Bell-making, performance and archaeology
March 14, 2015 at 6:33 pm #12520Bryan CockrellMember
I’m co-organizing a forum that will be held at the Society for American Archaeology meetings in San Francisco on April 16. The theme of the forum is ‘Performing the past/present’, about the role of performance in archaeology, especially recognizing the archaeologists themselves as active participants in the process of narrating the past. One essential component of this concept is experimental archaeology, a pursuit I’ve undertaken through my own experiments in lost wax casting.
I’ve clipped photographs and video from these experiments and re-organized them into a plan (bird’s eye) and profile (cross-section) view of an imagined archaeological site, a very small Bay-Area island called ‘Isla de las Campañas’. I’ve attached these to this e-mail. The plan view is useful for visualizing spatial relationships (of materials related to different times) and the profile for visualizing temporal relationships (where the layers at the top are more recent than the layers at the bottom are). The ellipses colored pale yellow and brown are artificial pits that the archaeologists encountered (and I’ve left you with the decision of what they represent).
I was wondering if you would be interested in joining the discussion by answering this question when you view the plan and profile:
To what extent does this information allow us to reconstruct the entire experience of casting (a) bell(s)?
The implied second question is: what information is lacking?
It would be excellent to hear any feedback you can offer and with your permission, I would be glad to cite your ideas in our discussion in SF. You are of course more than welcome to join the discussion online. Our blog is here: https://performingthepastpresent.wordpress.com
If you need any other information, or would like additional guidance reviewing the images I’ve attached, please let me know!
Please feel free to circulate this question and file to fellow bell-makers, and to send any responses by posting here.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
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