Archaeology Reading Group 2011

Delphi
Delphi (Photograph: Andrew Stephenson)

Object-Image-Interpretation

Sessions for  2011

24 March

Chair: Caroline Tully

Egyptomania Before and After Tutankhamun

According to Jean-Marcel Humbert, Curator of the Musee du Louvre: "Egyptomania   uses, copies, re-thinks, and re-creates forms derived from ancient Egypt.   Nourished by symbolic meanings attributed to ancient Egypt, though un-related to   their actual meanings in antiquity, Egyptomania has survived by offering new   readings of these forms passed down through the ages." - Jean-Marcel Humbert,   Michael Pantazzi and Christiane Ziegler, Egyptomania: Egypt in Western Art 1730–1930 (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1994) 21-5.

Readings:

Caroline Tully, 2010: 'Walk Like an Egyptian: Egypt as Authority in Aleister Crowley's Reception of The Book of the Law', The Pomegranate 12, 20-47.

Bridget Elliot, 2008: 'Art Deco Worlds in a Tomb: Reanimated Egypt in Modern(ist) Visual Culture', South Central Review 25/1, 114-35.

21 April

Chair: Aleks Michalewicz

Reflecting on Research Practices

Readings:

Richard Hamming 1986: 'You and your research', transcript of the Bell Communications Research Colloquium Seminar, 7 March 1986.

Visa Immonen 2003: 'The stratigraphy of life: An archaeological dialogue with Leo Klejn', Archaeological Dialogues 10, 57-75.

12 May

Chair: Damjan Krsmanovic

Reflecting on Research Practices Part II

Readings:

Yannis Hamilakis 1999: 'La trahison des archéologues? Archaeological practice as intellectual activity in postmodernity', Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 12, 60-79.

Pierre Bourdieu 2003: 'Participant objectivation', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 9, 281-94.

25 August

Reflecting on Research Practices Part III

Chair: Will Anderson

In a couple  of previous sessions we have touched on questions of 'reflexivity' in  archaeological practice. The reading material this time is an article by  Richard Bradley that addresses some practical and interpretive issues  relating to excavation and survey, illustrated by a project carried out at  a megalithic cemetery in Scotland. The article raises questions about  some of the conventions and orthodoxies that are often taken for granted in  field archaeology, which I hope will encourage discussion of our own  experiences of research and fieldwork.

Reading:

Richard Bradley 2003: 'Seeing Things: Perception, Experience  and the Constraints of Excavation', Journal of Social Archaeology 3, 151-68.

15 September

Emo Archaeology

Chair: Damjan Krsmanovic

Over the past 15-20  years there have been claims made for many specialised archaeologies -  landscape, seascape, disease, memory, 'symetrical' (discussed in a previous  session), etc. So, what does this 'emotional archaeology' have to offer?

Reading:

Oliver J.T. Harris and Tim Flohr Sørensen 2010: 'Rethinking Emotion and Material Culture', Archaeological Dialogues 17, 145-63.

6 October

No Artificial Preservatives: Whose History Is It Anyway?

Chair: Jason Adams

Who determines what sites are "worthy" of conservation and/or restoration, and why?  And once such a determination has been made who decides how the site is conserved and/or restored, and why?  Most archaeological sites are located in contexts (be they the site itself or the region or modern country in which they are found) where more than one cultural group shares the site's history.  Questions about conservation and restoration are therefore important not only from an archaeological point of view, but also from many others including modern social and political ones.  So how do we, or indeed can we ensure that archaeology plays a positive role in this complex and contentious area?

Readings:

Oliver Creighton 2007: 'Contested Townscapes: The Walled City as World Heritage', World Archaeology 39/3, 339-54.

Marie Louise Stig Sørensen and Christopher Evans 2011: 'The Challenges and Potentials of Archaeological Heritage in Africa: Cape Verdean Reflections', African Archaeological Review 28, 39-54.

20 October

Archaeological Orphans: The Place of Unprovenienced Cycladic Figurines in Research

Chair: Emily Poelina-Hunter

Cycladic figurines that have not been securely excavated are orphaned from vital contextual information. In the early days of Greek archaeology the looting of Cycladic sites was rife and the black market was  supplied by with stolen antiquities and later forgeries to meet the demand of  art buyers wanting Cycladic figurines. Does displaying unprovenienced  figurines in museums and including them in scholarly articles excuse the  corrupt nature of their acquisition? Or should these archaeological orphans be  excluded from current research?

Reading:

David W.J. Gill and Christopher Chippindale 1993: 'Material and  Intellectual Consequences of Esteem for Cycladic Figures', American Journal of  Archaeology 97, 601-59.

24 November

The Neolithic Site of Göbekli Tepe in Southeast Turkey

Chair: Damjan Krsmanovic

Reading:

E.B. Banning 2011: 'So Fair a House: Göbekli   Tepe and the Identification of Temples in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the Near East', Current Anthropology 52, 619-60.

15 December

Ethics and the Archaeology of Modern Conflict

Chair: Aleks Michalewicz and Will Anderson

Reading:

Debra Komar 2008: 'Patterns of Mortuary Practice Associated with Genocide', Current Anthropology 49, 123-33.

Gabriel Moshenska 2008: 'Ethics and Ethical Critique in the Archaeology of Modern Conflict', Norwegian Archaeological Review 41, 159-75.