[MGSA-L] Princeton Hellenic Studies Round-Table: April 15, 2011

Dimitri H. Gondicas gondicas at Princeton.EDU
Fri Apr 15 08:35:35 PDT 2011



PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

Program in Hellenic Studies

Round-table

Death and Identity
In the Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean
That "the dead do not bury themselves" is an archaeological cliché meant to remind us that mortuary remains do not reflect necessarily the actual identity of the deceased. Depending on the society, the status of the dead and the conditions of death, funerary representations are mediated by various social actors, ranging from the close kin to religious institutions and the state - or a combination of them. Those actors act selectively and tend to project their own values and ideas upon the corpse, the offerings, the grave, or the funerary process.  From this perspective, the final image of the dead can be perceived as the result of a successful negotiation among the groups that are socially prescribed to practise the burial, rather than a faithful account of the network of identities that comprise the social self of an individual.  This round-table will explore aspects of the constant interplay between individual and collective identities in funerary practice. Brief presentations of case-studies will provide the background for a discussion about agency in burial, the value of analytical categories used in the study of social identities, and the implications of such an approach on our understanding of funerary remains.
Introduction:
Nikolas Papadimitriou (Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)

Priscilla S. Keswani (Independent Scholar)
"What Do Grave Goods Really Mean?
Death, Identity, and Archaeological Uncertainty in the Case of Early Bronze Age Cyprus"

Joanna Smith (Department of Art and Archaeology)
"Adornment in Death in Polis, Cyprus"
R. Angus K. Smith (Brock University)
"Child Burials at the Mycenaean Cemetery of Ayia Sotira, Nemea, Greece"

Nathan Arrington (Department of Art and Archaeology)
"Mass and Elite in the Athenian Public Cemetery"

Sharon Gerstel (UCLA; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton)
"Looking for an Invisible Population in Byzantine Bones: The Case of the Widow"
Friday, April 15, 2011
1:30 p.m.
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103

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