From my point of view, discussions of the content of the concept of time are always welcome in archaeology since the archaeological discourse on this topic has for many years been anchored in a quite simplified and axiomatic chronological approach. Discussions of other aspects of, and approaches towards, the concept of time have – with few exceptions – been neglected. It is therefore with pleasure that I have been presented with the opportunity to comment briefly on Gavin Lucas's article ‘Archaeology and contemporaneity’, which approaches the concept of contemporaneity in and of the archaeological record. I would like to start this comment in a rather unorthodox way with a brief quotation from the movie A Fish Called Wanda since I think this quotation encapsulates both my agreement with, and my critique of, the reasonings presented by Lucas:
Archie: Wanda, do you have any idea what it's like being English? Being so correct all the time, being so stifled by this dread of, of doing the wrong thing, of saying to someone, ‘Are you married?’ and hearing, ‘My wife left me this morning,’ or saying, uh, ‘Do you have children?’ and being told they all burned to death on Wednesday. You see, Wanda, we’re all terrified of embarrassment. That's why we’re so – dead. Most of my friends are dead, you know; we’ve these piles of corpses to dinner. But you’re alive, God bless you, and I want to be, I’m so fed up with all this (A Fish Called Wanda, 1988)
It may be concluded from the quotation above that the time horizons of past, present and future are interconnected and intertwined in Archie's and Wanda's contemporaneity. At least Archie is heavily influenced by the past and its traditions, and his contemporary situation is grounded in the past as well as in the future, when he is trying to break free and direct himself towards a new future. Thus Archie's fictional life is a blueprint of the conditions of our own existences where past, present and future are inseparable and interconnected in a manner where they cannot be divided into separate chronological time horizons. I will return to this observation and to Archie and Wanda further on, but I believe that Lucas agrees with my initial observation concerning the relationship between past, present and future as inseparable and blended entities – this, since his article approaches the concept of time and contemporaneity in and of the archaeological record in a thought-provoking and inspiring manner.