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Christopher Prescott

Date and Time: 
Thursday, October 3, 2013. 05:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Archaeology Center, Building 500, 488 Escondido Mall
Meeting Description: 

“Archaeology, Heritage and the Demographic Shift in Oslo, Norway”

The lecture has two observations as points of departure. First, heritage management in Norway has been, and is still, based on a national or Saami identity paradigm. Second, as in many open and affluent cities in Northern Europe, Oslo is in the midst of a significant demographic shift through the establishment of immigrant communities from Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. This contemporary and evolving demography is not reflected in the heritage sector’s narratives, outreach or training. The contemporary challenges in Oslo are representative for much of Northern Europe, but as Norway was pretty much unaffected by the global recession that hit Europe so hard, economy is less of an issue here than other places. The heritage sector’s lack of impact in and relevance to immigrant communities is problematic for many reasons, not the least for the sector itself. Efforts made to address the situation have met limited success. In an attempt to better understand the challenges facing us now and in the years to come, aspects concerning the politics, narratives and sociology in the heritage sector and within immigrant communities are examined.
 
Christopher Prescott is professor of prehistoric archaeology at the University of Oslo, Norway, and also affiliated with several other archaeological institutions in Scandinavia. He trained at the University of Bergen. He has excavated and studied Neolithic to Iron Age materials in Scandinavia and Italy, has been involved in issues concerning the politics and practices of illicit trade, education, theory and the history of archaeology. His present engagement in immigrants, training and heritage is spurred by a series of four sessions on heritage in the context of globalization
sponsored by the European Association of Archaeologists and the Society for American Archaeology.

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