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The Lost Art of Archaeological Narrative

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A paper April 4th by Mitch Allen (Left Coast Press) in an excellent late-evening session on “Accessible Archaeology” struck a distinct chord. He was advocating the increased use of narrative in archaeological writing – or, perhaps more accurately, the increased use of narrative in writing by archaeologists – something that was the theme of my presentation at the York Heritage Research Seminars in February (“Discussion, Dialogue, Debate: Examining the role of narrative in the visualisation of archaeology).


Mitch’s argument was that narrative seems an obvious language for archaeologists, but that without training, they do it very badly. He pointed out that it is a literary tool that has a long and honourable history in archaeological writing. By coincidence, I’d picked up a copy earlier in the day of Max Mallowan‘s memoirs – exactly the kind of narrative archaeological writing that Mitch had held up as an example: informative, aimed at a general audience but yet full of detail and specialist information, and – yes – accessible….

to keep reading;

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Read more here.   at John G Swogger – Illustrator. 

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