Plenary

We are thrilled to announce that Prof. Zoe Crossland will be our plenary speaker. She will deliver the annual Antiquity Lecture on Friday 17th December at 7pm.

The life of evidence: rethinking archaeology’s traces

Prof Zoe Crossland

In line with the 42nd TAG and its theme of Life, this lecture considers the life of archaeological evidence. Here I want to suggest that our archaeological traces are living processes. This is not meant metaphorically, but is an argument that evidence has its own life and unfolding trajectories that are not always fully graspable or under our control. The agency of archaeological evidence resides not in its obstinate “thingness” but primarily in its ability to reproduce and regenerate in sometimes unpredictable ways. Turning to recent moments when archaeology and its related practices have been in the news – from the toppling of Colston’s statue, to the threats to university departments, and the distressing use of the remains of MOVE bombing victims as public teaching specimens, I explore the forms of life in archaeological evidence and suggest that closer attention to this life offers ways to remake and revitalize the field. 

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