Reconstructions and People

encampment-of-late-paleolithic-hunters-zdenek-burian

Zdenek Burian, ‘Encampment of late Palaeolithic hunters’

According to the Oxford Dictionary, archaeology is ‘the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains’. Archaeology is about people – but when it comes to reconstructions, including people in our depictions of the past creates a whole list of problems. Continue reading

Advertisements

Problems of Reconstruction

Reconstructions are very common in archaeology. Many people will be familiar with them – think about the history books you read in school, for example. They would probably have included reconstruction drawings, artists’ attempts to depict what the past looked like.

Still, reconstructions can be at times a bit controversial and if not used properly, they can be very problematic. Even the word ‘reconstruction’ is misleading. After all, we can’t ‘reconstruct’ the past exactly as it was… these images are just ideas or theories about what the past was like. It’s a topic that’s particularly interesting to me, and one that I want to focus my next few posts on. Continue reading