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60(ish) Seconds: Archaeology of COVID

Photo credit Chelsea Kelso

Archaeology often brings up images of peoples and places associated with the distant past. But archaeology is more than that. Much more.

Graphic of graffiti

Some archaeologists focus on the contemporary world, including the neighborhoods in which we live.

One example of this is an Archaeology of COVID project I am directing, focusing on COVID-related art and trash in public places within Metro Vancouver.

The kinds of art we are looking at includes street art, graffiti, and painted pebbles. Trash includes face masks and gloves.

We are examining COVID-related art and trash through the lenses of inequality and expression.

We are also looking at how the material culture of COVID relates to public health directives; the impact of COVID-related trash on the environment; and how COVID-19 will be imprinted on the archaeological record of Metro Vancouver.

The project is part of a global effort at documenting and providing insight into human responses to, and the material record of, COVID.