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is heritage good for local people?
No need for apologies Tom- my job "feeds me" anyway. I did`nt know that "troll" had such an internet-specific meaning but...if the hat fits....Big Grin

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
I was enjoying the discussion Unitof1 (may I call you Unit to save typing time or is that a touch informal?)

One of the big issues in heritage interpretation (as a subset of heritage management) is ensuring that one interpretation is taken as the be all and end all, and one of the hardest things to achieve is to send the visitor away with a positive message but one that does not preclude other interpretations. Freeman Tilden,(the originator of 'interpretation'in the sense of explaining a site), David Lowenthal, David Uzzell and assorted others have written at great length on this. The site you quote is an extremely simplistic viewpoint from one direction, as you say there are other equally valid viewpoints (the whole of the southern part of Africa appears to be a mass of contradictory viewpoints as far as I can make out from what little I know of its history)
I didn't intend to kill off debate m300572, just put it back on thread (albeit just a *little* bit spikily, sorry if I've offended).

The issue of multiple interpretations is an interesting point. I recall Barbera Bender once suggesting that the best answer to the Stonehenge interpretation debate would be to put up a lot of different tents on the plain with different ideas and aspects of society in each and then move them around every so often. On the face of it is sounds very constructive (and cheap!). There are lots of people in a society, all seeing things differently, so why not tell as many of their stories as possible?

The trouble with multivocality though is, what do you do when there are serious concequences in the real world? Climate change is a good example (since ecology functions on equivalent level of interpretive security to archaeology, I would argue). Sooner or later, the scientists had to start pointing out that the identity of the messenger (i.e. industry sponsored 'experts') was important regardless of how many big journal papers they had written. They also managed to do this without giving up on their claim to an objective viewpoint.

Cornelius Haltdorf would have us believe that post-processualism is the enemy of authoritarian ('fascist') ideologues (see online article in Assemblage with bizarre mis-spellings). I don't agree myself, since those with an axe to grind (southern African big business, Aryan Brotherhood, whomever) will hear the 'we welcome all...' part of the message but ignore the '...because all interpretations are equally valid' bit, and then stifle debate themselves.

Personally, I am unsure whether to reject this multivocal notion on the grounds that objectivity should be our goal regardless of whether it is attainable, or alternatively to say 'OK if all interpretations have political remifications I will look for the interpretations that suit my own agenda'. The former seems unattainable, the latter seems cynical at best, if not unprofessional. Is there a third way?

Hmm, I may be accused of running off topic myself here. However, if you define prehistory simply as relating to societies that manifest themselves through material culture and action, but not through text, then the methods we use to investigate, interpret and present our own distant past and the more recent past of groups (Bushmen, Dyaks etc.) are likely to be very similar.

PS m300572"
'..may I call you Unit to save typing time or is that a touch informal?'
any preferences as to how we might shorten your own moniker?

'In the busy market there are fortunes to be won and lost, but in the cherry orchard there is peace'.
Chinese proverb
Hi Tom,

Another forum egularly refer to me as m300 or just M - I must admit to have been called a lot worse in my time :-) Or Peter which is the real world name I answer to.

No offence at all - I admit my transgressions and deviations from the thread to some extent. This has probably developed to the point where the original thread title stands and a new one discussing the whys and wherefores of hinterpretation comes on line.

I completely accept your point on multi viewpoint interpretation in complex situations - I may even quote you in my class today (I teach part of an Heritage Interpretation module at my local uni). I will also have a search for Assemblage in the next couple of days and have a look at the article you have cited.



Is there a third way?

You could try cutting sentences up and brandishing the results

“the welfare of small, traditional cultures has contributed to heritage management”

puts a bit of spin on welfare
The welfare of small traditional cultures is best achieved by corporate bodies not ripping them off and allowing them to manage themselves - discuss.
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Unitof1

“the welfare of small, traditional cultures has contributed to heritage management”

puts a bit of spin on welfare

Unit you seem to be pretending to quote me. Paraphrase if you will, but that is the opposite of my phrase, which you have taken out of context in any case. Please refrain from such behaveour.

'In the busy market there are fortunes to be won and lost, but in the cherry orchard there is peace'.
Chinese proverb
I have been reading about the Ona it seems that the corporate body that did most for them was the church. (I have also been reading about the survival rates of early missionaries in the Congo- Steven King couldnt do better if he tried.) I bet that if you scout around the areas of these small (once a lot bigger), traditional cultures you will find the god squads about minding everybody’s business looking for a solution involving the best for their souls. I imagine the bible bashers competing with the heritage managers and coming up with a mutual stitch up (the moromons seem to like baptising people long dead and the genealogists are happy). like natural england and EH (and all the sad antiunion ones) coming up with schemes in churches with bats or beech clumps and barrows-“ancient” woodlands –restorations!!. heritage lottery fund

Culture fornicates on (like climate change), aimlessly no doubt, I dont think that archaeology looks to stop change if anything its greatest result is to reiterate that culture /tradition doesn’t stop changing at all. So when anybody starts trying to put a landscape in aspic in the name of heritage it seems to me that they are trying to say that archaeology is about preservation when I would suggest that it is about preservation by record and that involves ripping that landscape to pieces. I was once at a public inquiry where they tried to say that I was anti development and I had to point out that I earn my living from development. Well I think that people are just using archaeology with some totally different motive like sentimentality or xenophobia

Now the treads have been split but they shouldn’t have been because I think that we are talking about preservation in situ of which I am anti (so splitting treads is alright) up to the point where I justify what I do on the grounds that it is the price that the “country” has to pay if it wants to go around scheduling things-in effect using the future to justify the present which is the very odd thing about looking at monuments after having spent years staring at 600mm trenches. I dont want them preserved I want to do a Greenwell and be left in the cherry orchard to get on with my very selfish view of the world. I dont like justifying monuments to passers by. There are a lot of barrows round my way and they are all bronze age according to the well educated locals except that nobody has dug any of them.. landscape becomes a ugly prison, with a jailer every bit screwed down quite often by people long dead.

Tom I wasnt pretending- you asked for a third way and I reacted to bender and having once watched as she seriously abused a small traditional cultural group of pseudohermaphrodites in the name of gender as you do.

On the subject of multiple view points we are in the reality of the long tail aren’t we

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