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Terracottas in the Mediterranean Through Time

Terracottas in the Mediterranean Through Time, University of Haifa, March 23–25, 2015

The Zinman Institute of Archaeology and the Department of Art History of the University of Haifa, Israel, invites the submission of papers for the conference "Terracottas in the Mediterranean Through Time", dedicated to the study of terracotta figurines and related objects in the Mediterranean region from the early periods to late antiquity. The conference is under the auspices of the Association for Coroplastic Studies (ACoST).

The conference aims to bring together scholars and students who often tackle the same issues as the study clay figurines and related objects from different periods and parts of the Mediterranean region. Scholars who research terracottas of illiterate societies often use anthropological and ethnographical methods, while those studying terracottas of historical periods refer to historical sources and artistic analogies. The various viewpoints and attitudes may enrich and deepen our understanding of terracotta figurines and their role in society.

The scope of issues to be discussed at the conference will be wide, and will follow the different stages of the terracottas' lives:

  • First stage - the artisans or coroplasts:  aspects of manufacture; typology and iconography; production of large- and small-scale terracottas; social status of the artisans; organization of workshops; questions of specialization; relationships with other media and workshops; new technologies employed in the dating and identification of workshops.
  • Second stage - patterns of distribution: interaction between terracotta production and markets; local production versus imports; imitations; trading, selling and offering.
  • Third stage - the users: Who used terracottas and who did not; how they were used and in what circumstances; usage through space and time; other objects used together with terracottas; themes and types in specific contexts (sacred, funereal and domestic); choice of types; symbolic meaning conveyed by terracottas; the role of terracottas in society; terracottas and gender.
  • Fourth stage - phasing out: How, why and when terracottas went out of use; patterns of deposition or obliteration; archaeological context of terracottas and its meaning.
  • Fifth stage - ancient terracottas today: influence of ancient terracottas on 19th- and 20th-century art; robbery and the antiquities market; museum display of terracottas.

The official language of the conference is English. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes.


Posted on Jun 6, 2014 in Calls for Papers

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