Donald Henson (University College London); Ben Thomas (Archaeological Institute of America)


This theme will explore representations of archaeology and the material culture of peoples through various media. Comparing approaches of media production and depictions of archaeology and material culture should lead to stimulating discussion about how we portray ourselves and the past. For example, archaeology has been a source of programming for television since the advent of the technology. It has also been a fertile source of images and narratives for feature films. The moving image has often been exploited by archaeologists themselves for purposes of record and communication with outside audiences. Forms of audio-visual expression are culturally bounded and also represent the prevailing assumptions and visualisations that archaeologists have of the past.

We would welcome a variety of session formats as part of this theme, especially those involving multi-media demonstrations. This theme provides an excellent avenue for archaeologist engaging in creative uses of popular media to show the results of this work.  If your submission will use a multi-media format, please note that on the conference registration website. These could include short papers with discussion, screenings of films, screening of short film clips with commentary and discussion, and debate based around a controversial programmes or media outlets. This theme encourages submissions that look at media and entertainment from critical perspectives. Topics may include:

  • How archaeologists engage with media outlets
  • Archaeology in the movies
  • Archaeology and television
  • Archaeology in tourism literature
  • Archaeology in other print media (magazines, newspapers, books, etc.)


Archaeology in the Media

Karen C. Martin-Stone (Flinders University and Earth Sea Heritage Surveys, Australia); Nigel J. Hetherington (Past Preservers, Egypt and United Kingdom and University College London, United Kingdom)


The relationship between archaeologists and the media has not always been an easy one. This session seeks to encourage debate, collaboration and new perspectives on the representation of archaeology to a mainstream audience. The organisers seek submissions from researchers and practitioners along the themes of ethical practice, modes of representation, interdisciplinary participation, and challenges encountered. The organisers welcome suggestions for other topics. The session will include up to 8 presentations. Presentations are encouraged from the fields of both archaeology and the media.