As scholars of the past in various disciplines, we must constantly contend with the fact that we are considerably displaced from our subject matter temporally, socially, and culturally. This displacement predicates the necessity of narrativisation – the construction of discourse in order to make a meaningful telling from an assortment of facts. For both classics and archaeology, there has been a recognition that texts can be interpreted through many frameworks, destabilising the notion of ‘authentic’, purely objective meaning.
Narrative is transformative in that objects and texts are put it into words, and the way these words are organized is specific to one’s aim in verbalizing the past. The author chooses to describe objects and texts in a certain way, adding or subtracting specific details depending on what he/she wishes to say about it.
Moreover, text is often privileged at the expense of other types of experience, itself generating a simulated experience. The past is easily constructed by manipulating the description of elements in a narratival sequence that would be easily understood by the recipients of the information.
The theme of narrativisation will be address by our feature articles in the forthcoming publication of The Amphora Issue of MHJ.