Biweekly Colloquium: “Conjunctions and Disjunctions in Interpretations of European Iron Age Socio-temporal Meshworks”

Jan 17, 2022 from 04:15 PM to 05:45 PM

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Prof. Dr. Bettina Arnold  •  Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Conjunctions and Disjunctions in Interpretations of European Iron Age Socio-temporal Meshworks

The archaeological record presents us with a conflated material record of interactions that are the product of horizontal meshworks at several geographic scales simultaneously. In addition to temporalities that reflect potentially different meshworks depending on the archaeological context in question (settlement vs. mortuary deposits, for example), these interactions were engaged in by actors belonging to different social categories based on age, gender, role and status. While some individuals may have moved vertically between these layers of relational systems most did not and yet we analyze the material traces of the interactions that occurred in Iron Age contexts as though they occurred within a single relational plane. Based on the extensive data sets and new methodologies now available to us it has become clear that interaction and mobility patterns were differentiated along several different axes geographically, temporally and socially. We must find ways of distinguishing between these conjunctive and disjunctive planes to develop a more complete picture of the various modes of early Iron Age communication and interaction. It should be possible to develop a more nuanced approach to this interpretive challenge with specific reference to the still emerging and by now quite extensive mortuary evidence from the West Hallstatt area, which will serve as the case study for this presentation.

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