Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, Vol 4, No 2 (2017)

Thinking Place – A Creative Exploration of Coastal Erosion

Elizabeth Anne Bevan, Jane Downes
Issued Date: 19 Feb 2018


Wilder Being was a participatory art and archaeology project that aimed to set an understanding of coastal erosion of archaeological heritage within wider contexts of climate change and sustainability. Sub-titled Creation and destruction in the littoral zone, Wilder Being took place at an archaeological site on the shores of the island of Sanday in Orkney. Our place-based event explored, using art and archaeology techniques and narrative, this site of coastal erosion as a creative resource. The interdisciplinary collaboration highlighted the connectivity between arts, humanities and sciences as it highlighted the blurring of lines between land and sea, culture and nature. In this paper we reflect on the context and outcomes of Wilder Being project, how it has contributed to the dialogue around participatory and relational approaches to archaeology, and how we might re-think sites threatened by coastal erosion sites as sites for creative dialogue.

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DOI: 10.1558/jca.32394



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