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Research - Education: Call for Papers
Cypriot figurine.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Hellenistic and Roman Terracottas

Mediterranean Networks and Cyprus

Hellenistic and Roman Terracottas: Mediterranean Networks and Cyprus

The Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus invites the submission of papers for the conference “Hellenistic and Roman Terracottas: Mediterranean Networks and Cyprus” dedicated to the study of Hellenistic and Roman terracottas from the Mediterranean region. The workshop will be held at the University of Cyprus, in Nicosia, during 3-5 June 2013. The conference is under the auspices of the Coroplastic Studies Interest Group.

Terracotta figurines embody ancient tangible and intangible cultural evidence and meanings. In addition to the artistic, technological and economic aspects involved in their study, they also objectify socio-cultural (i.e. religious and ideological) expressions; they become invaluable testimonies to everyday life, encoding important cognitive elements, expressing human self-awareness and reflecting meanings and ideas of the societies that produced and used them. The multifaceted significance of Cypriot terracottas has been acknowledged by a large corpus of published data that addresses a series of interlinked issues, related to their typological, stylistic and chronological classification, the technology and techniques employed in their manufacture, their provenance, the mode of their production, the scale of their distribution, and their role as cultural artefacts in differing social contexts. Despite the substantial studies on earlier Cypriot terracottas, the Hellenistic and Roman production remains with very few exceptions highly neglected and outside recent theoretical and scientific developments.

This conference is organised within the framework of a research project currently funded by the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation via the University of Cyprus. The project aims at establishing a more concrete scholarly discussion on the study of Hellenistic and Roman terracottas. In particular, by integrating different approaches of analysis, it aims to study the terracotta figurines from the “House of Orpheus” at Nea Paphos, tackling simultaneously the aforementioned issues for these later periods of Cypriot Antiquity. Additionally, through comparative studies with other Cypriot and Mediterranean sites, this project proposes to examine continuing and changing patterns of production, distribution and function of Cypriot terracottas, as a result of the interplay between local structures and incoming Ptolemaic and Roman socio-political and socio-cultural impositions.

In the context of this on-going project Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus organizes this conference on the one hand in order to present some of the material and preliminary results, and on the other in an attempt to introduce the “House of Orpheus” figurines within their broader socio-cultural and socio-political Cypriot and Mediterranean contexts. Thus contributions related to material (both large and small scale terracottas) not only from Cyprus, but also from the wider Mediterranean region, are welcome. Building on the International Symposium “Figurines in Context: Iconography and Function(s)”, held on December 7-8, 2011, in Lille, the purpose of a meeting with such a wide perspective is to gather reliable evidence from well-known archaeological contexts (e.g. sanctuaries, burials, houses) that will shed light on the function of Hellenistic and Roman terracotta figurines and their associated technology and iconography.

The conference will focus on: (1) The typological and iconographic analysis of terracottas; (2) Technological studies focusing on fabrics, slips and pigments; (3) Issues of chronology, technology of manufacture, provenance and distribution; and (4) The contextualisation of terracottas within their individual depositional intra-site and extra-site contexts.

Proposals for presentations could focus on one or more of the following research questions:

-What are the similarities/differences between the deposition of Hellenistic and Roman terracottas in different contexts (i.e., sacred, funeral and domestic)?

-Do the meanings of the object change according to the context and/or the period?

-How can spatial analysis (both intra-site and across a wider range) of terracottas contribute to the identification of their distribution and function?

-What is the relationship between Hellenistic/Roman technological and iconographic traditions with the ear lier (Archaic and Classical) local traditions?

-What is the impact of local traditions and what are the levels of cultural transmissions and transformations?

-Can we determine and distinguish between locally produced and imported terracotta figurines?

-Can we notice any differences in the function of locally produced and imported terracotta figurines?

-What is the impact of comparative studies when studying Hellenistic and Roman terracotta figurines?

-How do the disciplines of anthropology, natural and computer sciences (e.g. archaeometry, digital humanities etc.) help in the better understanding of both the function and the manufacture/distribution of Hellenistic and Roman terracotta figurines?

-What is the relationship between Hellenistic/Roman technological and iconographic traditions with the ear lier (Archaic and Classical) local traditions?

-What is the impact of local traditions and what are the levels of cultural transmissions and transformations?

-Can we determine and distinguish between locally produced and imported terracotta figurines?

-Can we notice any differences in the function of locally produced and imported terracotta figurines?

-What is the impact of comparative studies when studying Hellenistic and Roman terracotta figurines?

-How do the disciplines of anthropology, natural and computer sciences (e.g. archaeometry, digital humanities etc.) help in the better understanding of both the function and the manufacture/distribution of Hellenistic and Roman terracotta figurines?

Abstract Submission

Abstracts of a maximum of 300 words should be submitted by 31 January 2013 topapantoniou.giorgos@ucy.ac.cy in Word format including: Surname, First Name, Position, Affiliation, Phone number, Email address, Title of the paper. (Interested participants should be informed of the outcome of their abstract submission by 17 February 2013.)

Presentations

The official language of the workshop is English. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. A draft version of the paper should be submitted by 30 April 2013. The papers will be read in advance of the meeting by a specialist who has undertaken the role of discussant. It is hoped that, in this way, there will be a meaningful discussion and contextualisation of the terracottas presented.

Conference Expenses

Participants are responsible for their travel and accommodation expenses. There will be no registration fee and, during the conference, lunch and coffee will be offered by the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus.

Publication

For the consistency of the volume we would advise you to address in the best possible way at least some of the research questions posed above. The peer-reviewed papers will be published in the form of an edited collection of studies and not as the proceedings of a conference. Acceptance for presentation of a paper, therefore, does not guarantee acceptance for publication.

Convenors: Prof. Demetrios Michaelides, Dr Giorgos Papantoniou, Dr Maria Dikomitou-Eliadou

For further information, interested participants should contact Dr Giorgos Papantoniou (papantoniou.giorgos@ucy.ac.cy).