Sada Mire’s Pub-talk: ‘Knowledge of the Past as a Basic Human Need’

This month we have archaeologist Dr Sada Mire from the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.

Can cultural heritage (including archaeological heritage) be a basic human need? In the developing world as well as the developed world cultural heritage seems to be a privilege, as it is usually associated with treasured, well-guarded and nicely displayed monuments and museum objects. But what is the sum of our human existence -memories and traditions, intangible and tangible? Some people believe that their cultural heritage is knowledge and skill. They preserve knowledge rather than objects and monuments. They talk about their memory including landscapes, places and spaces. Cultural heritage seems to be tied to the base of what it is to be a human being, thinking and remembering and a creating creature. A focus on knowledge and how humans arrange their lives through rituals and practices rather than sterile isolated objects and monuments, might help us understand the deep meaning of heritage as a basic human need.

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