In a museum local to me, there is a film playing by the entrance. An actress, in character as a citizen of the Roman empire, introduces herself and describes her background, likes and dislikes, and religious beliefs. It’s rather like the two-minute introduction to a contestant in a reality show. At the end of the … More The people of the past: part 2
Science is not – and can never be – apolitical. Moreover, anthropology and archaeology as a discipline originated in colonial contexts. How should we now navigate issues of ownership with regard to human remains in cultural collections? … More The people of the past: part 1
It is Halloween. The veils between our world and the world of the supernatural are thin. Our streets will be filled with strange, other-worldly apparitions demanding bribes to leave nearby humans in peace for another year. Normal religious belief systems are overtaken by anti-religion, the otherworldly forces devoted to disruption, ahierarchy, and the subversion of Christian morality. … More An invisible heritage
I’ve already discussed in this mini-series how authenticity can be used to describe the original, unaltered material of a heritage asset, an accurate representation of a past time, or the experience of an encounter with an apparently genuine or meaningful form of heritage. In the case of 3D printing, a heritage asset can be so perfectly reproduced that the copy has the same form as the individual – visually and even, in some cases, with the material from which it is constructed replicated exactly, down to details not visible to the naked eye. How authentic, then, are these copies? … More Authenticity III: The replicant question
As heritage spreads to cover an ever wider and more varied ground, there are more and more places, buildings, objects and collections sucked into the vacuum of the heritage label, there to be suspended in airless changelessness – for future generations. … More The property of future generations
This week, we are talking about some of my favourite heritage-related things: inscriptions.* Gravestones and dates on houses, yes, but also the little notes added by people in the past that give you a glimpse into the past of someone else’s life. … More A few of my favourite things
‘Values’ have become a buzzword in heritage management. It can mean everything, from beliefs to monetary worth. But does that make it a more or less useful term?
The first thing to know is that there is more than one definition of cultural heritage. … More What is heritage?