Quotes for Archaeologists
"The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it" Oscar Wilde. 1891. The Critic as Artist.
"A thing belongs to the one who remembers it most obsessively" Kanan Makiya. 2001. The Rock: A
Tale of Seventh-Century Jerusalem.
"About thirty years ago there was much talk that geologists ought only to observe and not theorise; and I remember some one saying that at this rate a man might well go into a gravel-pit and count the pebbles and describe their colours. How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of service." Charles Darwin 1861.
"Problems can not be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them." Albert Einstein
"Archaeologists ought to be grateful to worms, as they protect and preserve for an indefinitely long period every object, not liable to decay, which is dropped on the surface of the land, by burying it beneath their casting." Charles Darwin 1881
"The hardest thing about being a communist is trying to predict the past." Milovan Djilas (1911-1995), Yugoslav author-politician. Djilas was warning apparatchiks rather than Marxist archaeologists - but still ....
"You never know how the past is going to turn out." Jude Quinn in I'm Not There, 2007
"Astronomers have a great advantage over archaeologists: they can see the past." Loeb and Pritchard, New Scentist 27 Oct 2012
"We are all archaeologists now." Michael Shanks, The Archaeological Imagination, 2012
"It is easy to time-travel, the physicist says-we do it every day. Travelling backward is the problem." Rebecca Curtis 2015 Morlocks and Eloi, New Yorker.
"Archaeology is not a science, it's a vendetta." Mortimer Wheeler
"That belongs in a museum." Indiana Jones - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
"The past is not dead. It's not even past. All of us labour in webs spun long before we were born." William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun.
“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between.
“As we study the past it changes before our eyes, affected by our gaze and eluding definitive capture like electrons that orbit a nucleus. No matter how practiced we are at history, it always humbles us." Tom Griffiths, 2016 The Art of Time Travel.
“The art of time travel is to maintain critical poise and grace in this dizzy space. There is a further hazard: we never return to exactly the same present from which we left, for time cycles on remorselessly even when we seek to define it. And in the course of our quest we find that we too, have changed.” Tom Griffiths, 2016 The Art of Time Travel.
“All we have got, it seems we have lost." Bob Marley, Burnin' and Lootin'