News

Members of Ruin Memories present at Nordic TAG

Members of Ruin Memories present at Nordic TAG

Members of the Ruin Memories team participated in a session at the Nordic Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) in Reykjavik, Iceland, 21-25 April 2013

Gavin Lucas co-organised a session entitled “Practice-led Theory”

Session Abstract

A number of archaeologists have started to question the easy importation of theory into archaeological interpretation and have suggested instead, we try and develop theory and interpretation from the particular nature of archaeological practice and the materials it engages with. In sister disciplines like anthropology and sociology, the ethnographic method [...]


Ruin Memories at Society for Historical Archaeology

Ruin Memories at Society for Historical Archaeology

Members of the Ruin Memories team held a session at the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) conference in Leicester, UK in January 2013

Session Abstract

The decaying debris of the modern era, derelict factories, closed shopping malls, redundant military installations and abandoned mining towns enjoy the growing attention of archaeologists and material culture scholars. This is, nevertheless, still a marginal and often somewhat ambiguous concern; despite their lure ruins of the modern are generally seen as environmental problems preferably eradicated or as [...]


Mats Burström visiting scholar at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Mats Burström visiting scholar at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Ruin Memories member Mats Burström has been appointed as an Honorary Visiting Researcher at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. During the period September to November 2012 he will give several talks related to the archaeology of the recent past at La Trobe University, Flinders University (Adelaide), and Sydney University.


Burström Releases Book: Treasured memories

Burström Releases Book: Treasured memories

Mats Burström: Treasured Memories. Tales of buried belongings in wartime Estonia. Lund, Nordic Academic Press (2012).

In the autumn of 1944, around 70,000 people fled Estonia in the face of the Red Army advance. Most of them believed the Soviet occupation would be shortlived and they would soon be able to return home, so many of them hid the most valuable of their belongings they were unable to carry, burying them in ‘safe’ places. Until Stalin’s death in 1953, Estonians continued [...]


The “Archaeology of Memory” at the Sorø Kuntsmuseum

The "Archaeology of Memory" at the Sorø Kuntsmuseum

The Archaeology of Memory is the first of three projected exhibitions about materiality. The other materiality exhibitions will be in 2013 (soil) and 2014 (immateriality). This first exhibition takes its point of departure in materiality understood as things and the ‘thingness’ of things. The tactile, sensuous qualities of things, and how things relate to our memory and our history. Things are not dead matter but play an active role in our lives, in learning and remembering. Things shape culture and [...]


Ruin Memories: Materialities, aesthetics and the archaeology of the recent past

Ruin Memories: Materialities, aesthetics and the archaeology of the recent past

Numerous studies have focused on modernity’s destructive effect on traditional life-worlds, the desertion of villages and the ruination of rural areas. However, the fact that the modern condition also produces its own ruined materialities, its own marginalized pasts, has been less spoken about. Since the 19th century, mass-production, consumerism and cycles of material replacement have accelerated; increasingly larger amounts of things are increasingly rapidly victimized and made redundant. At the same time processes of destruction have immensely intensified, although largely [...]


Mats Burström and Ruin Memories at CHAT Boston

 Mats Burström and Ruin Memories at CHAT Boston

Mats Burström will be representing the Ruin Memories project at the upcoming CHAT (Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory) conference at Boston University, Boston, MA. The general theme for the conference is ‘People and things in motion’ and it takes place November 11-13, 2011.

The full program of CHAT 2011 is available from their website here.

Mats Burström will give a talk titled ‘Artifactual Memories in Exile: Family Belongings Hidden in the Ground in Estonia during the Second World War’.

Figure: Set [...]


Mats Burström lectures in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia

Mats Burström lectures in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia

Image: Metal detecting in search for objects hidden in Estonia by people fleeing from the Soviet occupation in 1944.

Mats Burström will give a Introductory Lecture into the Archaeology of the Recent Past at the Theoretical Seminar “Landscape, Things and Theories” arranged by the Centre of Excellence in Culture Theory at Tallinn University September 14th.

The full program is available from their website.

The following day, September 15th, Mats Burström will give a lecture, “Artefactual Memories. Family Belongings Hidden in the Ground in [...]


Next Ruin Memories Workshop 18-19 November 2011, Falmouth, Cornwall, UK

Next Ruin Memories Workshop 18-19 November 2011, Falmouth, Cornwall, UK

The next Ruin Memories workshop will be arranged in Falmouth, Cornwall, at the St. Michaels hotel, on November 18-19 (Friday to Saturday). The workshop takes place on November 18 and 19 (Fri-Sat), and you need to arrive Thursday (17th) to Falmouth. There will be an excursion Sunday 20, those who can’t take part may leave then – the others return Monday (you may of course stay as long as you like at your own expenses!). To get there it is most convenient [...]


Þóra Pétursdóttir and Ruin Memories at TAG Berkeley

Þóra Pétursdóttir and Ruin Memories at TAG Berkeley

Þóra Pétursdóttir will be representing the Ruin Memories project at the upcoming Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) in Berkeley, California. She will be taking part in a session entitled “Open Dialogues in Archaeological Photography”. The session abstract is as follows:

In a discipline that has yet to master the balance between the subject and the object; the human and the thing, photographs can inhabit uniquely limbic and potentially very powerful positions. Photographs provide a tangible middle ground between the observing [...]


Reanimating Industrial Spaces: Call for papers

Reanimating Industrial Spaces: Call for papers

Call for contributions from researchers working in the Americas/Australasia to a new edited volume. Editor Hilary Orange (UCL Institute of Archaeology, London).

Following two successful ‘Reanimating Industrial Spaces’ conference sessions at TAG (Theoretical Archaeology Group, Durham, England 2009 (see Gordon 2010)) and the EAA (European Archaeological Association, Den Haag, Netherlands 2010) additional contributors are sought for a new edited volume – ‘Reanimating Industrial Spaces’  - which will be published by the Institute of Archaeology through Left Coast Press (http://www.lcoastpress.com/) in 2013.

The [...]


Mats Burström attends TAG UK 2010 conference

Mats Burström attends TAG UK 2010 conference

Mats Burström attends the 32nd Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) annual
meeting held at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, December
17th-19th. He will give a talk (‘More than a sensitive ear’) about
the role and responsibility of the professional expert within cultural
heritage management using the Bückeberg site as an example. Link to
conference home page: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/archanth/tag/index.html.


Ruin Memories at upcoming Nordic Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG)

Ruin Memories at upcoming Nordic Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG)

Þóra Pétursdóttir and Bjørnar Olsen of the Ruin Memories Team are organising a session for the upcoming Nordic TAG, hosted by Linnaeus University, Kalmar Sweden. Contributions to the session are now being accepted. Details are as follows:

Archaeologies of the recent past – aspects of generative ruination

Archaeology of the modern or contemporary world is a growing research interest within archaeology worldwide. Despite this remains of the modern regime, whether industrial ruins, abandoned rural homes or installations of World War II, are [...]


Mining Heritage Conference

Mining Heritage Conference

Lampeter University Mining Heritage Conference 18-19 September. More information at the site.


Andreassen, Bjerck and Olsen release book: Persistent Memories.

Andreassen, Bjerck and Olsen release book: Persistent Memories.

Elin Andreassen, Hein B. Bjerck and Bjørnar Olsen: Persistent memories. Pyramiden – a Soviet mining town in the High Arctic. Trondheim, Tapir Academic Press (2010).

In 1998 the Russian Arctic Coal Company decided to end its more than 50 years of continuous activity in Pyramiden in the High Arctic archipelago of Norwegian Svalbard. A remarkably abrupt abandonment left behind a mining town devoid of humans but still filled with all stuff constituting a modern industrial settlement. Today the well-equipped Pyramiden survives [...]


Heinrich Natho and an archaeology of the northern periphery of war

Heinrich Natho and an archaeology of the northern periphery of war

At the northern periphery of war: An archaeology of Second World War sites in northern Finnmark, Norway.

The intensity of the impact of the Second World War on the landscape of Finnmark, the most northern county of Norway, is unique in Europe. When it became clear in autumn 1944 that the advance of the Russian army was unstoppable, Hitler decided to withdraw and raze to the ground an area bigger than Switzerland. What were left were a few villages and some [...]


Mats Burström joins the Ruin Memories project

Mats Burström joins the Ruin Memories project

Mats Burström joins the Ruin Memories project.

Mats is professor in archaeology at Stockholm University, Sweden. He has written a number of papers and books on contemporary archaeology. He will be working on two research projects:

“Artefactual Memories. Family Belongings Hidden in the Ground in Estonia during World War II;”

“Bückeberg: The Life History of the Site for the 3rd Reich Harvest Festival” (in co-operation with Bernhard Gelderblom)


Upcoming conference on Reusing the Industrial Past in Tampere, Finland

Upcoming conference on Reusing the Industrial Past in Tampere, Finland

August 10-15, 2010 more information at their site.


Modern ruins event at the Observatory, Brooklyn

Modern ruins event at the Observatory, Brooklyn

Modern ruins event at the Observatory, Brooklyn: http://observatoryroom.org/2010/03/07/modern-ruins/.


NY Times article on photography of ruined Detroit

NY Times article on photography of ruined Detroit

NY Times article on photography of ruined Detroit: http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/12/ruin-with-a-view/.


Þóra Pétursdóttir joins the Ruin Memories Project

Þóra Pétursdóttir joins the Ruin Memories Project

Þóra Pétursdóttir joins the Ruin Memories team. Thora’s Ph.D. project will be a case study entitled “Industrial ruins and prisitine landscapes: An archaeological approach to the Modernization of Iceland.” Read more about the case study under here.


Ruin Memories Launched

Ruin Memories Launched

The Ruin Memories Project site is launched. This site will showcase the work being done by project members.