The Archaeology of Pandemic Project- towards the end

Reflecting on our work so far, we noted our strong focus on recording objects and buildings related to healthcare. While these are essential to our understanding of the pandemic, focusing on them has limited the scope of our work. So far, we’ve largely missed out on a wealth of information about the ordinary, everyday experience of the pandemic. For our last few days of recording we’re shifting our efforts towards more mundane objects and buildings which tell us about how ordinary people perceive and react to the pandemic.

For example, the buildings team will be looking into changes within the home, like how many spare spaces such as garages have become makeshift pantries to store goods ‘panic bought’ before lockdown. Similarly, the objects team will be recording objects associated with the experience of living in lockdown, be they new targeted products like lockdown branded beer or familiar objects which have acquired new meaning through the pandemic- even toilet roll will be recorded! The historical narrative team will supplement this work by adding wider stories about such objects throughout the pandemic to the timeline.

As this is our final week of the project, we are also starting to think more about what to do with the information we’ve collected. We could analyse the results we have and publish the results in a paper, which would hopefully add to academic efforts to understand the impact of the pandemic. Alternatively, we could assemble what we have into a virtual exhibition, featuring our Padlet map and timeline which give a great sense of scale to the pandemic. Maybe even both? More updates on this and our progress soon.

Kieran Curtis

Second year Anthropology student

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