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call for papers 2019

Reconstructions of the Past

How do we make them and do they matter?

Call for papers

  • Date: April 17th 2019
  • Deadline abstract submission: December 20th 2018

Archaeology studies the past through material remains of this same past, but these material remains only go so far. A leap of imagination is required to bridge the gap between the soil marks interpreted as post-holes and the reconstructed shape of the house that occupies the mind of the lay visitor to a site, the reconstruction drawing at the site, but also the scholarly discussion of whether they would have had conical or domed roofs. This reconstructive gap between the physical evidence and interpretation is the subject of the 25th Archaeology and Theory symposium organised by Stichting Archaeological Dialogues on April 17th 2019 at the University of Leiden, for which we invite abstracts for papers.

We are interested in the topic of reconstruction in a broad sense. Topics that we hope to address include, but are not limited to:

* Reconstruction drawings, are they art or science? How can an artistic approach help the scholarly pursuit and vice versa?

* What role does laboratory science play in (engagement with) reconstructions of the past?

* How can experimental archaeology help us in creating better and more engaging reconstructions of the past?

* What role can re-enactment play in reconstructions and interpretations, or how can those engaged in traditional archaeology (academic, professional and interested public) meaningfully engage with the re-enactment community?

* Can we ethically make things up when we fill in the blanks, in reconstruction drawings, archaeological stories or fictionalised archaeological pasts?

* What role do the reconstructions we make play in the interaction between all those engaged with the profession (be they (interested) public, professional or academic)?

* How do reconstructions influence our research questions?

Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and should be sent to archaeologicaldialogues(at)gmail.com. Closing date for submission of abstracts is 20 December 2018. Proposers will be informed of the committee’s decision early January 2019