Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Authenticity in Archaeological Writing and Representation

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1564

Introduction

Calling fictional writing “authentic” immediately raises both eyebrows and hackles among linguists, authors, and scientists, along with any person with a passing knowledge of elementary school curricula. The etymologist might protest by citing the origins of the term “fiction,” tracing the word to the Old French ficcion, meaning “something invented,” and beyond that to the Latin fictio, meaning “a fashioning or feigning.” These lingering meanings of pretense, construction, and invention contrast strongly with the concept of authenticity – that which is genuine, real, or original. Novelists might raise a similar objection, stressing the degree of imagination and creativity required to conceive a work of fiction – while the most loudly voiced and popular confusion would likely find its grounding in the vernacular understanding that fiction is by definition “made up.” How, then, can it be considered “authentic?”

Definition

There is an apparent problem in these various...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Clifford, J. & G. E. Marcus. (ed.) 1986. Writing culture: the poetics and politics of ethnography. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  2. Deetz, J. 1988. History and archaeological theory: Walter Taylor revisited. American Antiquity 53: 13-22.Google Scholar
  3. Hodder, I. 1999. The archaeological process: an introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. - 2003. Archaeology beyond dialogue. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press.Google Scholar
  5. Holtorf, C. 2007. Archaeology is a brand! The meaning of archaeology in contemporary popular culture. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.Google Scholar
  6. Joyce, R. 2002. The languages of archaeology: dialogue, narrative, and writing. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Lamarque, P. 1990. Narrative and invention: the limits of fictionality, in C. Nash (ed.) Narrative in culture: the uses of storytelling in the sciences, philosophy, and literature: 131-53. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Landau, M. 1991. Narratives of human evolution. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Leonard, R.D. 2001. Evolutionary archaeology, in I. Hodder (ed.) Archaeological theory today: 65-97. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  10. Pluciennik, M. 1999. Archaeological narratives and other ways of telling. Current Anthropology 40: 653-78.Google Scholar
  11. Spector, J. 1993. What this awl means. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press.Google Scholar
  12. Tringham, R. 1991. Households with faces: the challenge of gender in prehistoric architectural remains, in J. Gero & M. Conkey (ed.) Engendering archaeology: women in prehistory: 93-131. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  13. White, H. 1987. The content of the form: narrative discourse and historical representation. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Bender, B. 1998. Stonehenge: making space. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  2. Edmonds, M. 1999. Ancestral geographies of the Neolithic. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Gear, W.M. & K.O. Gear. 2003. Archaeological fiction: tripping through the minefield. The SAA Archaeological Record 3: 24-7.Google Scholar
  4. McIntosh, R. 1998. Peoples of the Middle Niger. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  5. Praetzellis, A. 1998. Why every archaeologist should tell stories once in a while. Historical Archaeology 32:1-3.Google Scholar
  6. Wilkinson, D. 2007. Writing archaeology and writing fiction. The Archaeologist 65: 18-9.Google Scholar
  7. Yearley, S. 1990. The dictates of method and policy: Interpretational structures in the representation of scientific work, in M. Lynch & S. Woolgar (ed.) Representation in scientific practice: 337-55. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyStanford UniversityPalo AltoUSA