Constructing a trumped-up future with the pastness of the present? : neo-relics and archaeological heritage
Ikäheimo, Janne; Äikäs, Tiina (2017-06-07)
Janne Ikäheimo & Tiina Äikäs (2017) Constructing a trumped-up future with the pastness of the present? Neo-relics and archaeological heritage, World Archaeology, 49:3, 388-403, DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2017.1333922
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in World archaeology on 07 Jun 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00438243.2017.1333922.
Neo-relics, constructions borrowing their looks from ancient structures or sites ranging from the mighty Stonehenge to a humble Troy town, have recently been erected in different parts of Finland. In authorized heritage discourse, they are often seen as a potential threat. However, we demonstrate here, with a variety of examples from various social contexts, how ordinary people assign meanings and functions to archaeological heritage through them. We also approach the question of their authenticity by applying Cornelius Holtorf’s materialistically infused constructivist definition of pastness — a property related to an object’s age-value rather than its actual age — to find out why personal involvement, localness and stories are important features in enhancing pastness. Finally, instead of seeing neo-relics as a threat for archaeological heritage and interpretation, we propose that they be embraced as a novel way for people to experience and interact with the past.
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