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  • cejo@uchicago.edu
    BANEA 2008 University of Liverpool, School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology Friday 29th February- Sunday 2nd March, 2008 Workshop Theorising Death and
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 28, 2007
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      BANEA 2008
      University of Liverpool, School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology Friday 29th February-
      Sunday 2nd March, 2008

      "Theorising Death and Discard in the Ancient Near East"

      First Call for Papers

      Session Organiser: Philip Karsgaard, University of Edinburgh

      Recently we have seen an increase in interest in the investigation of ancient mortuary practices
      in the Ancient Near East. Many of these studies have added to our understanding of the roles that
      death, and its associated rituals, performances, contexts, materials and conceptions may play in
      social reproduction, often with a focus on legitimising or contesting political hierarchies in
      complex and early state societies. Death and ritualisation in social cohesion in the PPN has also
      attracted considerable attention. In line with one of BANEA 2008?s overarching themes, this
      workshop is aimed at furthering innovative, theoretical investigations of the social role of
      deaths ?
      broadly conceived. While mortuary studies retain a focus on the deaths of people, we welcome here
      papers which explore the deaths or transformations not only of humans, but also animals, objects,
      buildings, institutions and landscapes. In a world perceived of as full of intentionality, the
      discard and categorisation of objects as ?waste? (often still left rather under-theorised in our
      excavations of pits and household waste, for example) may be problematised in similar ways,
      perhaps, to the transformation of a living social person into something else. Also of interest
      are the ways in which deaths or transformation act as arenas for social reproduction, in terms of
      the constructions of personhood, gender and the body, and so on. The generative powers of the
      deaths of people and things in site-formation and the enculturation of the landscape may be an
      area for discussion, and it is increasingly clear that deaths and burials of different types play
      important roles in memorialisation and the construction of pasts. But not only do the practices,
      behaviours and ritualisations surrounding death act as Durkheimian glues for social cohesion, but
      are implicated in complex ways in other aspects of social contestation and negotiation, which
      largely remain to be explored.
      While papers from any region or period of the ANE and Eastern Mediterranean are welcomed, we
      particularly encourage papers which address those issues, regions and periods which may have
      received less recent attention ? in particular, for instance, the ceramic Neolithic and later

      Papers should be 20 minutes long, and we envisage plenty of time in the workshop for discussion.
      Paper titles and abstracts, as well as requests for further information, may be emailed to the
      workshop organiser; the deadline, as for the conference as a whole, is 16th November.

      More information and conference details are posted at

      Philip Karsgaard
      School of History, Classics and Archaeology University of Edinburgh Old High School Infirmary
      Street Edinburgh
      EH1 1LT
      Tel. (0131) 650 2560
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