I read a faux pas headline like this and sometimes wonder if it is a waste of time to be out in the world spreading news about archaeology but I feel that getting headlines is necessary. I fully agree with my colleagues that archaeology needs to communicate the exciting aspects of discovery and inspire a sense of awe. However, I don't think we should lose sight of these local responses to coping and making headway in the world in the past either.
As was pointed out the exotic difference of Egyptian tomb discovery captured the public imagination in an age where science and discovery were the flavour of the time. Wasn't Sutton Hoo also compulsive viewing, in the new era of television in most homes, as 'edutainment' (education/entertainment) that again captured public imagination? Like it or not we do have to compete with other projects and exciting news for a place in the public attention.
So what can archaeology now present to the public in these times of credit crunch and fuel poverty (the decreased ability of a section of the population to afford to heat homes at todays prices)? Should we simply offer to transport the public to a place to forget the credit crunch or should we emphasise how people were reliant on the latest technology of their day for warm homes? Can we, if we want to, acheive both? Is sustainable living and traditional building technique sexy enough to celebrate? I think it can offer practical help and can calm fears by reminding that no matter how bad things have been in the prehistoric or historic past we humans have the will and the knack to suceed and can get through these present worrying times?
> Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 12:09:49 +0100> From: [log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Early Victoriana> To: [log in to unmask]> > The fault is with the headline writer not the letter writer.> > > > > -----Original Message-----> > From: British archaeology discussion list > > [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Simon Kidner> > Sent: 11 September 2008 12:01> > To: [log in to unmask]> > Subject: [BRITARCH] Early Victoriana> > > > The Times online edition today, in its Letters section, has > > this headline over a letter by Tim Tatton-Brown:> > > > "The new font being built in Salisbury Cathedral replaces a > > modest Victorian font made for the cathedral in London in > > 1662 for £2 12s"> > > > http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article4726709.ece> >
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