Guerilla Archaeology? Art and Visualisation

by Tyler Mackie

This is, quite simply, very new to me in every concept when it comes to archaeology. Admittedly, I haven’t been completely ignorant to these concepts, but it would seem that on the scale of things (and in my tuition) ‘art and visualisation’ and art in prehistory, is rarely discussed in comparison to the more ‘objective’ of archaeological evidence. A friend of mines is compiling her thesis on art and visualisation in Archaeology at Edinburgh University and it is clear that the work she is doing is very ‘off the wall’ in comparison to other theses. Of course art and visualisation is very subjective, hard to pinpoint and even more so, difficult to interpret the exact meanings and representations placed in art form.

But why should it be so feared and thrown to the side? I recently watched a video of a Tedx talk regarding this, and from experiments of art and engaging with the public, it presented a wealth of information an analysed artefact in the lab, or social activity explained through ‘activity areas’ and ‘ritual deposits’, lack.

If Millie’s Camp hasn’t already placed a great deal of worry on the worth of archaeological research, of the subjectivity on the things we perceive as ‘objective’ then the most ‘subjective’ must be considered as significant an aspect. Art is a human phenomenon, which we all can appreciate. Even if we cannot fully understand it. But a way to understand it is not in individual research but how it engages with the human population, how it reaches to others emotionally.

And also, wouldn’t we all want to become a part of the Shamanic Street Preachers?
video here