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Art, process, archaeology

This book presents a study of material images and asks how an appreciation of the making and unfolding of images and art alters archaeological accounts of prehistoric and historic societies. With contributions focusing on case studies including prehistoric Britain, Scandinavia, Iberia, the Americas and Dynastic Egypt, and including contemporary reflections on material images, it makes a novel contribution to ongoing debates relating to archaeological art and images. The book offers a New Materialist analysis of archaeological imagery, with an emphasis on considering the material character of images and their making and unfolding. The book reassesses the predominantly representational paradigm of archaeological image analysis and argues for the importance of considering the ontology of images. It considers images as processes or events and introduces the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is divided into three sections: ‘Emergent images’, which focuses on practices of making; ‘Images as process’, which examines the making and role of images in prehistoric societies; and ‘Unfolding images’, which focuses on how images change as they are made and circulated. The book features contributions from archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists. The contributors to the book highlight the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic societies, demonstrating that archaeologists need to recognise the dynamic and changeable character of images.

Tim Ingold

Commentary on Part I Tim Ingold Can a living being emerge in its own image? It can, if it is an insect. Most insects pass in their life-cycles through a series of developmental stages known as instars. For some, the change from stage to stage is gradual, such that each stage somewhat resembles the one before. For others, however, including beetles, bees, ants, butterflies, moths, fleas and mosquitoes, the transition from one instar to the next is abrupt and complete: a total metamorphosis. What happens is that each instar furnishes an outer covering, skin or

in Images in the making
Being and becoming in faience figurines of Middle Kingdom ancient Egypt
Rune Nyord

(e.g. Friedman 1998: 238). With very few exceptions (e.g. British Museum EA36346; Hall 1927: 57; Brooklyn 36.120, Fig. 2.1 below), the surface of the animal is covered with painted designs depicting a variety of water plants and more rarely fauna such as birds, frogs and butterflies (Keimer 1929), all depicted against a brilliant blue background recalling water (blue being the colour most frequently associated with water in ancient Egyptian images). Across individual examples, the patterns of decoration follow certain general principles, especially for decorating

in Images in the making
Abstract only
Collecting networks and the museum
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

With the Natural History Society collections safely transferred to Owens College, William Boyd Dawkins set out to ensure that the Manchester Museum would not be left high and dry. Following the pattern set down by associational museums in the nineteenth century, Dawkins appealed to the civic spirit and scientific devotion of the townsfolk of Manchester.10 Not surprisingly, Dawkins was particularly active in soliciting palaeontological donations, but he also accepted ornithology, butterflies and minerals. For museums are passive recipients as often as they are active

in Nature and culture
Abstract only
Scientific disciplines in the museum
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

economic biology 1904– 1920’, Journal of the History of Biology, 37 (2004), 213–58. Carpenter, Short Guide (1933), p. 6. J. F. M. Clark, Bugs and the Victorians (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009); R. E. Kohler, All Creatures: Naturalists, Collectors, and Biodiversity, 1850–1950 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006). M. Rothschild, Walter Rothschild: The Man, the Museum and the Menagerie (London: Natural History Museum, 2nd edn, 2008); M. A. Salmon, The Aurelian Legacy: British Butterflies and their Collectors (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001

in Nature and culture
Jes Wienberg

, though. In The Poverty of Historicism , which is a reckoning with the utopian ideologies of the 1920s and 1930s, the philosopher Karl Popper rejected the notion that there can be laws governing the development of history or of society, and that it is therefore impossible to predict or shape the future (Popper 1957 ). Popper’s arguments resemble the chaos theory formulated long afterwards in the natural sciences and known for its “butterfly effect”, in which decisive importance is ascribed to small variations and matters of chance. Both history and nature are chaotic

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
Melanie Giles

animal life, at the edge of Ashton Moss, ‘Snipe Tavern’ still evokes the drumming warble of this common wetland bird, while Higson ( 1859 : 80) lamented the killing of the last booming bittern (once ‘an esteemed delicacy’) as part of the final enclosure of the bog. The rich insect life (purple-bordered gold moths, heath butterflies, bog bush crickets, mire pill beetles, black bog ants, large marsh grasshoppers) found on the north-west wetland bogs once fed a variety of larger animals such as the common frog (English Nature 2002 ). A recent survey of Astley Moss

in Bog bodies
Open Access (free)
Melanie Giles

from Southery nicknamed ‘Nancy’ was found face downwards again, with one hand in front of the face, the other stretched out; she was found with jet beds and a bronze awl (van der Sanden 1996 : 75 and 95). Torresta Man, a bog skeleton from Sweden dating to the Roman Iron Age, had led a hard life, recovering from some blunt-force trauma to the skull and healed ‘butterfly’ fracture of his right fibula, with some deformation of the metatarsals suggesting he would have walked thereafter with a limp (Fredengren and Löfqvist 2015 ). While these injuries might have been

in Bog bodies