STAGING DEATH: FUNERARY PERFORMANCE, ARCHITECTURE AND LANDSCAPE IN THE
113th Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, JAN 5-8, 2012
Colloquium organizer: Anastasia Dakouri-Hild (University of Virginia)
The performance of funerary rituals reinforces a sense of community, being a means to revive social memory and legitimize links with an ancestral past. Such rituals tend to be highly formalized and performed in specific contexts, times and places which set them apart from everyday life. They require a ‘stage’ (such as the cemetery and the site
of a grave), a performer (such as a priest or priestess) and an audience (e.g. the attending members of a funeral). Funerary performance is highly communicative,a form of enacted, symbolic language articulated through material culture. The study of performance casts light on how
social relations and mortuary beliefs were conceived and communicated within a society on the occasion of a particular event.
In the Aegean, the concept of funerary performance has been explored primarily through the study of cultic implements and artifacts employed in ceremonial processions, libations, feasting, the treatment, adornment and purification of bodies, offerings to the deceased etc. This session
is meant to further explore the performative aspects of mortuary space, landscape and architecture in particular (Bronze and Iron Ages). We invite contributions on the semiotics of landscape, choice of burial areas, cemetery arrangement, interrelationship of mortuary and residential space, relationship of cemeteries or particular graves with
prominent natural (hills, rivers) or other features (e.g. roads); the monumentality of tombs as a factor contributing to their theatricality; the architectural design and 'domesticity' of tombs (doors, thresholds, benches, platforms, wall paintings); the arrangement and usage of
associated structures and features, both interior and exterior; iconographical representation of funerary architecture etc.
Please send a 200-word abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, March 25th.
University of Virginia
McIntire Dept of Art
Charlottesville, VA 22906 Email: email@example.com
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