Natalija Cosic

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Natalija Cosic


Natalija Cosic holds a BA in archaeology from the University of Belgrade and a master degree in preventive conservation from the same University. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at the Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy.  Her main research fields are critical studies of archaeological heritage and knowledge production of archaeological knowledge.

Making-of Lepenski Vir

Due to its multidimensional nature archaeological heritage, often involves different concepts, interpretations, reuses, interests, and strategies. This includes heritage usage as a cultural, political or economic source. Thus, this presentation will pursue to address following question: How and to what extent (re)shaping the final heritage product- the archeological site, for presentation and use, affects the scientific and historical values. Archeological sites are first and foremost research arenas, which through the process of preservation and presentation may gain or lose value within cultural and touristic offer of a city, state, region or even in global spheres. This being said the aim of this presentation is twofold. Firstly, relying on the methodology of preventive conservation, paper will set the scene by demonstrating the common problems of archeological sites in general. This includes identification of various agents of heritage devastation that arise or are present in the process of site research, presentation and use, and may affect the loss of its values. Then, the study will seek to understand and problematize the role of authority in producing the final product in pursuing the authentic representations of the past. Particularly, presentation will analyze how disciplinary explanatory models influence the design, use, and presentation of archeological sites and landscapes. The paper aims to show how site and landscape elements become articulated spatially and interpretively while going through several different approaches to understanding the past. Which of these elements is included, what is omitted, and what are the values that remain constants? Having said that, through the prism of the authorized heritage discourse (sensu Smith 2006), the paper critically examines research and conservation practices that tends to create, certain views of the past which will be problematized. Particualry, process will be investigated through the example of the history of transformations and the “biography” of the Lepenski Vir site and its immediate environment.