Wednesday 18 July 2018

Stijn Heeran (Portable Antiquities of the Netherlands) says...

Stijn Heeren says ‘findspots are often more important than the finds’ in terms of enabling archaeologists to understand the past.

But one would have hoped that in a department of Archaeology a the Vrije Universitet Amsterdam ('free' or not) , they'd be teaching that in the interpretation of archaeological evidence it is not just the findspot, but especially the context and associations that are important. If the objects are 'unimportant', why are they collected? Why do we protect sites, if all we need to know to reach an 'understanding of the past' is a dot on a map representing the findspot of this or that coin, or diagnostic potsherd or brooch? Analysis of dot distribution maps of selected collectables is not any way to reach an understanding of the past that goes beyond that which Kossinna proposed.

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