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What should we record? On facing a dump of contemporary abandonment looking for fake archaeology in Spain

AuthorsMartín Alonso, Jesús; Almansa Sánchez, Jaime
Issue Date2-Mar-2019
CitationCHATmethod (2019)
Abstract'Fake archaeology' is a search for the past in the past from the present. Scenarios of recreational nature that tried to be what they were not, but still being what they wanted to be. A flurry archaeology of the representations of archaeology in the recent past. The appealing nature that Holtorf described for iconic archaeology is present in our everyday life and was present in the growth of leisure culture too. While our first question when facing an archaeology of this leisure culture was about what to record, standing in front of a mess of rubbish, graffiti and ruins, did not feel that different from traditional archaeology. After all, they were just palimpsests of use and abandonment like any other traditional archaeological site. Sure, the methodology to approach the record needed to be different, but it was just a creative evolution of current techniques. The main challenge stood on bureaucracy and the fate of our record. Not recognised as archaeology in its administrative meaning, processes were different, and our interventions are affecting irreversibly the sites with no formal material record. A comprehensive record is in need though, but is digital enough? Who stands responsible for keeping and preserving this record once we are gone? Do we need to? Are we creating `heritage¿ in an overprotective system that could impact widely future interventions? We usually don¿t pay enough attention to the management of contemporary archaeology in legal contexts were definitions and connotations can affect deeply everyday life. This paper will try to reflect on these issues from practice.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado en la Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory Conference (CHATmethod), celebrada en Londres (Gran Bretaña), del 1 al 3 de noviembre de 2019
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