The Department of Archaeology at the University of Gothenburg recently published a nice little book written in Swedish by the seasoned contract archaeologist Marianne Lönn: Uppdragsarkeologi och forskning, “contract archaeology and research”. Lönn’s main theses are:
- Archaeologists look at old things to find out what it was like to live a long time ago.
- Contract archaeology is research.
- This research has its own agenda and needn’t pay any attention to what university scholars are doing unless their work is clearly relevant to contract archaeology.
- Contract archaeologists should be proud of their work and accept no shit from anyone who sees themself as superior.
All very good & decent, in my opinion: I had arrived at the same views before I had even seen the book. By the way, Lönn takes an explicit stand against the abstruse theorising going on at the department that has published it!
I only really disagree with Lönn on one issue. In her view, all archaeological sites are equally interesting and valuable. My opinion is that, due to the field-archaeological paradox, many of contract archaeology’s sites are in fact painfully dull.
Lönn, Marianne. 2006. Uppdragsarkeologi och forskning. Tankar från ett västsvenskt perspektiv. GOTARC C63. Department of Archaeology. University of Gothenburg. 118 pp. ISBN 91-85245-25-9.
[More blog entries about archaeology, Sweden; arkeologi, Göteborg.]