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Meta-stories of archaeology
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0557-9651
2010 (English)In: World archaeology, ISSN 0043-8243, E-ISSN 1470-1375, Vol. 42, no 3, p. 381-393Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

I argue that archaeologists contribute most to the contemporary ‘experience society’ when they tell stories. Such stories well told may be either about what happened in the past or about how archaeology proceeds. Far more significant, however, are the meta-stories of archaeology. These are defined as stories of archaeology in which contemporary audiences themselves feature as characters, engulfed in a plot about archaeology or the past that gives meaning and perspective to their presentday lives. Such meta-stories may draw on metaphorical meanings that resonate in the practices of professional archaeology. In this paper, however, the emphasis is put on another type of meta-story that explores, in relation to the past, what it means to be human, who we are as members of a particular human group and how we might be living under different circumstances. I argue that archaeologists need to get better at understanding and critically appreciating the overarching metastories they evoke. For archaeology matters when its meta-stories matter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge , 2010. Vol. 42, no 3, p. 381-393
Keywords [en]
Cultural heritage; experience society; story-telling; meta-stories; humanity; collective identities; alternative ways of life
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Humanities, Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-7124DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2010.497382Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-77955604525OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-7124DiVA, id: diva2:343117
Available from: 2010-09-06 Created: 2010-08-12 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Holtorf, Cornelius

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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