L'archéomuséologie : un modèle conceptuel interdisciplinaire

Authors: Desrosiers, Pierre
Advisor: Dubé, PhilippeMoussette, Marcel
Abstract: Archaeology and museology are two scientific disciplines that are closely associated with Western society’s preoccupation with its past. The history of these disciplines has been marked by episodes of convergence and of divergence of interests with respect to acquiring and disseminating knowledge. Episodes of convergence have focused on the object, which for the last 200 years has brought museums and researchers together, often in the same workplace. By definition, the museum is a place of research, conservation and outreach; these are the roles that were played by the antiquarian, and later by the archaeologist, at the time when a museum was considered to be both a laboratory and a window onto the past. In contrast, episodes of divergence tend to be related to the disciplines themselves and arise from the needs of the scientific and professional community to establish certain parameters by defining their respective methodological frameworks and exploring the potential extent of their fields of activity. The development of archaeology and museology in Québec has been rapid and, for the last 40 years, has closely followed a disciplinary expansion in North America and Europe. It is argued here, however, that once the disciplines’ parameters have been established convergent interests should once more be able to come to the fore. The research presented here takes as a given the difficulty of reconciling the scientific interests of research with the dissemination of knowledge to society. The transmission of knowledge is a central concept in the problem addressed by this doctoral research. Since signs of interdisciplinarity are at present perceptible in the two fields of research, the proposed archaeomuseological model is intended as a concrete example demonstrating how and why the acquisition of knowledge is compatible with the dissemination of knowledge. After tracing the historical development of the two disciplines and placing them in the context of scientific discourse, the dissertation presents a conceptual model, based on the object and, more particularly, on the interpretation of the object. Interpretation acts as an interface for the two disciplines, making it possible to deal with the object as part of a single interdisciplinary concern, that is, the transmission of knowledge. The conceptual model is first used to project a three-step typology of archaeological museums and then to formulate the basic components of an analytical grid. This grid helps to identify elements related to interdisciplinary development and discourse, as well as those related to archaeomuseological treatment; in other words, elements that make it possible to activate the transmission of knowledge about the past. Through interpretation and its disciplinary interface, the model clearly shows the determining role played by the archaeological context. It is proposed that a study of the archaeological context makes it possible not only to evaluate the state of research on archaeological sites but also to better understand the visions of the past that are conveyed by museums. To verify this hypothesis, the model is applied to four archaeological museums in Québec: Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History; Archéo Topo Centre; Pointe-du-Buisson Archaeological Park; and Artillery Park Heritage Site of Canada. These institutions typify Québec museums in which the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge directly express Western society’s preoccupation with transmitting the past to the public. Far from developing in isolation, Québec archaeology and museology are actively involved in the scientific and public debates currently taking place in North America and Europe. The first step in the validation of the model is an exploration of interdisciplinarity and the connections that might be made between various disciplines. This exploration makes clear the importance of maintaining disciplinary independence with respect to research and the necessity of taking up the challenge of interdisciplinarity when it comes to interpretation. The second step in the validation offers a more specific examination of how visions of the past expressed in archaeological museums vary in their scope. By comparing the voices and echoes of the past with the visions of the past conveyed by museums, it is possible to observe the way in which ideological, cultural and social values are transmitted. Although such transmission is unavoidable, these values should at the very least be based on knowledge revealed by the object and its archaeological context. It is for this reason that the archaeomuseological model stresses the importance of using a site’s history, as revealed by archaeology and other disciplines, as a point of reference to ensure the transmission of knowledge. In this way, the local population, for whom the history of the site has a direct appeal, is encouraged to play an active role in the reflection that Western society wishes to undertake with respect to its past.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2005
Open Access Date: 12 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/18734
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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