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 • 2:00pm - 5:30pm
TAG28 | Beyond Biographies: Composite things in time and space

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The Grimthorpe shield was excavated from a Middle Iron Age grave in East Yorkshire in 1868. It is generally discussed as a singular shield, but a recent re-examination of this object concluded that it was formed from a mixture of new and old fittings, some of which probably once belonged to older shields.How should we think of this object? Although it has been crystallised through deposition in its current configuration as a single shield, it is simultaneously several other objects at once, presenting an interesting paradox.This session emerges from the observation that complex, composite objects, such as the Grimthorpe Shield, do not always fit comfortably within existing models used by archaeologists to explain the processes of things in time and space. Object biographies have long been a popular way of describing the ‘lives’ of objects and recent discussions have suggested ways of building upon or going beyond this concept. However, we argue that composite things can present problems in these approaches, creating tensions between the whole and its parts. We aim to explore new modes of envisaging the ontological complexities of composite objects and other types of assemblage, with emphases on scale and the paradox between singular and multiple. We welcome papers that seek novel approaches to composite things and assemblages in time and space, using examples from any archaeological period(s) and covering topics such as:

• Modification
• Repair
• Curation (ancient and modern)
• Fragmentation
• Refashioning
• Recycling
• Re-appropriation

Organisers: Helen Chittock; AOC Archaeology Group • Matt Hitchcock; University of Manchester • Matthew G. Knight; National Museums Scotland

14:00 | Helen Chittock, AOC Archaeology Group; Matt Hitchcock, University of Manchester; Matthew G. Knight, National Museums Scotland | Beyond Biographies: Introducing composite things in time and space

14:20 | Jody Joy, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge | ’Timeless’ objects? Unravelling the histories of composite things

14:40 | Staffan Lunden, University of Gothenburg | Making objects, making heritage

15:00 | Sophie Moore, Newcastle University | The secret lives of Pithoi: Long-term Anatolian storage solutions from a 6th century house at Sagalassos, Turkey.

15:20 | - | BREAK

15:50 | Daisy-Alys Vaughan, Newcastle University | Displaying Composite Histories: Creating and curating biographies with the Shefton Collection of Greek and Etruscan Archaeology

16:10 | Anna Garnett, Petrie Museum, UCL |

16:30 | Jennifer Peacock, Independent Researcher | Context is key: Historic Houses as Archaeological Assemblages

16:50 | Julian Thomas, University of Manchester | Beyond Biographies in Neolithic Material Processes

17:10 | Andy Jones, University of Southampton | Discussion

17:30 | - | END


Helen Chittock

AOC Archaeology Group

Matt Hitchcock

University of Manchester

Matthew G. Knight

National Museums Scotland

Jody Joy

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge

Staffan Lunden

University of Gothenburg

Sophie Moore

Newcastle University

Daisy-Alys Vaughan

Newcastle University

Anna Garnett

Petrie Museum, UCL

Jennifer Peacock

National Trust

Julian Thomas

University of Manchester

Andy Jones

University of Southampton

Wednesday December 18, 2019 2:00pm - 5:30pm GMT
Room 790 20 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0AL