Noël Hume on Archaeology’s Future

Ivor Noël Hume was one of the great early luminaries of historical archaeology, and the scholar who placed Colonial Williamsburg on the map as an archaeological institution. As such, I owe him a personal debt, having worked for Colonial Williamsburg and learned from his influential body of work. In a recent interview for Historical Archaeology, Noël Hume had the following to say about the future of archaeology. It is a model that we do well here, in Arkansas.

[Archaeologists] can use archaeology to enrich their own lives to some degree but also that of their locality. So if there is something interesting to be found in a county, the whole county benefits from it. Making a discovery in a rural area, or in a city, crates an interest in history, which may relate to archaeology but makes people more aware of their past, and I think that is very, very important… The future of archaeology lies in localities and its history, rather than the broad scope of, say, Neolithic studies, that are not as site specific.
– Ivor Noël Hume, in Miller (2013)

Reference

Miller, Henry M.
2013 The Odyssey of a Transatlantic Archaeologist: Conversations with Ivor Noël Hume. Historical Archaeology 47(4):144-164.

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