CONF: Bodies of evidence: redefining approaches to the anatomical offering

Seen on the Classicists list:


An international conference at the British School at Rome,
Tuesday 5th June 2012

From Pharaonic Egypt to Roman Italy and from Classical Greece to the
Byzantine world, anatomical votives have performed a continuous, if poorly
understood, role in ritual and votive practice. Modern scholarship has
categorised as ‘anatomical’ a range of ex-votos, made largely but not
exclusively from terracotta, which depict parts of the body. These arms,
legs, eyes, fingers, hands, feet, uteri, genitals, internal organs and
other recognisable parts of the internal and external body have attracted
much attention from scholars exploring both past religion and health
alike. Nevertheless, the category of ‘anatomical offering’ remains
noticeably ill-defined and remains to be integrated fully into the study
of ritual, artefacts and the body. This conference will ask how we should
define and interpret the ‘anatomical’ votive, bringing together scholars
working upon the anatomical offering in its broadest sense order to
explore and refine our understanding of this phenomenon. What were
anatomical votives for, what did they represent to those who dedicated,
encountered or made them, and what factors influenced the selection of a
particular item? How have they been implicated in broader discourses
concerning medicine and the human body? In particular it will be concerned
with what these offerings reveal, not only about past religious and
medical contexts and practices, but also about identity, society, politics
and concepts or constructions of the human body.


09.00 Registration and introduction

09.30 Letizia Ceccarelli (University of Cambridge)
‘Donaria: Anatomical Terracotta Offerings from a Votive Deposit at

10.00 Jessica Hughes (Open University)
‘A Farewell to Arms: Votive Body Parts and Rites of Passage in
Hellenistic Italy’

10.30 Tea and coffee

11.00 Georgia Petridou (Humboldt University)
‘Demeter as an Ophthalmologist? Eye Votives and the Cult of
Demeter and Kore’

11.30 Ergün Lafli (Dokuz Eylül University)
‘Votive Ear Plaques from Asia Minor’

12.00 Matthias Recke (University of Giessen)
‘A Deeper Insight: Etruscan Anatomical Votives with
Representations of Intestines’

12.30-14.00 Lunch

14.00 Rebecca Flemming (Jesus College Cambridge)
‘Wombs for the Gods’

14.30 Olivier de Cazanove (University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)
‘Anatomical Votives (and Swaddled Babies): from Republican Italy
to Roman Gaul’

15.00 Fay Glinister (University of Cambridge)
‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em’

15.30 Tea and coffee

16.00 Ellen Adams (Kings College London)
‘Fragmentation and the Body’s Boundaries: Classical Antiquities
and Human Remains in the British Enlightenment’

16.30 Jennifer Grove (University of Exeter)
‘Roman Votive Genitalia in the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum’

17.00 Discussion / Break

18.00 Keynote address: Laurent Haumesser (Musée du Louvre)
‘The Open Man: A Large Etruscan Anatomical Bust from the Musée du

19.00 Reception

Attendance at the conference is free of charge. If you would like to
attend or receive further information please register your interest by
contacting either of the organisers: Jane Draycott (j.draycott AT
or Emma-Jayne Graham (eg153 AT

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