Experiencing Place: An Auto-Ethnography on Digging and Belonging

Steve Brown


This article is concerned with personal heritage and the role of material things in the construction of place-attachment. My interest lies in interrogating my own sense of place-attachment (or belonging) to my home. I argue that personal experience can provide comparative information for investigating other peoples’ experiences of their ‘special places’. That is, by critically reflecting on my own connectivity to place I aim to gain a base-level of data that informs my understandings of other peoples’ experiences of place; that is, the social values of heritage places and/or archaeological sites. I argue that self-awareness and reflexivity are important tools in the work of archaeologists who seek to recognise and respect personal and communal place-attachments.


Material culture; place; attachment; heritage; archaeology; community; suburbia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/phrj.v23i0.5327