The Past in the Past: Heirlooms and Curated Material in Past Societies



imageDate: 21st May 2016

This one-day conference, hosted at Durham University, explores the ways in which prehistoric, Roman, and early medieval peoples curated, recycled, and reused objects from their own past.

Modern archaeologists are not the first to be interested in the relics, ruins, and remnants of past peoples. From curated antique artefacts placed in human graves to the structuring agency of ruined buildings on the landsape, premodern people have repeatedly encountered, remixed, and recycled the material remains of the societies that came before them. In this one-day conference, our invited speakers and participants will explore these material practices of reuse using a variety of archaeological perspectives that will deepen our understanding of the value of the material past in human social life.

imageInvited speakers include:
  • Dr. Joanna Brück (University of Bristol)
  • Dr. Ellen Swift (University of Kent)
  • Dr. James Gerrard (Newcastle University).

Thanks to the generous support of Durham Early Medieval Debates, St. Chad’s College, CARD (Centre of Academic and Researcher Development) and IMEMS (Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies), this conference will be free of charge. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

(Cover image: Merovingian coins recycled into pendants from Sarre, Kent. 7th century. Image from the British Museum, used under a Creative Commons license.)