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Visual Culture and Archaeology : Art and Social Life in Prehistoric South-East Italy - Robin Skeates

Visual Culture and Archaeology

Art and Social Life in Prehistoric South-East Italy

Hardcover Published: 21st December 2005
ISBN: 9780715633908
Number Of Pages: 256

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This book draws on the complementary fields of visual cultural studies and interpretative archaeology to examine how successive generations transformed their visual culture to construct themselves. It explores this process through an extended case-study of art and social life in prehistoric south-east Italy, between the Upper Palaeolithic and the Bronze Age. A central argument of the book is that a wide range of visually communicative artworks were consumed and produced in the cultural process. Such objects range from portable artefacts, to installations within sites, to monumental structures in the landscape - all of which were interwoven with people's bodies in the experiences of daily life and special performances. More specifically, it is argued that these powerful aesthetic objects were actively used by people across space and time to perceive the world around them and to reproduce their social lives. They helped people to establish personal and collective boundaries, identities and relationships, to acquire and exercise power, to promote ideologies, and to contest them, especially at time of social tension.

List of illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introduction: visual culture and archaeologyp. 1
What is visual culture?p. 1
Archaeological approaches to visual culturep. 2
Questions about prehistoric artp. 7
Visual communication and transformationp. 9
Terminologyp. 10
Art and social life in prehistoric South-East Italyp. 12
Categories of analysisp. 15
Body art: early ornaments and pigmentsp. 21
Visualising the bodyp. 21
The Early Upper Palaeolithicp. 22
Ornaments and pigmentsp. 23
Body artp. 26
Performance art: the Gravettian florescencep. 29
Performancep. 29
The Mid Upper Palaeolithicp. 30
Gravettian burials, ornaments and engraved objectsp. 31
Performance artp. 36
Figurative art: transformations in the Late Upper Palaeolithicp. 40
Figurative representationp. 40
The Late Upper Palaeolithicp. 41
Epigravettian visual materialp. 42
Figurative artp. 50
Ritual art: complex hunter-gatherersp. 53
Abstractionp. 53
The Final Upper Palaeolithicp. 54
Final Epigravettian, Romanellian and Epiromanellian visual materialp. 56
Ritual artp. 70
Community art: the first farmersp. 75
Symbolising boundaries and identitiesp. 75
The Earliest Neolithicp. 76
The art of the first farmersp. 79
Community artp. 83
Animate art: Later Neolithic elaborationp. 87
Fetishismp. 88
The Later Neolithicp. 89
Bodily and abstract artp. 93
Animate artp. 113
Status art: the reinvention of tradition in the Final Neolithicp. 120
Symbolising statusp. 121
The Final Neolithicp. 121
The reinvention of traditional artp. 123
Status artp. 131
Prestigious art: Copper Age displayp. 136
Displaying prestigep. 136
The Copper Agep. 137
The art of displayp. 139
Prestigious artp. 153
Monumental art: Middle Bronze Age advertisingp. 159
Commemorationp. 159
The Middle Bronze Agep. 160
The art of advertisingp. 164
Monumental artp. 187
Conclusion: visual culture in prehistoric South-East Italyp. 194
Selected prehistoric sites in South-East Italyp. 199
Bibliographyp. 207
Indexp. 235
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780715633908
ISBN-10: 0715633902
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 21st December 2005
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 17.15  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.57
Edition Number: 1