A dissertation exploring the role of the narrator in the interpretation of archaeological remains. The narrator can take various forms in the process of telling, for example – the omniscient narrator, the institutional voice or the personalised orator. Can the type of narration help make sense of past cultures and the fragmented evidence they leave behind?

Taking archaeological case studies from current practice and testing narrator types at Flag Fen prehistoric site, the study seeks to investigate the potential for multiple viewpoints, whilst drawing upon aspects of narrative theory to add new perspectives.

A film has been made to explore one of the ideas from the dissertation, ‘the maker-asnarrator’, in which a weaver remakes a Bronze Age eel trap found at Flag Fen dating back 3,500 years. The craftsperson expresses thoughts and feelings to recapture an essence of the original maker, providing a new and engaging experience with the archaeology site.

Coen van Leeuwen
Graphic designer
Margriet Straatman
Graphic designer
Sue Kirk
Willow Weaver
Oliver Bancroft
Artist and film-maker
Cambridge University Archaeology Unit


Julia has a degree in Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and an MA in Museum Studies. Working as a human history curator for 20 years, mostly at Peterborough Museum, she is used to designing projects for grant funding. She is always seeking new ways to create visitor experiences that involve fresh approaches. Recently, Julia has collaborated with two design studios, planning interpretation at Lincoln Castle and Port Canaveral Visitor Centre, Florida.

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