EMBODIED IDENTITIES IN THE PREHISTORIC EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN: CONVERGENCE OF THEORY AND PRACTICE
A conference hosted by the Archaeological Research Unit, University of Cyprus, 10-12 April 2012, Nicosia, Cyprus
Recent archaeological research has raised awareness about the multi-dimensional role of the body in the construction, performance, experience and communication of social identity. The physical body and its mutually shaping relationship with material culture, as well as bodily performances and experiences, are now acknowledged as underpinning the construction and embodiment of social identities. Issues currently explored include the dynamic relationship between the body and material culture, the interaction between the body and domestic, mortuary space as well as landscape, the experiences of the lived body, the depictions of the body as representations of embodied identities through idealised images, postures and gestures, the biological body as an active social element in past people's lives. The conference seeks to explore the role the body played in constituting facets of individual and social identity in the prehistoric Eastern Mediterranean through a convergence of theoretical, methodological and factual aspects.
This conference will bring together researchers to discuss the archaeological visibility of embodied identities in the Eastern Mediterranean from the earliest prehistory to the early Iron Age. Through this we hope to:
• present archaeological data that inform our understanding of embodied identities in the prehistoric Eastern Mediterranean
• contribute further to our knowledge about social, individual identities and social organisation in the Eastern Mediterranean
• instigate a discussion on theoretical and methodological issues that concern the study of the body in archaeology
• promote a combined use of archaeological evidence