Drinks and Drugs: Entanglements of Aegean Pottery in the Late Bronze Age Canaan

Public lecture, Wednesday, 29 March, 6:00
Venue: Kathleen Fitzpatrick Lecture Theatre – B101, Arts West Building, The University of Melbourne

Professor Philipp Stockhammer, Ludwig-Maximilians- University Munich

We are currently witnessing a continuing epistemological gap between the vivid discussion on the phenomenon of cultural encounter and transculturality in Aegean and Near Eastern Archaeology and the reality of methodological approaches in archaeological interpretation.  In order to develop a methodological approach for the analysis of transcultural phenomena in archaeology, Stockhammer will operationalize the complex anthropological discourse and transform it into a methodological approach for archaeological sources.  In this lecture, he will exemplify the potential of his approach on the basis of a case study, namely the appropriation and use of Aegean-type pottery at the Southern Levant in the 13th and 12th centuries BCE and the transformation of functions and meanings that emerged during the process of appropriation.  Intercultural interaction and goods exchange in the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean have been the focus of archaeological research for years.  So far, however, form, function and meaning of an object have always been understood as an inseparable entity.  Stockhammer argues that we have to refocus archaeology’s approach towards items coming from the outside.  Therefore, the significance of the foreign object does not derive solely from the transfer as such, but rather from the ways in which it is used and contextualized in the receiving culture.  Stockhammer will focus on the pottery’s integration into discourses and practices and on the creation of new hybrid frameworks of meaning that do not conform with what had previously existed in the receiving society or in the areas of origin of the objects in question.

Philipp Stockhammer is Professor for Prehistoric Archaeology (focus: Eastern Mediterraenean) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and Co-director of the Max-Planck-Harvard Research Center for the Archaeoscience of the Ancient Mediterranean at Jena.

Download the flyer.

Free event, please register at http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/PhilippStockhammer