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CALL. 13.02.2020: [PANEL 176] "Small and Complex. New Anthropological and Archeological Perspec




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: ELTE Faculty of Humanities Campus - Hungarian National Museum (Budapest, Hungary)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Signe Barfoed (Oslo, Reading); Jack Davy (East Anglia); Raffaella Da Vela (Tübingen); Francesca Meneghetti (Frankfurt amMain); Lorenzo Zamboni (Pavia)

INFO: web - submission link -


Miniaturization is a cognitive and manufacturing process widespread among human societies. However, only in recent years has attention been paid to the significance of smaller objects within the field of archaeology and anthropology. Previous studies have underestimated miniaturization, considering their products only as mere simplifications, as means of ritual and cultic practice, or as cheap reproductions of normal‐sized objects. Objects in a reduced scale are however tangible products of social activities; cognitive and physical experiments conducted by active and conscious agents. Various specialised techniques, skills, and perceptions are required during the process of miniaturization. Paradoxically, therefore, the smaller a miniature becomes, the more complex it often can be. The aim of this session is to highlight miniaturization as a key feature for the understanding of both ancient and present societies. We particularly welcome contributions dealing with alternative approaches to the understanding of miniaturized objects, including: ● Small things, big networks. Since miniaturized objects are easy to transport and exchange, which role do they play in contact zones and the cultural transmission of forms and practices?

● The small and the sacred. Can miniaturized objects in cult contexts be assumed as a proxy for ritual activities?

● Small dimensions, diminished value? Miniaturisation does not imply devaluation, but rather a change in function and value. Is there a semiotic relationship between the miniature and its counterpart/prototype?

● Size matters. Which cognitive and psychological approaches are possible to understand the perception and use of objects?

We encourage papers covering different periods, from late prehistory to present‐day societies. We are interested in advancing the theoretical and practical study of miniaturization, both in anthropology and in archaeology, beyond the boundaries of disciplines. Theme: theories_and_methods_in_archaeology_interactions_between_disciplines Keywords: Miniaturisation, Symbolism and semiotics, Anthropology and ethnoarchaeology, Contextual analysis, Social complexity Session format: Regular session (20 minutes papers) Abstracts must be no more than 300 words, to be submitted through the EAA2020 website https://www.e‐ a‐ (after registration) For further information write to:

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