Gone: Photographs of Abandonment on the High Plains by Steve Fitch
Being a Visual Archaeologist
Man-made objects, or artifacts, tell us about the time, place and culture in which they are produced. Historians and sociologists called these artifacts material culture. The study of material culture is one of the things archaeologists do – they look at the artifacts left behind by humans to see how they lived. In a way they are detectives, looking for clues left by the people before them.
Each of Steve Fitch's photographs contains clues about the people who lived in or used these structures. You are the archaeologist! You can find some of Steve Fitch's photographs on his website.
Choose a photograph – list all the things you see.
- What do you think this room was for?
- Who used the room?
- When do you think it was last used?
- What else can you tell about the person/people who used the room?
- What do you think happened to him/her/them?