Closely Observed Layers: Storytelling and the Heart(2020)


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I excavate layers of dead people’s residential debris; my trowel gradually reveals the thousands of events that have created the layers and material fragments of past lives. At the same time my mind buzzes with all the small stories that rise up out of the debris of the dead residents. This chapter, inspired by the writing of George Saunders, by Slow (Careful) Archaeology, and by Slow Data, finds the heart in the specifics of the archaeological record and the slow versioning of one story that emerges from them about a house and its 10 residents who lived and died and were buried at the East Mound of Çatalhöyük at least 9000 years ago.


Tringham, Ruth (2020) Closely Observed Layers: Storytelling and the Heart. In Archaeology of the Heart and Emotion, edited by N. Lyons, K. Supernant, S. Atalay and J. E. Baxter, pp. 239-252. Springer, New York and Zurich. ISBN: 978-3-030-36349-9