Stephen Houston
Publication Type:
Joukowsky Institute Publications (JIP)


The archaeological past exists for us through intermediaries. Some are written works, descriptions, narratives and field notes, while others are visual: the drawings, paintings, photographs, powerpoints or computer visualizations that allow us to re-present past forms of human existence. This volume brings together nine papers, six of which were presented at a symposium hosted at Brown University. Two papers explore the classical past and medieval visualizations. Three treat the Maya, and one considers the imaging by eighteenth-century antiquarians of British history; yet another ranges broadly in its historical considerations. Several consider the trajectory over time of visualization and self-imaging. Others engage with issues of recording by looking, for example, at the ways in which nineteenth–century excavation photographs can aid in the reconstruction of an inscription or by evaluating the process of mapping a site with ArcGIS and computer animation software. All essays raise key questions about the function of re-presentations of the past in current archaeological practice.

Table of Contents

1. Re-presenting Archaeology: Sheila Bonde and Stephen Houston
2. Imaging British History – Patriotism, professional arts practice and the quest for precision: Sam Smiles
3. Re-presenting the Monastery – From Ordo to Google Earth: Sheila Bonde and Clark Maines
4. Ping-Pong, Polygons, Virgins – Graphic representations of the ancient museum: Stephen Houston
5. Visual Time Machines – Nineteenth-century photography and museum Re-presentations in Maya archaeology: Barbara W. Fash
6. Of Imaging and Imagining – Landscape reconstruction at Piedras Negras: Cassandra L. Mesick
7. A Political Economy of Visual Media in Archaeology: Michael Shanks and Timothy Webmoor
8. Representing the Medieval Festivals of Jaén Through Text, Enactment and Image: Thomas Devaney
9. The World on a Flat Surface – Maps from the archaeology of Greece and beyond: Christopher L. Witmore
10. To be or not to be in Past Spaces – Thoughts on Roman immersive reconstructions: Diane Favro