Archaeological Review from Cambridge - 37.2: Aesthetics, Sensory Skills, and Archaeology

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  • ItemOpen Access
    An Anthropological Guide to the Art and Philosophy of Mirror Gazing by Maria Danae Koukouti and Lambros Malafouris
    (2022-11-01) Larkin, Maryellen; Onyemechalu, Stanley
    Review of the book An Anthropological Guide to the Art and Philosophy of Mirror Gazing by Maria Danae Koukouti and Lambros Malafouris.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Forthcoming Issues
    (2022-11-01) Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel
    Details of the forthcoming issues of the Archaeological Review from Cambridge, and notes on the cover of the volume.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Archaeology and Photography: Time, Objectivity and Archive edited by Lesley McFadyen and Dan Hicks
    (2022-11-01) Santikarn, Alisa; Onyemechalu, Stanley
    Review of the book Archaeology and Photography: Time, Objectivity and Archive edited by Lesley McFadyen and Dan Hicks.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Beautiful Bodies: Gender and Corporeal Aesthetics of the Past edited by Uroš Matić
    (2022-11-01) Boney-Hundal, Vega; Onyemechalu, Stanley
    Review of the book Beautiful Bodies: Gender and Corporeal Aesthetics of the Past edited by Uroš Matić.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Tree Aesthetics at Holme I, Norfolk
    (2022-11-01) Masterson, Molly; Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel
    This paper explores how plant-human relationships can expand sensory experiences, both active and passive. In discussing the notions of exploring past senses and the ways in which the material world has shaped human perspectives, it is important to discuss the ways in which things—other than objects—may have influenced the creation of such perspectives. By arguing that plants have a deserved and unique form of agency, we can reconsider how plants (as living, active organisms) provide distinct experiences, both as plants and as materials. I define such experiences by considering the sensory and emotive aspects of plants and suggest that plants are active within inter-species relationships. We can see such roles at the site of Holme I, in Norfolk, UK, which provides an archaeological exploration of tree-human relationships at an early Bronze Age monument.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Seeing through an Imperial Lens: The Aesthetics of Photography in Ernst Krickl's 1892 Lycian Journal
    (2022-11-01) Panesar, Tara Aysha; Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel
    This paper examines the imperialist and orientalist aesthetic of Ernst Krickl’s archaeological photography as displayed in his 1892 Lycian Journal. Employing the methodology of Michael Shanks and Stephanie Moser, I undertake a post-colonial visual analysis of the journal to contextualise it within its complex history. By looking at the aesthetic of the photographs as a window into contemporary ideologies, I find that the construction of an imperial Austrian image and an orientalist view of the Ottoman Empire underlines Krickl’s work. In my study, the aesthetic of the photographs is found to reflect the wider international, cultural and political dynamics of 19th century Austria. Finally, the Lycian journal is employed as a case study to discuss the relationship of archaeological practice with dominant ideologies.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sensing Devotion at Sparta: The Ivory Adornments at the Sanctuary of Artemis Ortheia (750-600 BCE)
    (2022-11-01) Martin, Daphne D.; Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel
    This paper deals with a case-study within the archaic Greek world where religion is known to have been prominent, but beauty is long thought to have been eschewed: Sparta. Using Alkman as an emic theorist, it explores the theological aesthetics of female accessories of ivory, considering in particular their role in religious performance at the sanctuary of Artemis Ortheia in Sparta. Theologically speaking, dressing up and adornment, and the objects which achieve this, are shown to be central to understanding the relationship between Spartan girls, ivory objects, and Artemis Ortheia. The sensory affordances of ivory accoutrements, including their lustrousness, carvability, and exoticism, stand out for how they forge religio-aesthetic relationships between the goddess and her worshippers. Ultimately, by placing Sparta in the broader context of archaic Greek aesthetic thought, it is possible to highlight that with respect to beauty, perhaps Sparta is not so different as we might think.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reconsidering the Aesthetics of Red Monochromatic Wall Plasters
    (2022-11-01) Clinch, Alice; Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel
    This paper focuses on red monochromatic plasters from Roman and Campanian contexts, as a case study to evaluate the materiality and aesthetics of wall plaster. It focuses specifically on red painted plaster and its associated pigments: ochre and cinnabar, to investigate the aesthetic, sensory and cultural capacity of a colour. It demonstrates that the execution of monochromatic painted plaster required a higher level of technological expertise than has previously been acknowledged. Furthermore, the optical properties of ochre and cinnabar are considered in tandem with their topographical source to have a greater impact on the sensorial reception of architectural space. Through understanding the aesthetic capacity of red monochrome, previous hierarchies based on the economic value of pigments are questioned, and new ones are created based on an environmental understanding of ancient art.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Visual Flexibility: Votive and Funerary Banquet Reliefs in Late Classical Attica
