Session: #140

Theme & Session Format

Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans and landscapes
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Furnished Interiors in the Ancient Mediterranean and Egypt
In the past few decades studies on domestic and funerary contexts have attracted scholars to delve into issues of interior space and daily life. Domestic architecture, space identification and gender areas are all subjects of current scholarship. However, one significant category of movable objects―furniture―has sadly been neglected. Despite the importance of these artifacts to modern discussions, the body of evidence is still very limited as most climates, apart from Egypt, are not conducive to the preservation of wood and other fibres and thus the evidence has largely disappeared from the archaeological record. Notwithstanding this challenge, some new information has been added to the discussion on furniture since Gisela Richter’s seminal 1966 iconographic study. This includes new data published in excavation reports (Delos, Olynthos, Thasos, Eretria and Halieis) as well as synthetic studies on the iconography and literary evidence. When studied in its primary context (domestic, funerary or sacred), furniture offers additional knowledge on daily life, funerary rites, space management, decoration and conspicuous consumption.
In the proposed session we aim to bring together scholars working on furniture in any of the three proposed areas:
1- Furniture use from the Bronze Age to the Roman period in the Mediterranean region;
2- The typology of Bronze Age to Roman-period furniture found in the Mediterranean region;
3- The techniques and technological processes involved in furniture production within the proposed time frame.

We welcome synthetic studies as well as case studies on furnished interiors that give a better understanding of domestic, sacred or funerary interior space and human behavior based on physical, literary and visual evidence. Special categories of furniture (such as miniature furniture) would be a welcome addition.
ancient furniture, interior space, daily life, furniture production and techniques
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
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Main organiser:
Demi Andrianou (Greece) 1
Geoffrey Killen (United Kingdom) 2
1. National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens (Greece)
2. Independent researcher