Artifacts and Emotion

Neil Brodie, Morag M. Kersel and Kathryn Walker Tubb

in Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, and the Antiquities Trade

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780813029726
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039145 | DOI:
Artifacts and Emotion

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This chapter considers some of the psychological aspects of collecting. Emotion and reason are accepted together as a dynamic entity in which the prevalence of one or the other is dependent on context at any given moment. The exploration of emotional involvement in the past is via the tangible medium of the artifact, in the particular context of the trade in antiquities. It is easily demonstrated that artifacts arouse emotion, but whether that emotion can be harnessed to effect enhanced protection of the archaeological heritage is another matter. Additionally, it is interesting to note that within the archaeological community, the views regarding how to protect sites have been passionately framed, and diametrically opposed stances have been adopted. Currently, the prognosis for the survival of archaeological sites, and the potential knowledge of the past that they hold, is grim.

Keywords: artifacts; emotion; collecting; antiquities; trade; archaeological heritage

Chapter.  8068 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Archaeological Methodology and Techniques

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