Death and memory in fragments: Project Eliseg’s public archaeology
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractThe 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.
CitationWilliams, H. & Evans, S. (2020). Death and memory in fragments: Project Eliseg’s public archaeology. In Williams, H. & Clarke, P. (Ed.). Digging into the Dark Ages: Early Medieval Public Archaeologies. Oxford: Archaeopress.
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