16.293 the archaeological imagination

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty (w.mccarty@btinternet.com)
Date: Thu Oct 24 2002 - 02:14:31 EDT

  • Next message: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty : "16.295 digital archaeology"

                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 293.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

       [1] From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@gslis.utexas.edu> (16)
             Subject: Re: 16.289 the archaeological imagination

       [2] From: Geoffrey Rockwell <grockwel@mcmaster.ca> (21)
             Subject: Re: 16.289 the archaeological imagination

       [3] From: "Arianna Ciula" <ciula@media.unisi.it> (15)
             Subject: Re: 16.289 the archaeological imagination

             Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 06:54:54 +0100
             From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@gslis.utexas.edu>
             Subject: Re: 16.289 the archaeological imagination

    The issue of "making of the absent present," simply because it has been
    used in a colonialist context so much to shape the histories of people
    who had no say in the shaping, has got a bad name in archaeology among
    those who adhere to a liberatory ideology. Meantime, there has been a
    determined adherence to materialist methods by those who wish to make an
    exclusive claim to objective knowledge. In fact, archaeology as
    intrinsically a colonialist enterprise, meant to replace indigenous
    histories, has been and is being rethought seriously by the former camp.
    This is why the idea of an "archaeological imaginary" is such a red flag
    these days. The question is whose imagination? All too often indigenous
    histories have been ignored by positivist archaeologists just because
    such histories are seen to be so "unscientific." So there is a very
    schizophrenic thrust to archaeological work these days, which has split
    departments just as it has in anthropology proper and for the same
    reasons. Even pattern-recognition cannot but be value-laden.
    Pat Galloway

             Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 06:55:51 +0100
             From: Geoffrey Rockwell <grockwel@mcmaster.ca>
             Subject: Re: 16.289 the archaeological imagination

    Dear Willard,

    This may be off topic, but I can think of one project that is trying to
    archive the wealth of digital information around an event (in this case
    9/11). That is the Sept. 11 Archive at http://911digitalarchive.org/. This
    is a serious attempt by historians to preserve the wealth of materials
    created online around the event so that there is a record of the reactions
    at the time. In a conversation I had with someone near the project the
    issue of capturing all the Bin Laden Group (by which I mean the family
    engineering/banking firm) www sites (that dissappeared within days of the
    event) came up. The Sept. 11 archive would welcome people who cached such
    materials or saved other related materials.

    This raises an interesting issue. Within days of 9/11/2001 a large
    corporate entity was able to erase their presence on the WWW by removing
    sites and abandoning domain names. The only things I could find were the
    google caches. Without archiving projects there may be little for digital
    archaeologists to study. I know in Canada there has been a process to
    discuss the establishment of a Digital Research Data archive to maintain
    funded research data/texts over time. I assume there are similar projects
    elsewhere. Is this a topic of interest to our community?


    Geoffrey Rockwell

             Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 07:11:10 +0100
             From: "Arianna Ciula" <ciula@media.unisi.it>
             Subject: Re: 16.289 the archaeological imagination

    Even if it is a bit out from the present discussion subject, I would like to
    suggest a wonderful book about a scientific paradigm which involves all
    sciences based on clues grasping: History, Art history, Palaeography...may
    be Archaeology...

    Carlo Ginzburg, Miti, emblemi e spie: morfologia e storia, Einaudi, 1986,

    I am sorry, but I don't know if an English edition exists.


    Arianna Ciula
    Dipartimento di documentazione e tradizioni culturali
    Universit degli Studi di Siena (Italy)

    [The book referred to above is in its 1st English edition: Myths, Emblems,
    Clues (Chatham, Kent: Mackays, 1986). I would guess that this is the same
    as Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
    University Press, 1989), which is still in print. --WM]

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