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.
Upping the ontological ante of Alfred Gell’s anthropology of art through a
focus on making
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