A Steely Gaze: My Captivation with the American Tintype

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


This chapter explores the relationship between things and memory, and colours the challenge of excavating memories of an object and its place in history. Much of archaeology is a tactile experience. Someone with scarred and roughened hands and weather-beaten, chapped skin. Someone who didn't concern himself much with the intellectual challenges of theoretical archaeology. It describes as a historical archaeologist with an interest in contemporary archaeology. Three things made this story even more fascinating. Firstly, the same burial contained a second small bowl, again bearing an illiterate stamp, this one consisting of a zigzag line Memories of the making and the thinking that created those illiterate potters' stamps. Memories of the physical act of picking up a knife or a nail and scratching that X of ownership. All light-hearted fun, but now, through that prosaic platter with its illiterate stamp and clumsily scratched X, two people from the distant past reached through the centuries and touched.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationObject Stories
Subtitle of host publicationArtifacts and Archaeologists
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781315423364
ISBN (Print)9781611323849
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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