué par la bifurcation du réel, un geste qui, en séparant l’esprit de la matière, sépare un réel en deux et maintient l’un attaché à ce qui en est déjà connu et en bloque le développement et la transformation. Les labours marquent une première étape d’émancipation de ce réel bifurqué en nous forçant à renverser notre rapport à lui pour partir d’un réel mouvant et dispersé dans lequel une conscience perçoit et pense. Raconter des histoires lithiques dans les labours de La Martre, c’est donc prolonger ce renversement initié par ces labours en suivant ses mouvements constitutifs : ceux d’une conscience, de la taille de la pierre, des labours et de nos descriptions. C’est développer de nouvelles histoires qu’un ancrage dans un réel bifurqué inhibe. Il est proposé ici que ce renversement soit prolongé par un mouvement descriptif par lequel quinze surfaces de dispersion sont progressivement tracées : (i.) des terrasses labourées, les stations 15 et 16 de La Martre ; (ii.) des supports transformés ; (iii.) des chaînes opératoires ; (iv.) un échantillon de 447 supports transformés ; (v.) un continuum de réduction ; (vi) l’intégrité d’un support ; (vii.) les compétences ; (viii.) la matière première ; (ix.) les objectifs de taille ; (x.) les groupes techniques ; (xi.) des flux lithiques ; (xii.) une combinatoire de compétences ; (xiii.) des évolutions possibles ; (xiv.) des lieux ; (xv.) des séquences de production. Ces surfaces permettent de diversifier la taille de la pierre plutôt que de l’épurer ; de changer les conditions dans lesquelles des outils méthodologiques tels que la chaîne opératoire ou les stades d’une séquence de réduction peuvent être utilisés ; de repartir de mouvements et de rapports constitutifs de La Martre plutôt que de groupes ou d’individus préalablement définis ; de différencier les terrasses marines pour circonscrire un lieu, 16-ouest, structuré par des dynamiques socioculturelles d’apprentissage et de distinction dont émergent diverses séquences de production capturant des compétences et des objectifs divers ; de reconnecter La Martre au paysage du Nord-est paléoindien pour en diversifier les histoires lithiques et archéologiques ; de travailler dans un entre-deux : entre deux lieux, entre deux paysages, entre deux formes émergeant de nos histoires sans que ces histoires ne s’y arrêtent. Raconter des histoires lithiques dans les labours de La Martre, c’est donc effectuer un quadruple travail narratif qui ailleurs n’aurait pas eu besoin d’être fait : (i.) explorer les façons dont les tailleurs et tailleuses de La Martre s’engageaient avec leur paysage en taillant la pierre ; (ii.) analyser les conditions permettant de raconter ces histoires anthropologiques ; (iii.) créer de nouvelles conditions permettant de raconter de nouvelles histoires ; et (iv.) raconter ces histoires lithiques. - This thesis binds various lithic remains fragmented and scattered by decades of plowing at La Martre (Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec, Canada). Plowing creates a specific type of archaeological palimpsest. It erases units allowing for: the comparison of lithic practices contained within each biface and flake that make up a context; the chronological control of said units; and using various methods and theories according to an archaeological unit’s appropriate scale. A maximum chronological boundary following the deglaciation of the northern Gaspé Peninsula, the exposure of La Martre’s higher terraces by the receding sea, and the production of Plano projectile points (dated to between 11 600 and 9000 cal BP in northeastern America) provide archaeologists with some chronological control that floats within La Martre’s hundreds of thousands of lithic remains. Yet, it is argued that plowing cannot preclude archaeologists from telling lithic and other stories, provided that some practices and habits are changed. Indeed, plowing points to theoretical, epistemological and methodological problems that elsewhere may have remained invisible. These problems pertain to the bifurcation of reality inhibiting its development by laying down a ready-made and unchanging reality prior to any engagement with it. Plowing requires for this specific engagement with reality to be turned upside down, starting from a moving and dispersed reality that a consciousness perceives and thinks with. Telling lithic stories at La Martre requires that this turn be extended by following its movements: that of a conscience, of knapping and of plowing; thus telling new stories that a bifurcated relationship to reality had inhibited. It is suggested here that this turn be extended using description along fifteen dispersion surfaces: (i.) two plowed terraces, stations 15 and 16; (ii.) shaped blanks; (iii.) chaînes opératoires; (iv.) a sample of 447 shaped blanks; (v.) a reduction continuum; (vi.) shaped blank integrity; (vii.) skill; (viii.) raw material; (ix.) knapping objectives; (x.) technical groups; (xi.) lithic fluxes; (xii.) skill combinatorics; (xiii.) possible evolutions; (xiv.) places; (xv.) production sequences. Such surfaces allow for several things: first, for knapping diversification rather than refining; second, for changing the condition of use of the chaîne opératoire or the reduction sequence; third, for starting from movement and relationships rather than defined groups or individuals; fourth, for differentiating La Martre’s plowed terraces; fifth, for delimiting a place, 16-West, structured by the sociocultural dynamics of learning and distinction; sixth, for growing several production sequences; seventh, for reconnecting La Martre to the northeastern Paleoindian landscape and multiplying its lithic and archaeological stories; and eighth, for working within the “in between” places, landscapes and shapes that grow from such stories. Thus, telling lithic stories within La Martre’s plowed fields is a fourfold narrative: (i.) exploring how past people engaged with their landscape through knapping; (ii.) deconstructing conditions allowing for such an exploration; (iii.) creating new conditions allowing for new stories to be told; and (iv.) telling these new stories.
... Compared with natural places, where the time of human life plays an insignificant role, cultural places such as settlements imply both kinds of time, this aspect being visible in identity strategies, since a group identity has a dominant temporal trait. It is generally agreed that the relationship with the past is a key element in forming collective identities (Lowenthal 1985;Gosden 1994;Olivier 2004). Discussing place and time in Maori society, the archaeologist Christopher Tilley (1999: 181) described a case of identity construction using a circular time: "the places were not, for the Maori, symbols of past time, of a dead and distanced history, but of a past living in and informing the present". ...
... Novotny's contribution places bioarchaeology in conversation with an extensive archaeological and broader anthropological literature on social memory (e.g., Bradley 2002;Bradley and Williams 1998;Connerton 1989;Crumley 2000;Halbwachs 1992;Holtorf and Williams 2006;LeGoff 1996;Lillios 1999;Lillios and Tsamis 2010;Maříková-Kubková et al. 2008;Nora 1972Nora , 1989Olivier 2004;Radley 1997;Rowlands 1993;van Dyke and Alcock 2003;Williams 2003). Social memory is also at the heart of the final case study in this collection, the funerary archaeology paper offered by Deskaj in Chapter 7. Deskaj studies the "lives" of Bronze and Iron Age burial mounds in northern Albania, mirroring my own dissertation work in Burgundy, France (Meyer 2010(Meyer , 2012. ...
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Chapter
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Chapter
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