Citation Foster S & Curtis N (2016) The thing about replicas - why historic replicas matter. European Journal of Archaeology, 19 (1), pp. 122-148. https://doi.org/10.1179/1461957115Y.0000000011
Abstract Reproduction of archaeological material was a significant and serious enterprise for antiquarians and museums in the long nineteenth century. Embedding many stories and embodying considerable past human energy, behind their creation, circulation, use and after-life lies a series of specific social networks and relationships that determined why, when and in what circumstances they were valued, or not. Summarising the context of their production, circulation and changing fortunes, this paper introduces the ways in which they are important and the specific benefits and aspects of a biographical approach to their study. Beyond the evidential, the study of existing replicas provides a historical and contemporary laboratory in which to explore the concepts of value and authenticity, and their application in cultural heritage and collections management, offering us a richer insight into the history of ourselves as archaeologists and curators.
Keywords Archaeological Reproductions; Facsimiles; Plaster Casts; Cultural Biography; Value; Authenticity
Journal European Journal of Archaeology: Volume 19, Issue 1