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Scandinavian Late Iron Age gold foil figures through the lens of intra-action
Ing-Marie Back Danielsson

11 ‘Guldgubbars’ changing ontology: Scandinavian Late Iron Age gold foil figures through the lens of intra-action Ing-Marie Back Danielsson Introduction This chapter discusses Late Iron Age gold foil figures from Scandinavia. The figures can be described as tiny human-like beings stamped on very thin gold foil. They mainly date to what in Sweden is called the Vendel period, c. 550–800 CE. Despite a great variety in terms of execution, appearance and so on, they are all known as ‘guldgubbar’ (similar names in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian). They are commonly

in Images in the making
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.

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

interpreted to tell us something about the exotic nature of the Egyptian afterlife. In this chapter I discuss a particularly iconic category of grave goods, showing both how a new, broader understanding can emerge when an object is approached as an ‘image in the making’ and how such a new reading fits with ancient Egyptian ontology more widely. At the same time, I also address one of the recurring challenges in recent work on object ontologies (see e.g. the recent review in Caraher 2016), namely how concrete design features of an object, such as choice of material and use

in Images in the making
Abstract only
Ing-Marie Back Danielsson and Andrew Meirion Jones

representations or symbols, as static entities whose most ‘salient attribute seem to be their ability to carry meaning’ (Creese 2017: 643). We challenge such assumptions by considering the ontology of images in more depth. In doing so we also take seriously anthropologists Martin Holbraad and Morten Axel Pedersen’s (2017: x) recent ‘injunction to keep constitutively open the question of what any given object of … investigation might be and, therefore, how existing concepts and theories have to be modulated in order to “better articulate it”’. What are images, then? Holbraad and

in Images in the making
Taking care of difference in museums
Billie Lythberg, Wayne Ngata, and Amiria Salmond

colonisation.5 Yet, as Indigenous scholars6 and theorists like Elizabeth Povinelli have pointed out, multiculturalist policies have at the same time served as powerful strategies of commensuration deployed to smooth out distinctions between groups to the advantage of ruling elites.7 In defining certain kinds of difference as ‘cultural’ (as opposed to, say, political), multiculturalism Curating the uncommons mobilises a powerful ontology of sameness that can be used to dismiss those who insist on the fundamental importance of things that might exceed its realms of

in Curatopia
Upping the ontological ante of Alfred Gell’s anthropology of art through a focus on making
Benjamin Alberti

3 An archaeology of anthropomorphism: upping the ontological ante of Alfred Gell’s anthropology of art through a focus on making Benjamin Alberti Introduction: the question of anthropomorphism One cannot see God from the back. (Gell 1998: 192) Alfred Gell’s Art and Agency (1998) revolutionised the debate on agency in archaeology, melding exceptionally well with contemporary thinking on the dialectic of human–thing interactions, the biography of objects and the relationships between agents and structures (e.g. Alberti 2001; Jones 2001; 2012; Jones and Cochrane

in Images in the making
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Iberian Late Bronze Age ‘warrior’ stelae in-the-making
Marta Díaz-Guardamino

, notably the sun-journey (Kristiansen 2010). These approaches tend to 74 Images as process render rock art motifs and panels as static repositories of meaning and, while the role of the panel in the making of rock art has been considered to some extent (e.g. Criado-Boado 2010), key aspects related to the ontology of rock art have rarely been discussed. Rock art is in constant flux (Jones and Cochrane 2018: ch. 2). What we encounter today is not the ‘finished outcome’ of some predefined plan but a momentary state of being involving many different participants, past

in Images in the making
Tim Ingold

, covered by depictions of the same. Which, then, is the image: the figurine or its real-life counterpart? Like early modern craftsmen, who would start with living, amphibious creatures and end with their life-cast equivalents, for the people of ancient Egypt, too, the creature and its image appear to be ontologically equivalent, both born of same formative process. It is with these thoughts in mind that I now turn to the contribution from Benjamin Alberti (Chapter 3), who is concerned with the making of ceramic pots, dating from the first millennium in north

in Images in the making
Fredrik Fahlander

archaeology. However, the view of fragments as parts of wholes tends to obscure the things that actually are vague and indistinct (Flohr Sørensen 2016). Even though deliberate fragmentation can comprise a meaningful process (Bolger 2014: 168; Burström 2013; Chapman 2000), it is only rarely that we try to find meaning and intention in the fragmentary and partial as an ontological fact. This fractional aspect is especially apparent in visual culture. Because imagery normally represents or depicts something, it is bound to be reductive to some degree (Morreau 2002: 333). This

in Images in the making
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A commentary
Louisa Minkin

decontextualised images to produce surprising assemblies and multi-stable objects. There is a tangling of networks and a privileging of relational ontologies. If art and archaeology are seeking new perspectives on artefacts and relations, then critical understandings of material cultures and imaging technologies are crucial to both fields of study. In its simplest form, two eyes give us three-dimensional images. Critical issues arise when archaeological method is applied to the study of contemporary art practice and, conversely, the speculative methods of art practice, conceived

in Images in the making