what is the archaeological imagination?
point is a simple one - archaeology does not just an academic
discipline producing knowledge of the past. Archaeology is part
of a range of values, aspirations, desires, dreams, attitudes,
stories that share an archaeological character. Ideas that digging
deeply into something establishes authenticity; a fascination
with ruin and morbidity; locating senses of identity in remains
of the past; connecting collection with place in the pursuit
of historical meaning; notions of the sacred aura of the artifact;
attitudes towards garbage and leftovers; the uncanny sense of
presence found in material remains; stories of deep origin,
and the cyclical rise and fall of cultures.
archaeological imagination takes us into the heart of the modern
condition and its relationship with the past."
Shanks, archaeologist and author, Stanford Archaeology Center,
Michael Shanks' writings about the archaeological imagination