I have decided to enter this year’s Heritage Jam. I am not a heritage creative or a digital guru, but I thought I would give it a shot. I am on annual leave and cannot make it to York for the jam itself, but I have decided to remotely contribute.
My decision is to try and create and edit a video linked to my Archaeodeath blog. I aim to visit a series of the heritage sites I have previously visited and some I have researched in some depth. The sites will have been featured in previous posts and related to my Archaeodeath blog.
The linking theme will be to write an Archaeodeath submission about jam: heritage jam. I will video a short jam-quest, an archaeological appraisal of the significance of jam for the contemporary landscape and heritage experience. This will be a jam heritage jam: a jam about heritage jam.
My provisional title is ‘Heritage Jam: Conserving the Past’.
Over the next 4 days, I am going to go to heritage sites and observe and acquire heritage jam, discuss where jam is absent, and discuss heritage jam’s tangible or intangible dimensions – associations, connotations and ramifications – for contemporary heritage practice and archaeological interpretation.
Day 1 of my jam heritage jam took me to the Vale of Llangollen. With three of my offspring in tow, I visited Ty Mawr country park near Ruabon where we spent the morning in the playground, meeting animals and paddling in the River Dee, but we saw some contemporary commemoration and industrial heritage. We didn’t buy jam, but we ate jam sandwiches.
Next we went on on to explore the medieval ruins, post-medieval designed landscape and heritage creation of monastic ruins that together comprise Valle Crucis Abbey. Here, we acquired our first heritage jam and explored aspects of medieval mortuary commemoration and their heritage configuration and display, as well as dimensions of contemporary commemoration.
Next, I visited the nearby Pillar of Eliseg, the focus of numerous previous posts where I have explored its biography from prehistory to the present. I mused about the way jam here is metaphorical of ‘sticky’ landmarks that accrue memory.
I then came back via Minera Lead Mines, a site I have previously discussed as ‘zombie heritage’. Here, everything is closed, and so jam’s absence is key.
Along the way, I found the presences and absences of jam in different regards, which is an original way into discussing issues of heritage conservation, management and interpretation, including the accretion of ‘sticky’ memories and potted histories.
3 more days of jam heritage jamming are to come!