CFP: Tattoos and Body Modification in Antiquity II

Seen on the Classicists list:

Deadline approaches: March 25

European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting
Oslo, Norway — September 14-18, 2011 —

Tattoos and Body Modification in Antiquity – Part II
Philippe Della Casa & Constanze Witt
Session Abstract:

From Oetzi the Iceman to today’s full-sleeved and pierced urbanite, it seems
that body modification has always formed an integral part of the human
animal’s relationship to its body. Some adornments are temporary or purely
situational, such as particular body paints, jewelry or hair treatments,
while others are quite permanent and, when we are very lucky, preserved in
the archaeological record.

The archaeologist’s arsenal in studying preserved tattoos and other body
modifications has expanded in recent years. At the same time,
anthropological interest in "the body" and embodiment has greatly increased
theoretical interest in practices that "inscribe" upon the body. Few still
see tattooing simply as a display of art; they look instead for distinctions
of status, rank, age or gender, for medicinal uses, for punitive or
laudatory uses, for manifestos or other propagandistic uses, as marks of
belonging or exclusion, as marks of transition or transformation… As the
body arts of, e.g., Oceania Asia, are better understood, the ideas have
cross-pollenated with European archaeology. In fact, the serious and
scientific attention accorded to body modification today contrasts starkly
with earlier dismissal by Europeans of tattooed "barbarians." We feel that,
in the current atmosphere of acceptance, it is time for a multidisciplinary
session on the archaeology
of body modification.

After the great success of the “tattoos and body modification” session at
last year’s EAA meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, the session organizers
have decided to enlarge and deepen the argument in Oslo, with a particular –
but not exclusive – focus on northern Europe.

We invite papers from all relevant disciplines, but particularly welcome
bioarchaeologists who work with the detection and analysis of ancient
archaeologists who work with preserved tattoos and/or modifications; and all
whose reconsiderations of ancient tattooing practices promise to expand our
field and contribute to richer understanding of the ancient body and mind.

Please contact:
Philippe Della Casa UZH – phildc AT

One thought on “CFP: Tattoos and Body Modification in Antiquity II

  1. This is an interesting topic. Humans altering their appearance. one wonders about the first tattoos, make-up, hairstyling, etc.

    Would make an interesting topic for students of Year 11 Ancient History in NSW, Australia. Otzi’s tattoos do come “under the microscope” in the course.



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