In Memoriam: SK(698)

A personal account of what it means digging up the dead
‘Sarah identifies the ‘private heritage’ of the act of burial that ties mourners, through acts of material engagement, to a place. A landscape. A special corner, and afterwards our perceptions of place are never quite the same. ‘

the incurable archaeologist

I’ve never really enjoyed digging up the dead. But sometimes, we have to. It often comes down to a stark choice: we dig them up with a modicum of dignity, or they’d be scattered by a backhoe and ground to dust. You can argue all you like about the ethics, but once construction crews are waiting, you just have to get on with it.

This is an archaeologist’s personal perspective. It’s a response to the questions I’ve seen about what sets the process and philosophy of archaeology apart from Channel 5’s treatment of human remains in Battlefield Recovery. Enough ink has been spilled in condemnation of that show (see, for instance, this article). So instead, here’s an alternative: a reflection on dealing with the dead.

Little ones

It was cold, that winter. Behind the back of Pizza Express, we were shielded from the worst of the wind, but needling gusts…

View original post 1,217 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s