Kathryn E. Piquette and Ruth D. Whitehouse (eds.), Writing as Material Practice: Substance, surface and medium, Ubiquity Press, London 2013

ISBN (hardback): 978-1-909188-24-2

“Writing as Material Practice” grapples with the issue of writing as a form of material culture in its ancient and more recent manifestations, and in the contexts of production and consumption. Fifteen case studies explore the artefactual nature of writing – the ways in which materials, techniques, colour, scale, orientation and visibility inform the creation of inscribed objects, spaces and landscapes, as well as structure subsequent engagement, perception and meaning making. Covering a temporal span of some 5000 years, from c.3200 BCE to the present day, and ranging in spatial context from the Americas to the Near East, the chapters in this volume bring a variety of perspectives which contribute to both specific and broader questions of writing materialities. Authors also aim to place past graphical systems in their social contexts so they can be understood in relation to the people who created and attributed meaning to writing and associated symbolic modes through a diverse array of individual and wider social practices.

Kathryn E. Piquette recently completed a Marie Curie COFUND Fellow at Freie Universität Berlin and is also a Research Associate at Universät zu Köln. She obtained her PhD in Egyptology from University College London. Her research focusses on the early Egyptian and Near Eastern writing and art and advanced digital imaging technologies for ancient documentary evidence.

Ruth D. Whitehouse is Emeritus Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Her research interests have focussed on the prehistory of Italy and the West Mediterranean, concentrating on social archaeology, ritual and religion. Other research interests include gender archaeology and the early writing systems of Italy.