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Age as artefact: On archaeological authenticity

Holtorf, C; Schadla-Hall, T; (1999) Age as artefact: On archaeological authenticity. European Journal of Archaeology , 2 (2) pp. 229-247. 10.1177/146195719900200205.

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Abstract

Authenticity is frequently seen as crucial in archaeology. In this paper, we examine the nature of authenticity and question by implication whether so much attention should be given to determining the actual age and thus the genuineness of archaeological objects. We show that numbers of authenticated objects are potentially fakes. There is an acceptance that many archaeological sites and reconstructions are not actually really old, although the acceptability of this view depends on one's flexibility towards the concept of authenticity. It is clear that the public does not necessarily put the same value on genuineness as do archaeologists. We suggest that certain aspects of the past have always been a potentially renewable resource. We suggest that a more relaxed approach to genuineness and authenticity is acceptable today and is already accepted by the public as consumers of the past. Copyright © 1999 Sage Publications.

Type: Article
Title: Age as artefact: On archaeological authenticity
DOI: 10.1177/146195719900200205
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1361620
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