Friday December 2, Professor Mats Burström will give the paper "Ballast - loads with history". The seminar is organised in an informal, colloquial style and is open to all interested.
Mats Burström is professor of Archaeology at Stockholm University, and member of the After Discourse team at CAS for the academic year 2016-2017.
Burström has worked with various aspects of the archaeology of the recent past and the relation between material culture and memory. He has also worked with issues concerning the ideology and practice of cultural heritage management, and has published extensively on these matters.
Burström's current research deals with solid material that has been used as ballast in ships. Enormous amounts of sand, stone, debris and other materials have been transported all over the globe as ballast. The study explores different archaeological contexts where ballast has been dumped, found, re-used and interpreted.
The transport of ballast has brought new species of plants and animals to different parts of the world. Recognising ballast as an archaeological material destabilises the conventional distinction between natural objects and artefacts and points to the interface between cultural and natural histories.