Breathing life into the archives: Reflections upon decontextualization and the curatorial history of V.G. Childe and the material from Tószeg

Mary Leighton*, Marie Louise Stig Sørensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

What is the fate of the material from old excavations? This article aims to generate attention towards this question by discussing the fragmentation of assemblages due to long and disjointed excavation campaigns as well as the eagerness of museums to have representative objects from famous sites. The challenge emerging is the need to explore ways of reinstating objects that may be widely dispersed and entirely decontextualized into our database. The tell at Tószeg-Laposhalom, Hungary, is used as a case study with particular attention to the campaign of 1927. This case is important for several reasons. Tószeg is a key European Bronze Age site. It is also a good example of a site with numerous excavation campaigns and many different teams being involved. Moreover, the 1927 campaign, which is documented through the correspondence between the partners, was V.G. Childe's first excavation, and the data recovered played a key role in his Central European Bronze Age chronology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-60
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Archaeology
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

Keywords

  • Childe
  • Hungarian Bronze Age
  • Museum collections
  • Tószeg

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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