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[en] This presentation discussed the final repository of radioactive waste as an issue at the interface of the sciences and the humanities. Archaeologists have learned that a hundred thousand years ago abstract thought and symbolism by humans began. Since then many communities of human beings have succeeded each other. They often intended to leave a mark for eternity, but they established in fact the truism that nothing ages faster than the future. Archaeologists and historians are promoting remembering, learning and understanding of history for contemporary and future generations. Disposal sites of nuclear waste constitute a special case of heritage. We are creating a very distinctive kind of heritage that in the future may be remembered or forgotten, just like any other heritage we create. The presentation addressed what the realms of heritage and radioactive waste disposal can learn from each other regarding making provisions for the future. Rubbish reflects the conditions from which it originates. The final deposition of radioactive waste is by nature a question of historical consciousness and future uses of the past, of memory and forgetting, and of future didactics of history. Heritage studies as well as history and archaeology are thus inherently relevant. Similarities between archaeology and RWM were thus pointed out, for instance the long time frames, specific sites, dealing with the meaning of rubbish, the fact that we both like to think we are doing something good for future generations,.. But there also are differences, notably that archaeology works with precious objects one wishes to keep. How will the future use our present, which is their past, for their own future? The meaning people give to information is important, and meaning is a continuous process of reinterpreting
[en] Archaeology, the study of the remains of the ancient past, may be relevant to the long-term preservation of RK and M, because it works to recover information, knowledge and meaning that have been lost. As a discipline, archaeology studies how the past is understood in the present, potentially drawing lessons that could guide future action concerning the preservation of RK and M across time by indicating how future societies could make sense of the past. Case studies, such as an examination of European megalithic tombs, show that the understanding of the past varies across time. It was emphasised that archaeological interpretation always reflects contemporary perceptions of past and future, which are socially and culturally embedded and highly mutable over time. What is more, archaeology is a fairly recent discipline and there is no certainty that it will exist in the long term, to help recover and reconstruct lost RK and M. As a result, it cannot be assumed that information, knowledge and meaning of the past can be transmitted reliably in the long term. Based on this understanding Profs. Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Hoegberg made a case for trying to keep knowledge alive over time, continuously engaging each present. They used the notion of 'living heritage', which refers to striving for continuity in the short and medium terms as a way to reach the long term, keeping in mind that reinterpretation and knowledge development over time is a given. As a result, they suggest to 'think about the long term but act for the short and medium terms'