• Death and memory in fragments: Project Eliseg’s public archaeology

      Williams, Howard; Evans, Suzanne; University of Chester (Archaeopress, 2020-03-02)
      The public archaeology of death has frequently focused on the ethics and practices of excavating, displaying and curating human remains and mortuary contexts. Yet the focus of investigation is often restricted to whole, articulated bodies and tangible, complete monuments. Far fewer discussions have tackled the complex challenges of engaging the public with fragmented, partial human remains, ephemeral mortuary material cultures and dislocated funerary monuments. Equally, few studies have tackled the distributed nature of mortuary and memorial traces through their artistic representation and replication. This article addresses the challenges of Project Eliseg’s (2010–present) public archaeology when fragmentation, absence and distribution – both temporally and spatially – pervade the mortuary and memorial archaeology under investigation. We address how the public outreach of our fieldwork both succeeded and faced challenges to engage local people with the monument itself, partly because the monument is fragmented in multiple regards and partly because it is not primarily or exclusively in situ, but is instead both materially and conceptually elsewhere within the landscape of Wales and beyond.
    • Death’s diversity: the case of Llangollen Museum

      Williams, Howard; Evans, Suzanne; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Much of the debate regarding mortuary archaeology’s public interactions has centred on the ethics and politics of displaying articulated skeletal material and fleshed bodies. In contrast, multiple, fragmented, dislocated and cenotaphic mortuary traces which populate museums across the UK have escaped sustained attention. Local and town museums, and also the distinctive narratives required in Welsh museums, have also eluded consideration. This chapter explores how smaller museums create environments in which networks are created both with other memorial places and landscapes in the vicinity, and between discrete museum displays. This chapter focuses on one case study—Llangollen Museum—to present and inter- rogate how a diversity of mortuary material culture combine to create a mortuary network associated with local history, heritage and landscape in this distinctive North Welsh context.
    • Vlog to death: Project Eliseg's video-blogging

      Tong, Joe; Evans, Suzanne; Williams, Howard; Edwards, Nancy; Robinson, Gary; University of Chester (2015-05-31)
      Project Eliseg involved three field seasons (2010–12) of survey and excavation at the multi-period mortuary and commemorative monument known as the Pillar of Eliseg, near Llangollen, Denbighshire, Wales. Each season incorporated an evolving range of media and public engagement activities, with digital media employed to disseminate ongoing work both globally and locally, including to those unable to access the site during the excavation seasons. One of the key strategies employed via digital media in seasons 2 and 3 was a daily video-blog (hereafter: vlog). This article presents and appraises the rationale, design, content and reception of the Project Eliseg vlog revealing key lessons in the use of digital media in archaeological fieldwork, particularly for those engaged with the archaeology of death, burial and commemoration.