I’ve just booked my tickets for the Theoretical Archaeology Group conference in Birmingham this December. I’ve never been to an academic conference before, well not one that I was really interested in. I don’t have s scooby doo what papers are being presented aside from Kenny Brophy is co-presenting a paper on Psychogeography and archaeology. Which is a lot of the reason I’m wanting to go. Which is pretty lame as he’s one of my lecturers so I could just ask him about the paper! 😀
I’m really interested in the application of psychogeography to archaeology and especially the technique of the dérive to help us understand and interpret the landscape in which archaeology occurs. Psychogeography, and especially the dérive, is focused on interpreting an urban geography and its effect on humans. Archaeology, of the kind that floats my boat anyway, occurs mostly in a rural location. For this reason we need to develop a rural psychogeography.
As well as shifting the focus of psychogeography to a rural setting we need to explore methods of walking through time.The majority of the archaeological features that have, at one point, littered the British landscape are now little more than occasionally appearing marks in crops or subtle humps and bumps in the landscape. The archaeologist as flâneur therefore has to simultaneously locate these features and extrapolate how they may have appeared in their original setting.
As important as using these techniques for interpretation of the landscape as was it is important that archaeologists acknowledge that the vitality of the landscape, and archaeological features within it, exists in the here and now. There is no ‘authentic’ way to experience archaeology as, for example, Chris Tilley would like to believe unless we are experiencing it as it is now and as a living, breathing facet of humanity itself.
Damn that’s waffling. What the hell. Publish and be damned!