Video Discussion

The future of Archaeology

For part of my current course we were asked to film a 1-3 minute video concerning our choice of dissertation- I haven’t yet decided on my dissertation topic so i covered one of my ideas and it ended up longer than i wanted. I really don’t like the quality of it (I had to use the phone on my camera, on a shelf- hence the vertical filming), but I thought I’d upload it just to get used to uploading videos of my ideas onto the internet. This is a pretty good habit to get into because higher visibility equals a higher likelihood of funding, so having Youtube channels, facebook groups and blogs dedicated to archaeology is generally a good idea.

Source: Author

Now I don’t particularly like the video I’ve produced but its a very pressing matter for archaeologists to reach a younger audience, as research has shown those most likely to watch archaeological television are aged 36-55 (Bonacchi, 2013, 121).  So the most obvious choice is to reach out through the internet to a younger more mobilized audience, perhaps focusing on difference aspects of archaeology that aren’t presented in things like Time Team. A good example of this an illustration based on a paper that aimed to recreate the coat patterns of wild European horses through cave art and genetics.wild_horses_by_eurwentala-dbsmtq6

Source: Maija Karala (

This was posted to Tumblr (a social blogging site) an hour ago at the time of writing, and has subsequently gathered over 1,300 notes (individuals interacting with the post, either adding it to a list of likes, or sharing to their own page by ‘reblogging’ the post and sometimes adding their own commentary). This is significant in the way of archaeology as the majority of tumblrs user-base are under the age range of the viewership of Time Team (Mcgrath, 2016), and therefore a new generation of people who could choose to become archaeologists. A far less impressive version is my instagram, which only garners a couple of likes per post, but still shows historical and archaeological material in a way that is far more personal and therefore accessible. Showing this side of archaeology might make it more approachable and interesting to a generation that mainly associates it with much older people, clearly illustrating that there’s a place for them in archaeology.

Source: Author

This image is alongside images and videos of me camping, as well as completed and in progress pieces of art, and while this conversation has veered pretty far from video its an important part of archaeology, how to communicate ideas and how to carve a future from the next generation.

(If you’re wondering about the drawing in the video, its a stylized drawing of the statue of Emperor Augustus from Prima Porta- this is Archaeology afterall!)

(Bonacchi, C., 2013. Audiences and Experiential Values of Archaeological Television: The Case Study of Time Team. Public Archaeology, 12(2), pp.117–131.

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