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The project ArqueólogAs analyzes the role of women in this discipline in Spain

The first study session organized by ArqueólogAs will take place on November 10.

The first study session organized by ArqueólogAs will take place on November 10.

Encarnación Cabré, first woman to conduct archaeological work in Spain. © Personal files from the Cabré family. Image from the website ArqueólogAs

Encarnación Cabré, first woman to conduct archaeological work in Spain. © Personal files from the Cabré family. Image from the website ArqueólogAs

23/10/2020

Recerca

A new research project aims to rewrite the history of archaeology by giving it gender diversity. This is “Recovering memory: feminine journeys through the history of Spanish archaeology (19th and 20th centuries”, (ArqueólogAS), led by Margarita Díaz-Andreu, ICREA research professor at the University of Barcelona. The project starts with the aim to “settle an old historical debt through the recovery of the memory of these women. Without their work, we could hardly understand the history of Spanish archaeology”, notes Díaz-Andreu.

Spanish archaeology has been built in numerous situations through the voice of women. But these have been, according to Díaz-Andreu “words that androcentric historiography has silenced: therefore, and before losing track of their memory, we want to recover the sound of their voice through their memories and words”. Doing research on documents in archives, newspaper libraries and oral history, seventeen experts from different research areas, who work around the peninsular geography, will try to give “sound to silence”. Working on this issue is, according to Díaz-Andreu, “a matter of historical justice which we should not delay”.

As if it were a palimpsest, the research team will build a great story using the micro-stories that have been removed over time and have never been illustrated in textbooks. A narrative will be built, and its characters will be those women who have been related to archaeology: university lecturers, and professionals who worked in research centers, museums and commercial archaeology. All these female names that were essential for the communication and conservation of heritage, also in association, societies, private collections and even from a silent task, supporting male colleagues.

“We want to take out from the closet the ostracism in which these women were hidden, women who made the study of our past possible”, notes Díaz-Andreu. This work also aims to widen the geography of women search to include areas of Spain that were less well-treated, with an emphasis on the 19th century, in order to fill an existing gap in research.

The experts taking part in the research team are members of the following institutions: the University of Barcelona, Complutense University of Madrid, University of Alcalá de Henares, University of Alicante, University of Malaga, University of Evora, Tufts University, Escuela Superior de Igualdad Real, Humanidades, Comunicacion y Cultura (ESIRHCC), the National Museum of Archaeology, the Altamira National Museum and Research Centre, Casa Bonsor – Castillo de Mairena (Mairena del Alcor Town Council), and the Directorate-General of Cultural Heritage of Madrid. The 3-year project is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and the Spanish State Research Agency.

The website, designed by Marta Rico, is presented with an attractive, intuitive and friendly image. It gathers the most relevant information of the project, as well as the objectives, thematic and methodological ideas, biography and publications of the team, events such as conferences and seminars, and a page dedicated to all the information and resources of interest for the users. Inside the website, there is a section call Pioneras (pioneers), which will grow over the course of the research project. It shows a selection of those women who should be distinguished in the history of Spanish archaeology.

The first session organized by Arqueólogas, titled “Recovering the memory of women in history of archaeology: methods and techniques” will take place on November 10. The conferences will be given by Margarita Díaz-Andreu, ICREA research professor at the UB; Alicia Torija, lecturer at Tufts University, Margarita Moreno Conde, curator at the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities of the National Archaeology Museum; Laura Coltofean-Arizancu, postdocatoral researcher at the UB; Paloma Zarzuela, from ArqueólogAS project; Isabel Baquedano, head of the Department of Protection of the Directorate-General of Cultural Heritage of the Community of Madrid; Tono Vizcaíno Estevan, independent archaeologist of the Community of Valencia, and Lourdes Girón, from Escuela Superior de Igualdad Real, Humanidades, Comunicación y Cultura. All those interested can participate in this meeting, to be held online. To do so, please register through the website, where you can see more information and the complete program.

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