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Fw: Invented Civilizations

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  • Michael Cunningham
    I thought I would bring the following to your attention as it may be of interest. Thanks, Michael. On Behalf Of Cornelius Holtorf After the great feedback we
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 22, 2007
      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:
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