cover of book

Ancient Muses: Archaeology and the Arts
edited by John H. Jameson Jr, John E. Ehrenhard and Christine A. Finn
contributions by David G. Orr, John H. Jameson Jr, Richard Keeton, Harold Mytum, Margaret A. Heath, Emily J. Donald, Lance M. Foster, Kirsten Brett, Claire Smith, Sarah M. Nelson, James G. Gibb, Nicola Laneri, Jeanne Lopiparo, Martin Pate, David Middlebrook, David G. Anderson, John E. Ehrenhard, Christine A. Finn, Mary R. Bullard and Sharyn Kane
University of Alabama Press, 2003
Cloth: 978-0-8173-1273-2 | Paper: 978-0-8173-1274-9 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-8286-5


Known widely in Europe as "interpretive narrative archaeology," the practice of using creative methods to interpret and present current knowledge of the past is gaining popularity in North America. This book is the first compilation of international case studies of the various artistic methods used in this new form of education—one that makes archaeology "come alive" for the nonprofessional. Plays, opera, visual art, stories, poetry, performance dance, music, sculpture, digital imagery—all can effectively communicate archaeological processes and cultural values to public audiences.

The 23 contributors to this volume are a diverse group of archaeologists, educators, and artisans who have direct experience in schools, museums, and at archaeological sites. Citing specific examples, such as the film The English Patient, science fiction mysteries, and hypertext environments, they explain how creative imagination and the power of visual and audio media can personalize, contextualize, and demystify the research process. A 16-page color section illuminates their examples, and an accompanying CD includes relevant videos, music, web sites, and additional color images.

In their Introduction, the editors invoke the ancient muses to inspire the modern presenters and interpreters of archaeological research. They aptly quote George Santayana, from his poem "The Power of Art":

". . . may our hands immortalize the day

When life was sweet, and save from utter death

The sacred past that should not pass away."

John H. Jameson Jr. is an archaeologist and John E. Ehrenhard is Director at the National Park Service's Southeast Archeological Center in Tallahassee, Florida. Christine A. Finn is research associate at the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Oxford in England.

    List of Figures  ix
    List of Plates  xi
    Introduction: Archaeology as Inspiration-Invoking the
    Ancient Muses   i
    John H. Jameson, Jr., John E. Ehrenhard, and Christine A. Finn
    Why We Were Drawn to This Topic 6
    from the Contributors
    1. More Than Just "Telling the Story": Interpretive Narrative Archaeology  15
    John P. McCarthy
    2. The Archaeologist as Playwright  25
    James G. Gibb
    3. Archaeology Goes to the Opera   40
    John E. Ehrenhard and Mary R. Bullard
    4. Archaeology in Two Dimensions: The Artist's Perspective  49
    Martin Pate
    5. Art and Imagery as Tools for Public Interpretation and Education in Archaeology  57
    John H. Jameson, Jr.
    6. Archaeology as a Compelling Story: The Art of Writing Popular Histories  65
    Sharyn Kane and Richard Keeton
    7. Poetry and Archaeology: The Transformative Process  72
    Christine A. Finn
    8.  Reflections on the Design of a Public Art Sculpture for the
    Westin Hotel, Palo Alto, California  82
    David Middlebrook
    9.  Pompeii: A Site for All Seasons  84
    David G. Orr
    10. Evoking Time and Place in Reconstruction and Display:
    The Case of Celtic Identity and Iron Age Art  92
    Harold Mytum
    11. Art and Archaeology: Conflict and Interpretation in a Museum Setting    o09
    MichaelJ. Williams and Margaret A. Heath
    12. The Archaeology of Music and Performance in the Prehistoric American Southwest   I20
    Emily Donald
    13. Archaeology's Influence on Contemporary Native American Art:
    Perspectives from a Monster  128
    Lance M. Foster
    14. From Rock Art to Digital Image: Archaeology and Art in Aboriginal Australia  136
    Claire Smith and Kirsten Brett
    15. Archaeology in Science Fiction and Mysteries  152
    David G. Anderson
    16.  RKLOG: Archaeologists as Fiction Writers  162
    Sarah M. Nelson
    17. Capturing the Wanderer: Nomads and Archaeology in the Filming of The English Patient  169
    Christine A. Finn
    18. Is Archaeology Fiction? Some Thoughts about Experimental
    Ways of Communicating Archaeological Processes to the "External World" 179
    Nicola Laneri
    19. Crafting Cosmos, Telling Sister Stories, and Exploring Archaeological
    Knowledge Graphically in Hypertext Environments  193
    Jeanne Lopiparo and Rosemary A. Joyce
    References Cited   205
    Contributor Affiliations and Contact Information  231
    About the Editors   233
    Index   235
    1.  Images and clips from the stage production of the opera Zabette John E. Ehrenhard and Mary R. Bullard (See also book chapter3)
    2.  Interpretive art paintings and sketches, color image scans Martin Pate (See also book chapter 4)
    3.  Examples of archaeological interpretive art images and educational posters, color image scans
    Martin Pate, John E. Ehrenhard, andJohn H. Jameson, Jr. (See also book chapters 4, 5, and 6)
    4.  Popular histories and other online volumes of the Southeast Archeological Center, National Park Service
    Martin Pate, John E. Ehrenhard, andJohn H. Jameson, Jr. (See also book chapters 4, 5, and 6)
    5.  Color photos of public art sculptures David Middlebrook (See also book chapter 8)
    6.  Book covers and comments on Spirit Bird Journey and
    National Treasure, published by RKLOG Press Sarah M Nelson (See also book chapter i6)
    7.  Video: Is Archaeology Fiction ? Some Thoughts about Experimental Ways of CommunicatingArchaeological Processes to the 'External World"
    Nicola Laneri (See also book chapter i8)
    8. Multimedia hypertext: Sample reading of Crafting Cosmos: The Production of Social Memory in Everyday Life among the Ancient Maya
    Jeanne Lopiparo (See also book chapter ig)

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