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Space Age Archaeology

Artefacts are the skeletons of people's minds

22 May 2016, 00:47 UTC
Artefacts are the skeletons of people's minds
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The words above popped into my mind recently as I was thinking about the archaeological stuff I wanted to teach the first years. I wrote them on a piece of paper and drew a box around them, to distinguish it from other fragments of thoughts, scribbled in passing on the same piece of paper, which go something like this:NagaHuxley - Heaven and HellInhumationWorld of ChickensI will figure out what I was thinking about them another time. For now, I'll just try to excavate my thoughts around the bony artefacts. I was thinking about them as physical skeletons, fleshed out by wishes, dreams, meanings, social interactions, the accumulation of touches, the passing of time, the clothing of use.The brain, of course, already has a bone in the form of the skull. When I'm thinking about the skeletons of mind, I mean the artefacts are the hard bits of the soft brain tissue. They just happen to be outside the cranium and sometimes vastly larger than it.While living, in its systemic context, the artefact can be visible or invisible depending on where or when it is interacted with. It can be in the foreground or the background. It might appear in dreams ...

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