"Tate Thames Dig" is the title of a work by Mark Dion at the Tate gallery.


What does this title mean? I know the history behind the installation, but does the title mean "digging the Thames in the Tate gallery"?

  • Did you read the explanatory summary below the image? That seems to explain it well enough for me. That said, note that titles of creative works do not necessarily have an explicit meaning, or only one meaning; they are simply a name that the artist or author likes.
    – choster
    Jul 16, 2015 at 23:43

2 Answers 2


"Dig" is used as a noun to refer to the activity of digging: "an archaeological dig".

The context of that dig is related to the Thames and the Tate, hence the title. I imagine it's also used to keep the words of the title monosyllabic, offering a more interesting soundbite.


"Tate" is the venue where the Dion's work was shown, then the Tate Gallery. The work consists of things found along the banks of the River Thames near the gallery. A "dig" is an archaeological excavation looking for significant buried artifacts, a word that Dion adopted for the work he did with a team of volunteers combing through detritus along the Thames.

If you'd like to volunteer on a real dig in Israel or Jordan you may go to the Find-A-Dig website.

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