Ancient Muses: Archaeology and the Arts

Ancient Muses: Archaeology and the Arts

Ancient Muses: Archaeology and the Arts

Ancient Muses: Archaeology and the Arts

Excerpt

. . . may our hands immortalize the day
When life was sweet, and save from utter death
The sacred past that should not pass away.

—George Santayana, from the poem “The Power of Art,” 1894

Only imagination fleshes out the sound and taste of time past,
anchoring the flavor of lost moments in the welter of objects left behind.

—Carmel Schrire, in Digging through Darkness:
Chronicles of an Archaeologist,
1995, p. 11

As a subdiscipline of anthropology, and as an indispensable tool in the construction, elaboration, and interpretation of history, archaeology uses material culture and vestiges of the past, such as artifacts and historical accounts, to refine, expand, and update our knowledge of the history of humankind. Archaeological methods are used in scientific investigations of past human behavior to produce more accurate historical accounts and interpretations, helping us to understand the relevance and importance of the present as well as the past. The last 50 years have brought an increasing number of archaeologists who have entered the public archaeology arena. Some have recognized the importance of direct involvement by archaeologists in developing effective public interpretation programs (Jameson 1997; South 1997). Since the 1990s, the emergence of educational archaeology has helped focus the public eye on the importance and relevance of archaeology in preserving and protecting multicultural values for diverse audiences (Jameson 2000, 2003). In the National Park Service and elsewhere, archaeologists, interpreters, and educators are collaborating to interpret archaeology more effectively. They are using their knowledge and skills to create opportunities for the public to form intel-

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.