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This paper may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists     Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges     Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: RE-EMBODYING INTER-CULTURAL INTERACTION IN THE LBA EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN: CONSIDERING MYCENAEAN RHYTA
Author: EMILY ANDERSON (Johns Hopkins University)   
Date/Time: Fri., 11:30 AM
Co-Author(s): EMILY ANDERSON (Johns Hopkins University) 
Abstract: This paper explores how we might use aspects of people’s direct bodily interactions with standardized, broadly circulated object types as a means of reproblematizing inter-cultural interaction in the Late Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean. I focus on Mycenaean rhyta, vessels with highly distinctive bodies themselves, which were open on both ends so that liquids could pass through them. The rhyta were made in various typical shapes, having characteristic curvatures, textures, and mechanics. The vessels have been found throughout the eastern Mediterranean interactive sphere (many believed to be exports from the Aegean), connecting disparate regions where they were embedded within different cultural areas. Comparing different evidence, I consider how people’s lived engagements with these extremely similar vessels could in essence have linked their bodily experiences to one another even as the particular socio-cultural practices in which they were incorporated may have been quite distinct. Further, to what extent might people’s fundamental understanding of the objects’ “transformative” potentialities (realized as liquids passed through them, changing their status, location, etc.) have been shared between regions and cultures, as an aspect of the rhyta linked directly to one’s tactile, sensory, even emotio-physical interactions with the vessels’ particular materials and forms? Alternatively, how might the divergent material lived contexts in which the rhyta were used have fundamentally altered people’s physical and conceptual experience of them? Through the corpus of the rhyta, I explore the potential of this embodiment-based approach as another way of viewing inter-cultural interaction, below the boundaries of cultural assignments, as an implicit, bodily phenomenon.

Program Number: 3-0405
Session Title: ARCHAEOLOGIES OF NETWORKS AND CIRCULATION
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Fri., 10:15 AM-12:00 PM
Organizer(s): ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM COMMITTEE (AAA) 
Chair(s): JACK ROSSEN (Ithaca College)  
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