Od wykopalisk archeologicznych po muzea – czyli jak pozbywamy się rzeczy

25 sie. 2020

Archeologia u progu XXI wieku redefiniuje swoje metody i cele badawcze. Pokłosiem długotrwałych procesów konceptualizacji nowych narzędzi teoretycznych jest wypracowanie alternatywnych ścieżek badawczych, które powoli ścierają się z tradycyjnym, akademickim podejściem do dyscypliny i jej zadań.


From archaeological excavations to museums - how we discard things

This paper constitutes an attempt to reconstruct the route of an artifact discovered during archaeological excavations that was later analyzed, published and finally exhibited in a museum. Unearthed artifacts, which are most frequently objects of daily use, after being described, registered and categorized, function in museums merely as immaterial signs reduced to museum labels. Archaeological displays in museums remain very specialized and hermetic forms of exhibition that do not arouse public interest. Typologies and classifications that are comprehensible almost exclusively to archaeologists create a situation in which archaeological museums are often seen as hermetic and unattractive to general public. At the same time, by dematerializing artifacts in typological presentations, museums neglect the very important ontological aspect of artifacts, i.e. their archaeological context. This ignorance is also visible in narrations that lack references to an object’s original function. However, archaeology faces a shift in paradigm nowadays. The digital turn shapes new approaches in archaeology and strongly influences the way artifacts are presented in museums. However, applying the latest technologies in archaeological museums is sometimes limited to creating virtual realities, which are very distant from the tangible artifacts. This paper, based on some concepts driven from the return to things, aims at showing the very reductionist approach to matter in contemporary archaeology.