In July 2006 archaeologists from the University of Bristol and Atkins Heritage embarked on a contemporary archaeology project with a difference. We ‘excavated’ an old (1991) Ford Transit van, used by archaeologists and later by works and maintenance teams at the Ironbridge Museum. The object: to see what can be learnt from a very particular, common and characteristic type of contemporary place; to establish what archaeologists and archaeology can contribute to understanding the way society, and specifically we as archaeologists, use and inhabit these places; and to challenge and critique archaeologies of the contemporary past. In this report we describe our excavation and situate it within a wider debate about research practice in contemporary archaeology.
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