Cartographers of the Archaeological Experience

Will Hocking

This is my fourth and final blog post for the Cultural Heritage Practicum topic.

Throughout my placement at ACHM I have had the opportunity to experience archaeology within a totally different context. I have found that consultative archaeology is a very pragmatic form of archaeology; the client wants advice that is straightforward and unambiguous – they want advice that is for all intents and purposes ‘objective’.

I am not here to state whether or not this is a correct interpretation of what archaeology is, and this is hardly the forum to address such a complex and unruly topic. What I am here to state is that the experiences that I have had over the past couple of months working at ACHM have been quite different to the experiences that I have had elsewhere during my studies. Furthermore, these experiences add to my archaeological back story, and they will forever influence my perspectives on archaeology and the way I practice it.

I feel that as students, we need to be cartographers of archaeological experience and we are not going to generate an expansive map by surveying along a straight line. We need to trace every contour and follow every river. This is why I am thankful for the experiences that I have had and I encourage everyone to diversify and develop their experience practicing archaeology.

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