Things of Archaeology and the Archaeology of Things

Marshalltown in use.  (Author's photo.)

[The archive] is the border of time that surrounds our presence, which overhangs it, and which indicates it in its otherness; it is that which, outside ourselves, delimits us.
-- Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge
 

There’s a meta-materiality to archaeology.  For a discipline that deals with material culture, it has a unique one of its own. 

The tools of the trade?  The shovels, the screens, the trowels, the notes?  These tools have their own narrative and this narrative of excavation is another stratigraphic layer of meaning superimposed on the artifacts they, in turn, excavate – none more so than the Marshalltown trowel.

Personalized Marshalltown.  (Author's photo.)

This is an excerpt from Tools of the Trade, published with the wonderful folks over at Unmaking Things