The Presented Past is concerned with the differences between the comparatively static, well-understood way in which the past is presented in schools, museums and at historic sites compared to the approaches currently being explored in contemporary archaeology. It challenges the all-too-frequent representation of the past as something finished, understood and objective, rather than something that is 'constructed' and therefore open to co-existing interpretations and constant reinterpretation. Central to the book is the belief that the presentation of the past in school curricula and in museum and site interpretations will benefit from a greater understanding of how the past is interpreted by archaeologists and indigenous peoples. The written record, they are necessarily excluding much of prehistory and also interpretations arising from study of indigenous (and usually oral) views of the past. The book suggests that a view of the past incorporating a larger body of evidence and a wider variety of understanding will help to identify a relevance of the past to contemporary society. Alexis B.A.
Adanade National University, Benin, Ndambi Isaac Akenji Cameroon, Ruud Borman Municipal Museum, Arnhem, Netherlands, Mide Corbishley English Heritage, London, N