Contemporary archaeologies of the modern Olympic Games
My work focusses on an examination of the materiality of the modern Olympic Games utilising a diverse set of 'contemporary archaeologies' – the use of archaeological methods and theory to examine the present or very recent past. Specifically, I aim to interrogate the ideological foundations of this event by recording the material and archival traces of the London Games of 1908, 1948, and 2012. What was here before the Games? What happened when they took place? What is left behind when its all over?
In London, for example, the 2012 site was previously host to a Prehistoric settlement, Medieval mills, and until recently, heavy industry, homes and gardens. Now that change has occurred here again on such a vast scale, I have become interested in how the past of such an area relates to discourses about its present and future.
I contest that the ideologies that underpin such events are grounded in specific assumptions about the nature of the past and the present, and that these can only be fully understood by a consideration of their utilisation of material culture.
My research will involve field recording and archival research for the London sites and their associated materials (e.g. merchandise), as well as comparison with other Olympic sites around the world and related events such as International Exhibitions. I will also consider the role of a more traditional archaeology in the formation of Olympic sites – my research as a whole stems from my experiences working as a field archaeologist on the London 2012 site at Stratford between 2007-08.
- Arts and Humanities Research Council
- BA, Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 2007
- MA, Cultural Heritage Studies, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 2011