Since 2006, Carolyn L. White has been conducting archaeological research in Black Rock City, the temporary metropolis built each year for Burning Man. Her recent book, The Archaeology of Burning Man, presents the results of over a decade of research. As a city on the threshold of destruction and on the verge of creation, archaeological techniques are particularly appropriate for understanding the created private and public spaces in the city before, during, and after its use. This talk will present some of the ideas behind the study of the city and its residents, presenting findings from archaeological survey, mapping, artifact collection, and analysis to interpret the domestic and public space of Black Rock City.
Dr. Carolyn L. White is the Mamie Kleberg Professor of Anthropology and Historic Preservation at the University of Nevada, Reno where she directs the Museum Studies and Historic Preservation Programs. Her work as an anthropologically focused historical archaeologist spans four centuries, focusing on the materiality of personal appearance, 19th-century ranching in Hawaii, the built environment of Black Rock City, and the relationship between art and archaeology. Her most recent book, The Archaeology of Burning Man, was published by University of New Mexico Press (2020).