TAG2019-UCL has ended
The UCL Institute of Archaeology is delighted to host the 41st annual Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference in December 2019. Founded in 1937, the Institute is one of the largest centres for world archaeology, archaeological sciences and heritage & museum studies in the UK, situated in the heart of the capital.

Venue: UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL
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Wednesday, December 18 • 9:30am - 1:00pm
TAG18 | Minds in situ: Material Approaches to Cognition in the Past

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Cognitive archaeology’s aim - to study the minds of people in the past - has prompted scepticism since its beginnings. Nevertheless, the last few decades have seen a surge of interest in the archaeology of the mind. As a broad, interdisciplinary research area, a plethora of approaches have been used, leading to creative and varied research. Yet, cognitive archaeology as a whole lacks cohesion.Focusing on the fundamental role of material culture may offer a particularly useful approach for archaeologists wishing to tackle this area. Theoretical approaches like the ‘extended mind’ and Material Engagement Theory have advocated a certain materialist approach, where the mind does not consist solely of the brain. As a result, there is increasing recognition of the significant roles that our bodies and the environment, including material culture, play in our cognition.

This session will consider how archaeologists can study cognition through material culture. It encompasses a broad range of topics, including cultural transmission, craft, art, technology and evolution. While cognitive archaeology is traditionally seen as a prehistoric endeavour, it has great potential for use in any period, as seen by the papers in this session.Cognitive archaeology has been successful in helping to consider not only pathways of thought and learning in the past, but also understanding the mind in the context of behaviour, social relationships and material culture. The papers in this session reflect the potential of this area of study and demonstrate how a traditionally prehistoric endeavour can be of use more widely in archaeology.

Organisers: Dr Cory Stade; University of Southampton • Taryn Bell; University of York

9:30 | Dr Cory Stade, University of Southampton; Taryn Bell, University of York | Introduction

9:40 | Mike Groves, University of York, UK | Carving out an existence: understanding the chaîne opératoire from the inside out and making a name in woodcraft

9:55 | Paul March, University of Oxford, UK | Do extended minds have material dreams?: a Materially Enacted Phenomenological response

10:10 | Emanuele Prezioso, University of Oxford, UK | Style as memory: bridging past and present in the context of Minoan archaeology

10:25 | Alexander Aston, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford | Metaplasticity and the boundaries of social cognition: exploring scalar transformations in social interaction and intersubjectivity

10:40 | Laura Ahlqvist, Aarhus Universitet, Denmark; Christian Hoggard, University of Southampton, UK; Rune Iversen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Ditte Kofod, Bornholms Museum, Denmark; Poul Otto Nielsen, The National Museum of Denmark, Denmark; Finn Ole S. Nielsen, Bornholms Museum, Denmark; Niels N. Johannsen, Aarhus Universitet, Denmark | Mass consuming miniature meanings: analysing the carved stones of Neolithic Bornholm

10:55 | Joana Valdez-Tullett, Historic Environment Scotland | Teaching and learning Atlantic rock art: exploring cultural transmission in the Neolithic

11:10 | - | BREAK

11:40 | Izzy Wisher, Durham University | Creating art, shaping the mind: a psychological approach to Upper Palaeolithic cave art in northern Spain

11:55 | Xuanqi Zhu, University of York, UK | Tool-making and mind-making? Acheulean handaxes and the emergence of aesthetic sensibilities

12:10 | Lana Ruck, Indiana University, US and Stone Age Institute, US; Shelby S J Putt, Illinois State University, US; Zara Anwarzai, Indiana University, US and Stone Age Institute, US; P. Thomas Schoenemann, Indiana University, US and Stone Age Institute, US; Kathy Schick, Indiana University, US and Stone Age Institute, US;; Nicholas Toth, Stone Age Institute | Evolutionary perspectives on human handedness and hemispheric specialization in the brain

12:25 | Michal Paradysz, University of Liverpool, UK; Natalie Uomini, University of Liverpool, UK and Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany; Larry Barham, University of Liverpool, UK; Ryan Horsfall, University of Liverpool, UK; Georg Meyer, University of Liverpool, UK | Tracing three million years of human cognitive evolution: a neuroarchaeology study

12:40 | Dr Cory Stade, University of Southampton; Taryn Bell, University of York | Discussion

13:00 | - | END


Dr Cory Stade

University of Southampton

Taryn Bell

University of York

Mike Groves

University of York, UK

Paul March

University of Oxford, UK

Emanuele Prezioso

University of Oxford, UK

Alexander Aston

School of Archaeology, University of Oxford

Laura Ahlqvist

Aarhus Universitet, Denmark

Christian Hoggard

University of Southampton, UK

Rune Iversen

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Ditte Kofod

Bornholms Museum, Denmark

Poul Otto Nielsen

The National Museum of Denmark, Denmark

Finn Ole S. Nielsen

Bornholms Museum, Denmark

Niels N. Johannsen

Aarhus Universitet, Denmark

Joana Valdez-Tullett

Historic Environment Scotland

Izzy Wisher

Durham University

Xuanqi Zhu

University of York, UK

Lana Ruck

Indiana University, US and Stone Age Institute, US

Shelby S J Putt

Illinois State University, US

Zara Anwarzai

Indiana University, US and Stone Age Institute, US

P. Thomas Schoenemann

Indiana University, US and Stone Age Institute, US

Kathy Schick

Indiana University, US and Stone Age Institute, US;

Nicholas Toth

Stone Age Institute

Michal Paradysz

University of Liverpool, UK

Natalie Uomini

University of Liverpool, UK and Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany

Larry Barham

University of Liverpool, UK

Ryan Horsfall

University of Liverpool, UK

Georg Meyer

University of Liverpool, UK

Wednesday December 18, 2019 9:30am - 1:00pm GMT
Room 739 20 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0AL