• our {present} past

    Archaeology | Art | Heritage


    "Time and past are a circle or a spiral, always coming back to the point of origin.
    In other words, the past is always present."
    L.J. Zimmerman 

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    Beth Compton

    Trillium Scholar | PhD Candidate


    I am an archaeology PhD student at the University of Western Ontario and I am interested in the many ways in which individuals engage with the past- whether it's through art, digital representation, storytelling, or scientific research. Rather than studying archaeology, specifically, I like to study archaeologists and the contexts within which they work. I believe that academics have an obligation to be actively engaged with the communities they serve, which means taking the time to examine how archaeologists present information, represent people, and interpret a multifaceted past in the present.


    I spend a lot of time reading about archaeological illustration, photography, and digital representations as well as things like cultural heritage and issues of copyright, representation and community engagement in museums, digital literacy and the democratization of technology, and decolonizing the management of archaeological resources.

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    I have an ever-growing hodgepodge of interests and am a fan of serendipitous networks like Twitter. I think that the most creative endeavours come from unexpected connections made in unexpected ways. You can connect with me here.

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    I am also a co-founder of the Digital Humanities (DH) MakerBus, an interdisciplinary and community-driven project based out of London, Ontario.


    I currently maintain two blogs (my research blog and my art/design blog). You can read more about my research and projects below.

  • Research & Projects

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    My Research

    PhD Student, U. Western Ontario

    research blog


    I am in my final year of my PhD and am currently in the process of writing my dissertation. I am researching topics such as the methods and intent of object representation and how it has changed over time, how representations mediate the meaning, value and authenticity of archaeological objects, how various publics draw value and heritage meaning from archaeology and how it might be different from archaeological interpretation, and finally how engagement has been understood and undertaken in museum and public exhibits, particularly with the incorporation of digital media. You can read more about my ongoing research and my past experience and qualifications on my research blog- here.


    Jump straight to >> CV / blog posts

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    The MakerBus




    Based out of London, Ontario, the MakerBus is a mobile makerspace made out of a converted school bus. Also known as the Digital Humanities MakerBus (DH MakerBus), the project seeks to bring digital and physical fabrication technologies to our wider community and to encourage the use of these technologies to explore elements of the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Some equipment we carry: 3D printer, 3D scanner, Kinect, Arducopter (drone), RaspberryPi, laptops, tablets, smartphones, woodworking tools, and crafting equipment (papers, textiles, painting mediums). As a wildly interdisciplinary project, the MakerBus remit extends to community driven archaeological and heritage applications.

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    Art & Design

    Artist and Compulsive Creator

    creative blog 


    Along with archaeological research and community outreach projects, I am hopelessly in love with art and design. I believe that the act of making or creating art allows for enormously meaningful and beautiful engagements with heritage, landscapes, objects, and stories. Art is also a means of sharing and communicating with others, developing a network of experience. On a personal level, I consider the act of making things an essential part of my mental well being. It is as much a part of my research process as eating, sleeping, reading, and writing. You are welcome to check out some of my work on my creative blog- here. Also, feel free to send me links to your your own creative works, or others that you find inspiring.


















  • Contact Me


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