Session: #543

Theme & Session Format

1. Widening horizons through human-environment interconnections
Session format:
Discussion session (with formal abstracts)

Title & Content

Material Minds: Exploring the Interactions between Cultural Artefacts, Material Cutlure and Embodied Mind
This session proposes to a wider audience thinking and reporting in what ways the worlds we build and inhabit alter our own minds and the ways we process information. The research problem this session wishes to address is: Do the material structures of our cultural artefacts, buildings, and landscapes change fundamental patterns of thought and mind, so that understanding change in these ‘material codes’ becomes part and parcel of understanding the emergence of the modern mind?

To answer these questions, we propose participants from different audiences and backgrounds to bring their expertise and experience to explore the hypothesis of materiality-driven cognitive change to build further understanding of the cycles by which we humans make and transform the structured worlds that make and transform our minds. Case studies and contributions could be based on different sets of information, spanning the vast diversity of present day archaeological practice, including prehistoric, historic, ethnoarchaeological and contemporary archaeologies. Empirical accounts of the intended proposals will be important. But we also call for methodological, conjectural or even speculative approaches.

The session is related to a newly awarded ERC Synergy Grant project on Material Minds (acronym XSCAPE). Their proponents are part of the team of Principal Investigators of this project, being the others Andy Clark, of the University of Sussex, Department of Informatics and Department of Philosophy (UK), and Luis M. Martínez, of the Spanish National Research Council-CSIC, Institute of Neurosciences-IN (Spain).
Cognitive Archaeology, Lanscape Archaeology, Mind, Neuroarchaeology, Material Culture
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Incipit and Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology of Kiel


Main organiser:
Felipe Criado-Boado (Spain) 1
Johannes Müller (Germany) 2
1. Institute of Heritage Sciences (Incipit, CSIC)
2. University of Kiel, Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology