Materiality, Technology, and Constructing Social Knowledge through Bodily Representation: A View from Prehistoric Guernsey, Channel Islands.

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Kohring, Sheila 

The role of the human body in the creation of social knowledge-as an ontological and/or aesthetic category-has been applied across social theory. In all these approaches, the body is viewed as a locus for experience and knowledge. If the body is a source of subjective knowledge, then it can also become an important means of creating ontological categories of self and society. The materiality of human representations within art traditions, then, can be interpreted as providing a means for contextualizing and aestheticizing the body in order to produce a symbolic and structural knowledge category. This paper explores the effect of material choices and techniques of production when representing the human body on how societies order and categorize the world.

Channel Islands, body, materiality, representation, stone
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Eur J Archaeol
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Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Wellcome Trust (096510/Z/11/Z)
The author's work in the Channel Islands was supported by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. She is currently involved in the Anthropology of Prehistoric Health project sponsored by the Wellcome Trust.