Fw: Invented Civilizations
- I thought I would bring the following to your attention as it may be of
On Behalf Of Cornelius Holtorf
After the great feedback we got recently about the most significant
civilizations that never existed...
...we are now inviting paper proposals for a planned session at the EAA
conference in Zadar, Croatia, 19-23 September 2007.
Please all of you who sent these many great suggestions (some of which
you will find reocurring in the abstract) think about participating!!
Organised by Michael Jasmin (CNRS - France ; Harvard University - USA)
and Cornelius Holtorf (University of Lund, Sweden)
Western civilization has not only brought about the discipline of
Archaeology but also an astonishing number of invented civilizations in
the visual arts and creative fiction. Ever since the invention of
Atlantis and El Dorado, it has been popular to thrive in fictitious
cultures. Among the most prominent examples are in literature: J.R.R.
Tolkien's Middle Earth. H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, C.S. Lewis'
Narnia; in the contemporary arts: Anne and Patrick Poirier's imaginary
ruin sites, Charles Simmonds' remains of the Little People, Civilisation
Pessinoise of Marc Pessin, the Arenot civilizations of Beauvais Lyons,
the BaPe's of Richard Purdy, or the works of Joan Fontecuberta, and the
Glozel site-civilization by Emile Fradin/Antonin Morlet.
One may also think of Mu, Lemuria, Camelot, the Kingdom of Prester John,
the lost civilization of Teegeeack, the Klingons in Star Treck, the
Khuza culture, as well as Arcadia and the ancient gods on Mt Olympus.
This session investigates the characteristics of constructed
civilizations such as these.
Intriguingly, there is often a great deal of documentation available in
either primary or secondary literature about these invented worlds:
descriptions, sketches and drawings of sites and architecture, even
entire writing systems. Sometimes material culture exists too, whether
bones, pots or the remains of entire sites.
The issues to be addressed in this session include the social reality of
invented pasts, the experience of aura and authenticity, the relations
between artistic freedom and scientific fraud, and new deliberations
concerning art and archaeology: is there anything archaeologists can
learn from the success and popularity of invented civilizations? What
are these fictions telling us about the public's interest in the past or
about the archaeological way of documenting and exhibiting
archaeological sites and finds?
We are inviting stimulating papers discussing any kind of invented
civilization. (Subject to acceptance of the session by the conference
If you are interested in participating, please contact us!
Michael Jasmin: mjasmin@...
Cornelius Holtorf: cornelius.holtorf@...
Further information about the conference: