Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Not a Reconstruction: Artists and Archaeology Today

Anne Glynnis Fawkes.

This paper will address the dialog of between art and recent theories of landscape and post-colonial archaeology through contemporary visual culture in representations of ancient Mediterranean sites. Interpreting ancient sites and monuments in order to gain an understanding of the culture that produced them (and insight into the interpreter’s own cultural situation) is the task of the artist as well as archaeologist. One of the aims in the collection of archaeological data is to ‘visualize’ the past, a process in which artists have historically played a role. In contrast to the ‘scientific’ concerns of archaeology, images (paintings and reconstructions) of antiquity are seen to reflect the time and place that produced them rather than a ‘true’ view of the place and time that they depict. Defined by its modern visualizations, the past is seen as ‘Other’, exotic and intriguing.
Today architectural reconstructions and drawings of ancient sites are replaced by digitally generated representations, virtual reality and QuickTime tours of excavations on the Internet, and imagery is often determined by current technology. This paper will explore ways in which contemporary visual artists (including myself), historically so involved in the production of archaeological imagery, continue to engage in a conversation with antiquity. Shaped by ideas of visual culture, taking into account landscape and post-colonial perspectives, contemporary artists relate to the ancient Mediterranean past with freshly imagined narratives.


Anne Glynnis Fawkes  (Australia)
Doctoral Candidate
Faculty of Creative Arts
University of Wollongong

My doctoral thesis Ancient and Contemporary Perspectives on Ancient Mediterranean Landscapes reflects my several years experience and interest in the eastern Mediterranean, where in Cyprus I produced two books of paintings and cartoons, and worked as an illustrator on many archaeological excavations.

  • Art
  • Visual Culture
  • Archaeology
  • Painting
  • Antiquity
  • Mediterranean
  • Minoans
Person as Subject
  • Evans, Aurthur Lear, Edward

(Virtual Presentation, English)