Posts Tagged ‘future archaeology’

An Archaeology of Growth and Regeneration

Thursday, February 23rd, 2023

What can it mean to excavate remains of the past when one is interested in the future?

One part of the excavation report for Gamla Skogsby 2021 describes the main outcomes of the intellectual and empirical work on growth and regeneration, led by Cornelius Holtorf and in collaboration with the other members of the excavation team.

The associated fieldwork was an attempt to find ways of creatively applying futures thinking to an archaeological field project. 

Read the report of this experimental excavation project here:

Holtorf, Cornelius (2022) An Archaeology of Growth and Regeneration. In: L. Papmehl-Dufay (ed.) Under storkökets golv. Arkeologisk undersökning i Gamla Skogsby september och oktober 2022, pp. 85-123 (Appendix 1). Kalmar Studies in Archaeology XIV. Kalmar/Växjö: Linnaeus University.

See also the full report here to which my text is an appendix.

Chilean Futures

Sunday, December 18th, 2022

Cornelius Holtorf visited colleagues at the Instituto de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Museo at the Universidad Católica del Norte in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

Together with a group of indigenous community members interested in utilising their natural resources and supporting crucial land claims, we went into the field to survey precolonial (Inca) remains of irrigated terraces at more than 4,000m altitude. Water supply is still of great importance for any kind of agriculture in this desert, one of the driest places on Earth (although a little cloudy on the day of our visit!).

Inca irrigated terraces for agriculture

As a ‘future archaeologist’ I am interested, on the one hand, in applying archaeology to improve people’s lives in the near (short) future. This can mean strengthening claims to land entitlements after 2024 when the current terms will expire.

Modern water channel

On the other hand, the specific circumstances also evoke a more distant (long) future: indigenous communities have been negotiating considerable and long-lasting monetary compensation from mining companies operating on their land or nearby and affecting their water supply and living conditions. The lithium being mined, in turn, is essential for the current green transition to carbon-neutral and sustainable technologies (such es electric cars) elsewhere in the world.

Mining in northern Chile

In such complex situations, what we need to make the best decisions is enhanced futures literacy: how can we escape presentism and imagine a wide range of future possibilities while making the best decisions for living people and their descendants, especially when they are poor and marginalised?

International Science Festival Gothenburg

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

We took part with two outreach projects in the 2021 International Science Festival in Gothenburg, one of Europe’s leading popular science events and the only one of its kind in Sweden.

Archaeology Today – now in print

Thursday, December 31st, 2020

Our unique colouring book Archaeology Today (for children and adults alike!) is now available