    (2022-11-01) Miller, Holly; Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel
    Votive banquet reliefs featuring a reclining elder male employed a visual language that to ancient viewers unambiguously defined the nature and identity of a hero. This highly flexible language appears to have been quickly adopted in the heroising realm of funerary monuments by the end of the Late Classical period, ca. 400–323 BCE, and remained a desired aesthetic throughout the Hellenistic period, ca. 323–31 BCE. In this lesser known and smaller corpus of votive banquet reliefs, few examples retain any vestiges of polychromy or inscriptions. An unstudied and unpublished relief of this type from the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, however, exceptionally retains both. A close study of this relief provides insight into the aesthetic tastes of the Late Classical period, as well as an understanding of how banqueting iconography, originally reserved for a hero rather than heroised deceased, was emphatically adopted into the funerary sphere at the end of the fourth century BCE.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Role of Aesthetics for Memory: A Material-Engagement Approach to the Making of Knossian Kamares Decorations
    (2022-11-01) Prezioso, Emanuele; Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel
    In presenting the study of Bronze Age Knossian Kamares (ca. 1900–1700 BCE) making of polychrome decorative motifs, this paper investigates the degree to which the aesthetic material forms of things (i.e., the combination ofmaterials, shapes, and decorations) constitute memories of sociocultural practices: patterns of skilled actions, thoughts, and the beliefs attached to them. Specifically, I propose that Knossian Kamares decorations are memories because they are material signs of past sociocultural practices that occurred with and through them over time. Ultimately, this essay aims to call attention to the role of the aesthetic qualities of material forms and their associated sociocultural practices in constituting memory from the perspective of material engagement theory and the enactive-ecological approach to cognition.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Engaging the Science of Storytelling in Archaeological Communication
    (2022-11-01) Pruitt, Tera; Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel
    Drawing on multidisciplinary research as well as a case study from the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, this paper argues that archaeologists can better convey information about the past by using well-structured stories that align with how our brains receive and process information. A compelling story engages the aesthetic sense and aids the consumer in empathising with, comprehending and recalling subject matter. This paper explores how archaeologists can communicate more powerfully and memorably using three evidence-based storytelling practices.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Pebble for your Thoughts: Reconsidering Aesthetics, Art, and Value in the Context of Cycladic Marble Sculpting
    (2022-11-01) Aston, Alexander; Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel
    Aesthetics as commonly understood is bound up in Western notions of beauty, taste, discernment, worthiness, and superiority. One need only peruse 19th-century writings on ‘primitive art’, or how cultural gatekeepers of refinement and respectability responded to every innovative musical trend of the 20th century, to appreciate that aesthetics is enmeshed within notions of cultural supremacy and hierarchies of value. This paper argues that for archaeological analysis of aesthetic experience to generate productive insight into cultural dynamics, it must return to the term’s conceptual foundations as the perception and feeling of things. The archaeology of aesthetics can benefit from the perspective of material engagement, which examines how recursive relationships between materials, perception, skill, and social interaction constitute subjective and intersubjective experiences of affective value. To demonstrate such an approach, this paper engages in a brief case study of Cycladic sculpting, examining the relationships between the properties of marble and the development of skill, attention, and social interaction. The paper concludes with a reflection upon how aesthetic experience is intrinsic to the semiotics of value and collective identity.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Rethinking Aesthetics in Archaeology
    (2022-11-01) Kapsali, Polina; Rachel Phillips; Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel
    The introduction to the volume, which discusses the history of aesthetics in archaeology and recent theoretical developments in the field. It outlines the structure of the volume and the content of the papers.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Contents
    (2022-11-01) Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel
    Contents page and Acknowledgements.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Cover
    (2022-11-01) Kapsali, Polina; Phillips, Rachel; Robert McCabe
    Cover of the volume, featuring a photograph by Robert McCabe.