Session: #95

Theme & Session Format

5. Assembling archaeological theory and the archaeological sciences
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Arts in Work: About the Interaction of Soundscapes and Taskscapes in Antiquity
Working and music/sounds are two topics of research that have been almost unexplored together so far in studies of material culture, especially due their ephemeral nature. On the one hand, when dealing with music, working environments are not usually considered. On the other hand, when dealing with work and production the focus is often on administrative and economic aspects, as well on the so-called chaîne opératoire, but not on soundscapes. In this session we aim to fill this gap discussing several aspects of the interaction between working and music/sounds through a fresh look of material culture that shed light on the potentialities of objects and architectures as creators of a wide array of sounds that participated in the creation of taskscapes in working environments. Notice that we use indiscriminately and intentionally music and sounds as synonyms as we also aim at discussing the definition of their boundaries. In doing so, we aim to include in the debates on soundscapes issues as diverse as work songs, traditionally considered “music”, but also the crackle of fire or the pounding of mortars, to name two examples, traditionally considered “sounds” (or even “noise”). How do we define these conceptual borders in working environments? Why? Are they useful for our analysis or they hide more than what they show?
To discuss all these issues we encourage contributions by scholars dealing with any period and geography as well as various perspectives: history of religion, archaeomusicology, archaeoacoustics, sound archaeology, ecoarchaeology, classics, anthropology, and art history. Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research will be welcome, especially research on archeoacustics based on contemporary analysis like Soundshed Analysis GIStool among others.
soundscapes, taskscapes, music, work, sound objects, sound tools
Session associated with MERC:
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Main organiser:
Agnes Garcia-Ventura (Spain) 1
Angela Bellia (Italy) 2
Meritxell Ferrer Martin (Spain) 3
Mireia López-Bertran (Spain) 4
1. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
2. Institute of Heritage Science at the Italian National Research Council
3. Universitat Pompeu Fabra
4. Universitat de València