Archaeology and Folklore

Archaeology and Folklore

Archaeology and Folklore

Archaeology and Folklore


Archaeology and Folklore explores the complex relationship between the two disciplines to demonstrate what they might learn from each other.This collection includes theoretical discussions and case studies drawn from Western Europe, the Mediterranean and North. They explore the differences between popular traditions relating to historic sites and archaeological interpretations of their history and meaning.


'As long as ever I've known it…'

On folklore and archaeology

Amy Gazin-Schwartz and Cornelius Holtorf


In this introductory chapter, we will consider questions of history, historical accuracy and meaning in formulating new relationships between archaeology and folklore. How do archaeology and folklore, in their broadest senses, differ in constructing ideas about the past? How have these differences arisen historically in different places, and how have archaeologists used or referred to folklore in previous studies? What roles might folklore play in an interpretive archaeology, which focuses on the meanings of the past in the past and in the present?

constructing the past in folklore and archaeology

Everyone concerned with the past-archaeologist, historian, politician, storyteller, priest, parent-constructs ideas and images of the past from materials available in the present. Through these ideas and images, we invest meaning in past events; but these meanings may differ according to our perspectives. We view the past through the lenses of the present; indeed, people have probably always done so. Archaeology and folklore are two of the many lenses through which the past is given meaning, and it is the aim of this volume to explore and understand differences and similarities in how archaeology and folklore create, and are created through, ideas about the past. in the intersections between these similarities and differences, we hope to find new lenses, through which we can begin to create alternative images of people's histories. the papers that follow will explore the meanings people attach to the past, or to artefacts associated with the past. They will demonstrate the value of developing a dialogue between different systems of meaning. What aspects

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