1st Edition

Theorizing Archaeological Museum Studies From Artefact to Exhibit

By Monika Stobiecka Copyright 2023
    184 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Theorizing Archaeological Museum Studies works towards reconnecting archaeological practice, the theoretical richness of archaeology, and museum studies. The book therefore embraces both the practical aspects of archaeology and empirical studies in museums in order to rethink what happens when an artefact changes into an exhibit.

    This study is positioned at the intersection of both history and archaeological theory, and of the history of art and museum studies. The central focus of this book explores the relationship between museums and their dominant paradigms, on the one hand, and new approaches and theories in archaeology, on the other. It thus also illustrates the co-dependencies, relations and tensions that characterize the relationship between academia and museums. This book demonstrates how in becoming exhibits, artefacts have – and continue to – become reflections of the discipline’s prevailing paradigms while manifesting the dominant aims and methods of knowledge production pertaining at a given time and place, as well as the desired social interpretations and modes of presenting the past.

    Theorizing Archaeological Museum Studies offers important insights for academics and students (archaeology, heritage studies, museum studies) as well as for practitioners (museum employees, heritage practitioners). The book is also intended for scholars from across the humanities interested in museum studies, heritage studies, curatorial studies, cultural studies, cultural geography, material culture, history of archaeology, archaeological theory, and the anthropology of things.

    Part I. Artefacts; 1. Artefacts in Archaeological Terminology; 2. The Facets of Artefacts; 3. Redefining Artefacts; Part II. Exhibits; 4. The Acropolis Museum: Artefacts between Reconstruction and Experience; 5. Museo dell’Ara Pacis: Artefacts between Research and Art; Part III. Artefacts as Exhibits; 6. Prosthetic Archaeology; 7. The Preposterous Art of Archaeology; 8. The Archaeology of All (Living) Things; Conclusion: Towards a Critical Archaeological Museum


    Monika Stobiecka is an art historian, archaeologist and assistant professor at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, University of Warsaw, Poland. Her scholarly interests range from digital and theoretical archaeology to critical museum and heritage studies.