Remembering the Memories of Others

I have previously written about memory and archaeology; I reckon that the book that slowly changed my course of interest and made this topic insinuate in my life is Sherry Turkle’s “Evocative objects”. I still remember the day I first encountered it: sitting at a tucked away table in Western Bank Library, with the lovely view of the park and pond in front of me. Since then, a lot had to do also with the research of an archaeologist friend who has been studying the material culture of communist prisons (or better said of the inmates) or church objects seen as memory objects. The cherry on top came with 2 other studies: Mats Burström’s “Buried memories: wartime caches and family history in Estonia” (2013) and my finding at the latest EAA Conference, Saunders and Cornish’s lovely “Contested Objects: Material Memories of the Great War” book (2009; especially the chapter on the German steel helmet). It’s a tricky field this one, quite elusive at times, but for some reason I feel drawn to it more and more, which probably means that in the not so distant future I shall fully embrace it in my research. Til then, this is a good post which captures the feeling I consider one should aim for.

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