Archive for October, 2009

Next Seminar: “Imitation in Archaeology”

The Mediterranean basin contains complex and dynamic communication networks. Since Antiquity, ideas, objects and people have travelled on a regular base generating various forms of cultural contact. Cultural borrowing, or imitation, is one of them. This phenomenon, frequently encountered in archaeological studies, often represents a real challenge for archaeologists. Imitations affect the comprehension of archaeological issues related to technological knowledge, chronology and socio-economical aspects that need to be comprehended in order to reconstruct ancient history. The objective of the seminar will be to focus on the most frequent problems related to imitation in archaeological objects. The first meeting of the new session, led by Martin Perron (Université de Montréal & École doctorale d’archéologie, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne), will discuss the concept’s definitions, mechanisms and purposes found in academic literature.

The issues we hope to discuss are:

–          the causes of cultural transfer (trade, war, craftspeople, mobility, migration, centre-periphery relationship, etc.)

–          the agents of transfer (the ideas, the objects or the individuals?);

–          who is imitating? for whom and for which purposes?

–          the techniques and the cognitive aspects associated with cultural reproduction;

–          the local needs that encourage acceptance of foreign influences in the “receptive environment”;

–          the degree of acceptance of influences (integral imitation, hybridation, rejection?) and what it can tell us about the “receptive community”;

–          the social impact(s) that imitation generates on individuals & collectives welcoming it;

–          Strategies, symbolisms and functions lying behind the phenomenon.

The last part of the seminar will be dedicated to the methodological approaches (stylistic, typological, archaeo-metrical, etc.) followed by archaeologists in order to distinguish imitations from genuine objects.

If interested in participating please email the IIHSA to request the suggested and recommended reading.

6.30pm Friday 06th November 2009 at the Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies (51a Odos Notara). Please RSVP as spaces are limited.