The Return of Aesthetics to Archaeology

A workshop to be held at the University of London’s Senate House, Thursday 28th and Friday 29th November 2013

This AHRC-funded workshop, generously sponsored by the University of London’s Institute of Philosophy, is centred on the theme of ‘The Return of Aesthetics to Archaeology’.

During the workshop, we intend to think about the following questions:

       To what extent can our understanding of the aesthetic value of archaeological objects underpin our obligations to preserve such objects for future generations?

        Can the aesthetic value of an archaeological object be affected by any moral purpose the object in question may have had historically, and if so, can that feed back into what we owe that object now?

        Is the claim that examining an object’s aesthetic character might detract from the archaeologist’s scientific goals well-founded?

        Do museum curators commit a moral error with regard to the treatment of an archaeological object if they don’t respect what we know about the maker’s intentions?

        Can aesthetic evaluation lead us to reinterpret the meanings and value of archaeological objects, and if so, should that affect the appropriate mode of care?

 The workshop is organised within the framework of an AHRC-funded Research Network Group project focused on ‘The Ethics and Aesthetics of Archaeology’. This wider project brings together philosophers, archaeologists and museum and heritage practitioners in order to focus on the relation between ethics and aesthetics, and explore how this relation shapes the understanding and practice of archaeological stewardship.

Please visit this web-page for further details of the workshop, including the provisional programme:  

The workshop is open to all, free of charge. It will be of particular interest to philosophers, archaeologists and museum/heritage practitioners.

The workshop will take place in the University of London’s Senate House located in Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.

If you intend to attend, we would be grateful if you would let us know, by sending an email to Dr. Elisabeth Schellekens Dammann   or Dr. Robin Skeates


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