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    Framing the past: situating the archaeological in photographs

    Baird, Jennifer A. (2017) Framing the past: situating the archaeological in photographs. Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 26 (2), pp. 165-186. ISSN 1356-9325.

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    Archaeology continually reproduces its own images. Speaking archaeology’s visual language is one way it proves membership in the discipline. Many aspects of this visual language have become so naturalised within archaeological representation as to be almost unquestionable: the cleaning of the site, the use of scale, and particular framings and perspectives. How, then, is the production of particular photographic images of archaeology related to the practice of archaeology? Does archaeology look a certain way (in photographs) or are archaeologists reproducing an archaeology according to the way it is thought it should look. Using examples of early photographs from Latin American archaeological expeditions, this article investigates not only photography as an applied technology for scientific recording, but also its power to situate archaeological knowledge. Drawing on recent reflective and critical developments in both the history of archaeology and visual anthropology, it uses five focal points – trace, objectivity and authenticity, sight/site, still lifes, and still lives – to argue that early-twentieth-century archaeological photographs of Latin America participated in the generation of an ‘authentic’ past rather than simply paid testament to it.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Architecture, Space and Society, Centre for
    Depositing User: Jennifer Baird
    Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2017 14:07
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:27


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