Archaeological archives take up a significant amount of shelf space in any archaeological depot or museum, yet these are rarely presented as primary storytelling tools. As the public image of archaeology is still largely defined by the physical remains of sites and the finds that are associated with them, these are also often the focus of archaeological publications and displays, confining the purview of archaeological documentation to behind-the-scenes research. However, these records do not just illustrate an object, feature or site, they connect the past to the present as narratives of human interpretation and changes in archaeological and museological practice. In this paper, I draw from four brief case studies from my own research, each pertaining to different aspects of collection interpretation, display, and engagement. These practical examples highlight the importance of integrating documentary and material collections in research and outreach spaces. This integration helps us to present the diverse aspects of archaeological research, give value to under-resourced collections, explore meaning across different sources, and display the processes through which we create knowledge.
How to Cite:
Van de Ven, A., (2022) “Artefacts and Their Texts: Contextualising Ancient Near Eastern Collections from Excavation to Display”, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 33(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.2041-9015.1373