Where is archaeology going? As archaeologists, it’s not exactly in our nature to postulate about the future. Written by James Spry
The past, of course, is kind of our thing. “Learning about our past will guide our future” – or other such anecdotes, are the bread and butter of any discussion between an archaeologist and an inquisitive member of the public. Yes, this is true and it’s what archaeology is all about. It’s the passionate plea to learn about the world our ancestors lived in instead of dawning too much on the scary and ever changing present. Let’s be honest, every time we turn on the news or, heaven-for-bid, accidentally witness the homepage of the Daily Mail website, with its too-fat-too-thin celebrity updates, we are hardly inspired by thoughts of the future.
It’s all too understandable why we inadvertently reminisce about a past life we never lived or engross ourselves in a material culture and that we will never full understand. And it’s such a drive to immerse ourselves in the past that has made archaeology so damn popular, why thousands of people donate their weekends to walking up and down muddy fields and why millions of us are now terrified what we will soon have to watch ‘I’m a Celebrity Pop Idol’ on a Sunday night instead of letting Phil Harding show us his unique X-Factor.
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