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Louise Zamparutti

This essay analyses the literature on the foibe to illustrate a political use of human remains. The foibe are the deep karstic pits in Istria and around Trieste where Yugoslavian Communist troops disposed of Italians they executed en masse during World War II. By comparing contemporary literature on the foibe to a selection of archival reports of foibe exhumation processes it will be argued that the foibe literature popular in Italy today serves a political rather than informational purpose. Counterpublic theory will be applied to examine how the recent increase in popular foibe literature brought the identity of the esuli, one of Italy‘s subaltern counterpublics, to the national stage. The paper argues that by employing the narrative structure of the Holocaust, contemporary literature on the foibe attempts to recast Italy as a counterpublic in the wider European public sphere, presenting Italy as an unrecognised victim in World War II.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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Katherine Fennelly

, solve the problem of patient supervision, as well as facilitate the construction of lighter, airier asylums. For these reasons, Bentham’s panopticon ( 1791 ) has been cited in secondary literature on the architecture of lunatic asylums as a primary influence in late Georgian design (Markus 1982 , 1993 ; Smith 1999 ). From an architectural perspective, asylums have been described as analogous with other contemporaneous institutions for confinement, like workhouses and prisons; Bentham thought that his panoptic design could be applied to any

in An archaeology of lunacy
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Collecting networks and the museum
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

, donated to one museum and exchanged with another. In its passage through the exhibitionary complex, a specimen could attain the purported inalienability of a gift through donation and be ‘commoditised’ by purchase.1 It brought to the Museum traces of those who dug/sold/ donated it: objects collected people on the way.2 The collection thereby includes not only things in their material form, but also the legacy of their acquisition route, and of the people involved. There is a significant body of literature on the history of collecting that details specific motives and

in Nature and culture
Andrea M. Szkil

The subject of forensic specialist‘s work with human remains in the aftermath of conflict has remained largely unexplored within the existing literature. Drawing upon anthropological fieldwork conducted from 2009–10 in three mortuary facilities overseen by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), this article analyses observations of and interviews with ICMP forensic specialists as a means of gaining insight into their experiences with the remains of people who went missing during the 1992–95 war in BiH. The article specifically focuses on how forensic specialists construct and maintain their professional identities within an emotionally charged situation. Through analysing forensic specialists encounters with human remains, it is argued that maintaining a professional identity requires ICMP forensic specialists to navigate between emotional attachment and engagement according to each situation.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Kitty S. Millet

This article has two aims: to examine the effects of victim proximity to crematoria ashes and ash pits both consciously and unconsciously in a subset of Holocaust survivors, those who were incarcerated at the dedicated death camps of Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, as well as Auschwitz-Birkenau; and to contrast these effects, the subject positions they produce, with their suppression as the basis both for a strategy of survival during incarceration and for a reimagined identity after the war. Within a cohort of four survivors from Rudolf Reder (Belzec), Esther Raab (Sobibor), Jacob Wiernik (Treblinka) and Shlomo Venezia (Auschwitz), I trace the ways in which discrete memories and senses became constitutive in the formation of the subject prior to and after escape – the experience of liberation – so that essentially two kinds of subjects became visible, the subject in liberation and the subject of ashes. In conjunction with these two kinds of subjects, I introduce the compensatory notion of a third path suggested both by H. G. Adler and Anna Orenstein, also Holocaust survivors, that holds both positions together in one space, the space of literature, preventing the two positions from being stranded in dialectical opposition to each other.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal

This volume discusses the history, culture and social conditions of one of the less well-known periods of ancient Egypt, the Saite or 26th Dynasty (664–525 BC). In the 660s BC Egypt was a politically fragmented and occupied country. This is an account of how Psamtek I, a local ruler from Sais in northern Egypt, declared independence from its overlord, the Assyrian Empire, and within ten years brought about the reunification of the country after almost four hundred years of disunity and periods of foreign domination. Over the next century and a half, the Saite rulers were able to achieve stability and preserve Egypt’s independence as a sovereign state against powerful foreign adversaries. Central government was established, a complex financial administration was developed and Egypt’s military forces were reorganised. The Saites successfully promoted foreign trade, peoples from different countries settled in Egypt and Egypt recovered a prominent role in the Mediterranean world. There were innovations in culture, religion and technology, and Egypt became prosperous. This era was a high-achieving one and is often neglected in the literature devoted to ancient Egypt. Egypt of the Saite Pharaohs, 664–525 BC reveals the dynamic nature of the period, the astuteness of the Saite rulers and their considerable achievements in the political, economic, administrative and cultural spheres.

Catherine J. Frieman

thriving political movement, technological conservatism is widely reviled, being explicitly problematized in scholarly literature (Moore 1991 , 1995 ) and viciously caricatured in popular media. The face of technological conservatism is old, out of touch, out of date and waving a slipper at those damn kids on his lawn – like Grampa Simpson, he probably also wears an onion on his belt. 1 This disconnect in our discourse between social innovation/conservatism and material or technological innovation/conservatism is one that has served to obfuscate the ways in which

in An archaeology of innovation
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.

Essam El Saeed

spells which Isis used to give birth to Horus refer to the will of Egyptian deities to confer legitimacy over the transfer of power from the father, Osiris, to their son, Horus 116 magico-medical practices in ancient egypt (Wilkinson 1992: 83). Thus Osiris was able to become the lord of the dead and of the underworld. The divine conflict between Horus and Seth was a common theme in mortuary texts and literature (Tobin 1993; Baines 1996, 1999; Quack 2012), most notably featuring in ‘The Contendings of Horus and Seth’ preserved in the 20th Dynasty Chester Beatty

in Mummies, magic and medicine in ancient Egypt
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Catherine J. Frieman

archaeological sites and materials?” What I have tried to teach my students (with greater success than the occasional vocal complaint might suggest) is that interpretative archaeology is much like the more tangible bits of archaeology. Just as we construct a plausible pot from small fragments, experience, and guess work, we apply the same sort of creative bricolage to the wide body of social theory literature on which we draw. We juxtapose clever ideas developed by theoreticians from across a spectrum of disciplines with (inevitably fragmented) archaeological data

in An archaeology of innovation