Remembrance of Things Past: New Approaches to the Construction and Uses of Cultural Memory from Iron Age to Antiquity
In the last decades, interest in the topic of cultural memory has been growing in Archaeology. Pioneering studies of “the past in the past”, focusing on the analysis of the (re)use(s) of older sites, structures, and objects, have been expanded by new approaches, such as landscape analysis, chronological modelling, mobility analysis, and archaeogenetics, to produce a more nuanced understanding of the ways narratives about the past were constructed and deployed by specific groups and agents.
While prehistoric, medieval, and later contexts deserved particular consideration, growing attention has been paid to the subject of memory-building and to narratives about the past in the European Iron Age, during which the spread of writing gave rise to interactions between non-written and written mnemonic regimes which transformed the ways in which memory was shaped and transmitted. Simultaneously, there has been a growing interest in the role of cultural memory in the Ancient World, as part of studies on the responses to the globalizing processes associated with empire-building and the emergence of local identities.
Cultural memory has been shown to be a critical aspect of the negotiation of sociopolitical structures and the construction of identities during these periods. This session aims to further explore the ways in which narratives about the past were built and deployed as part of broader processes of identity construction, while fostering a theoretical and methodological discussion on the study of cultural memory through archaeological sources.
For this purpose, we invite participants to present case studies from Europe and the Mediterranean which reflect the tools which can be used to trace memory-building processes in the archaeological record, to reconstruct the outline of narratives and discourses about the past built and deployed by ancient communities, and to assess the uses of cultural memory in the negotiation of social, political, and cultural identities.
Memory, Mnemonic Regimes, Landscapes, Identity, Iron Age, Antiquity
Session associated with MERC:
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Session associated with other:
Francisco Gomes (Portugal) 1,2
Francisco Machuca Prieto (Spain) 3
1. UNIARQ - Centre for Archaeology of the University of Lisbon
2. School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon
3. University of Málaga
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