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date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Archaeology is not history; it is the memory of material things. The material environment of human societies has always been composite; it has always been composed of elements of the past while still continuing to exist in the present. In this context the construction of time past is the discovery of otherness, where time ceases to conform to the linearity of conventional history. Events do not simply and sequentially populate an empty past, because the time of memory functions in a wholly different way from historical time. The past can come back into the present. An approach attentive to the material memory constituted by archaeological materials must therefore function by construction rather than addition. In this configuration, archaeology is no longer the simple material illustration of history. It becomes instead a privileged field of observation of the world, enriching history with all the diversity of the individual trajectories followed by the subjects of the material universe.

Keywords: collecting, time, past, present, memory, permanence, otherness

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