Archaeology and the Senses: Human Experience, Memory, and by Yannis Hamilakis

By Yannis Hamilakis

This booklet is an exhilarating new examine how archaeology has handled the physically senses and gives an issue for a way the self-discipline can provide a richer glimpse into the human sensory adventure. Yannis Hamilakis indicates how, regardless of its intensely actual engagement with the fabric lines of the prior, archaeology has more often than not ignored multi-sensory event, as an alternative prioritizing remoted imaginative and prescient and counting on the Western hierarchy of the 5 senses. instead of this constrained view of expertise, Hamilakis proposes a sensorial archaeology which can unearth the misplaced, suppressed, and forgotten sensory and affective modalities of people. utilizing Bronze Age Crete as a case learn, Hamilakis exhibits how sensorial reminiscence can assist us reconsider questions starting from the creation of ancestral historical past to large-scale social swap, and the cultural importance of monuments. Tracing the emergence of palaces in Bronze Age Crete as a party of the long term, sensuous historical past and reminiscence in their localities, Hamilakis issues tips on how to reconstituting archaeology as a sensorial and affective multi-temporal perform. while, he proposes a brand new framework at the interplay among physically senses, issues, and environments, with a view to be suitable to students in different fields.

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Extra info for Archaeology and the Senses: Human Experience, Memory, and Affect

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Chapter 6 follows on organically and chronologically from Chapter 5, and returns to the question of the ‘palatial phenomenon’ of the Middle and Late Bronze Age. Based on sensoriality, emplacement, and sensorial and bodily memory, I propose that what we call palaces were the celebration and monumentalisation of long-term, sensorial, and mnemonic history. They were established in locales replete with sensorial and mnemonic depth, associated as they were with long-term occupation and ancestral heritage, but also with countless events of commensality and ceremonial drinking.

The unhealthiness of some of the European factories here has been imputed in great measure to the abominable custom of the natives, of exposing their filth to the sun till they become sufficiently stinking, fly-blown and rotten . . They use neither table clothes, knives, forks, plates, nor trenchers, and generally squat down upon the bare earth to their repast. Their hospitality is the result of self-love; they 33 34 ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE SENSES entertain strangers only in hopes of extracting some service or profit from them .

The Platonic metaphor of the cave in which its captives perceived the flickering shadows on the wall and the reflected sounds and echoes as ‘real’ phenomena represents the idea that bodily senses delude and falsify, and cannot thus be trusted, unlike reason (cf. Synnott 1991: 62). His was a Republic of the Mind, where the philosophers ruled, and the people who worked with their hands – farmers and artisans – were at the bottom. A word of warning: it can be easily implied from the above that these ideas are responsible for the later modernist thinking that established a rigid body–mind dichotomy, and an equally problematic sensory hierarchy.

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