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Five early ’80s music videos filmed at archaeological sites

November 4, 2018


Public archaeologists explore both public engagements with archaeology, but also how archaeological themes and narratives permeate popular culture. My question here is: how do archaeological sites, monuments and landscapes appear in ’80s music videos?

This is an important question, since music videos have become a medium that has had a lasting influence on popular perceptions of past cultures and their traces in the present. Through archaeologically inspired costumes, architectures, settings and themes, the human past is repackaged and fantasised for contemporary audiences in humorous and exotic fashions, but sometimes in deeply emotive, spiritual or personal fashions. These videos have been consumed globally far beyond English-language audiences through television, but now also via the world wide web (especially YouTube and Vimeo).

Most ’80s music videos are set in mundane contemporary environments, or on film sets. In any case, it takes money and permissions to film on location. It also takes vision…

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