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In 1961 Hans Jonas identified the ability to make images as a differentia specifia of humans. The term homo pictor refers to the cultural anthropological dimension and the fundamental importance of the relationship between images and humans.
It is not by accident, then, that analysis and interpretation of images are of great significance in the archaeological disciplines. Many material remains of past cultures carry images or pictorial elements that are invaluable in the interpretation of these cultures. Correspondingly, there is a broad spectrum of analytical methods that are employed to answer a variety of questions. While some of these methods of image analysis have their conceptual foundation in art history, others have been developed autonomously within the field of archaeology and without reference to interdisciplinary discourses. A consistent theoretical framework that would allow for a systematic conceptualisation of a discipline-specific or historic study of images in archaeology has not yet been articulated.
Since the pictorial and the iconic turn there has been a vast trans-and interdisciplinary research on images and their perception under the categories of image science (Bildwissenschaften) and visual culture studies. The conference seeks to explore whether and how these contemporary developments can contribute to theories of the image and methods of image analysis within archaeology. Reciprocally, it will also be asked in what ways archaeology – due to its large material corpora and long scholarly tradition – could make a considerably larger contribution to the fields of image and visual culture studies than acknowledged to date – especially as the object of its research reaches back to the origins of humans and images and their relationship.
LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Institute for Archaeological Studies, University of Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany)
ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Institute for Archaeological Studiesat the University of Freiburg; Jacobus Bracker