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From snout to tail. Exploring the Greek sacrificial animal from the literary, epigraphical, iconographical, archaeological and zooarchaeological evidence - 08-09-10/12/2016, Uppsala (Sweden)

30.10.2016

 

Animal sacrifice was the most important ritual within ancient Greek religion (ca 1000 BC to 200 AD). Through animal sacrifice men communicated with the gods to ask for help, show their gratitude or honour the divine party, but the ritual did also lay down the differences between gods and men. Depending on how the animal was divided and who received what, and whether the meat, blood and innards were kept raw, cooked or burnt, it was established who was immortal and mortal, respectively. The division and handling of the animal also marked differences in status between humans, individuals as well as groups, linked to what part of the animal one received. Each body part had its own meaning and function within the ritual, but in what way and why remains to be investigated in more detail.

 

The conference From snout to tail brings together 20 internationally well-known scholars with profound knowledge of the ancient source material and ancient Greek religion to explore the handling of the different parts of the animal, from snout to tail. The aim is a better understanding of the use and meaning of the animal’s body within sacrificial ritual through a thorough interpretation of the complex Greek sacrificial terminology, representations of ritual preserved on pottery and reliefs and animal bones found in Greek sanctuaries. The results will provide new insights as to how animal sacrifice worked as a means to communicate with the gods and establish the world order. The understanding of animal sacrifice in Greek antiquity is central for the understanding ancient individuals, their society and relation to the divine.

 

The main methodological aim is to integrate all kinds of extant ancient sources: texts, inscriptions, images, archaeological material and preserved animal bones. It is only through such an approach that that we may grasp the complex ritual reality. From a methodological perspective, this empirical width is innovative and creative, as scholars tend to stick to their own fields. A zooarchaeologist rarely knows ancient Greek while a philologist rarely has competence in the interpretation of images or identification of animal bones. Therefore, the conference wants to highlight and develop the importance of a work mode that makes use of the ancient evidence as fully as possible through cross-disciplinary dialogue, but also to stimulate and establish collaboration between scholars across disciplines.

 

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 08-09-10/12/2016

 

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Department of archaeology and ancient history, Uppsala University (Uppsala, Sweden)

 

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Gunnel Ekroth; Mat Carbon

 

INFO: web - gunnel.ekroth@antiken.uu.se - jmcarbon@ulg.ac.be

 

INSCRIPCIÓN/REGISTRATION/REGISTRAZIONE: gratis / free / gratuito

 

PROGRAMA/PROGRAM/PROGRAMMA: 

 

Thursday, December 8

 

18.00 Welcome from organizers and introductory remarks (GUNNEL EKROTH & MAT CARBON)

 

18.15 Opening lecture: VINCIANE PIRENNE-DELFORGE (Université de Liège) Animals as medium, food, or honours? Greek ways of communicating with the divine

 

19.00 Reception

 

Friday, December 9

 

9.00–9.15 Welcome & Registration

 

SESSION 1: FROM DEAD HEADS TO FLESHY ORGANS (chair: KATHERINE RASK)

 

9.15–10.00 TYLER JO SMITH (University of Virginia): Taking the bull by the horns: Animal heads in scenes of sacrifice on Greek vases

 

10.00–10.45 GERHARD FORSTENPOINTNER (Veterinärmedizinische Universität, Vienna, a collaborative paper with G.E. WEISSENGRUBER and A. GALIK): On goats and their horns: Archaeozoological considerations on the ritual exploitation of caprines

 

10.45–11.15 Coffee

 

11.15–12.00 VASSO ZACHARI (EHESS, Paris): On the stylized bucranium and its close relationship with the altar

 

12.00–12.45 STELLA GEORGOUDI (EPHE, Paris): Heads, tongues and the rest: The kephalê and its parts in the sacrificial practices

 

12.45–13.15 Conclusion of panel: summing up and further questions

 

13.15-14.30 Lunch

 

SESSION 2: UGLY INNARDS? (chair: CELIA SHULTZ)

 

14.30–15.15 JENNIFER LARSON (Kent State University): Blood, purity and ritual killing: Exploring intuitive models

 

15.15–16.00 BARTEK BEDNAREK (University of Krakow): Mέχρι σπλάγχνων: When is that?

 

16.00–16.30 Coffee

 

16.30–17.15 SANDRINE HUBER (Université de Lorraine): The forgotten sacrificial cuts: Bones, tendons, and fat

 

17.15–17.45 Conclusion of panel: summing up and further questions

 

19.00 Dinner for speakers

 

Saturday, December 10

 

SESSION 3: LANKY LIMBS & PLEASING THIGHS (chair: FRED NAIDEN)

 

9.15–10.00 FRANÇOIS LISSARRAGUE (EHESS, Paris): Hooves and legs, above and under the table

 

10.00–10.45 FLINT DIBBLE (University of Cincinnati): From carcasses to cuts of meat: A zooarchaeological assessment of hind-quarter processing in ancient Greece

 

10.45–11.15 Coffee

 

SESSION 4: “ONLY CONNECT!…” (chair: JENNY WALLENSTEN)

 

11.15–12.00 JAKE MORTON (University of Pennsylvania): From the butcher’s knife to the gods’ ears: The leg and tail in Greek sacrifice

 

12.00–12.45 MICHAEL MACKINNON (University of Winnipeg): Animal heads and feet in ritual contexts: Their relationship between sacred and profane

 

12.45–13.15 Conclusion of panels 3 and 4: summing up and further questions

 

13.15–14.30 Lunch

 

SESSION 5: “… LIVE IN FRAGMENTS NO LONGER” (chair: ALICE MOUTON)

 

14.30–15.15 MAT CARBON (Saxo Institute, Copenhagen): Little ribs and triple ribs, sides and other bits…

 

15.15–16.00 GUNNEL EKROTH (Uppsala University): To burn it all: Reflections on holocausts of sacrificial animals in practice and theory

 

16.00–16.30 Coffee

 

16.30–17.00 Final discussion and concluding remarks (GUNNEL EKROTH & MAT CARBON)

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