This session is the second part of “Deploying the Dead” which was successfully launched at last year’s EAA in Maastricht. It explores the question of how the bodies of the long-dead and the material artefacts associated with them effect the living. We pursue an interdisciplinary methodology equally focused on archaeological and textual remains. Archaeological artefacts in literature evoke questions of agency and contribute to complicating and diversifying notions of historical time, to the undoing of chronology and to a blurring of the boundaries between past, present and future. This year, we specifically look at dead bodies in moments of social transformation and the reutilization of funerary monuments. The session invites papers that address one or more of the following questions: How have interactions with dead bodies and related artefacts been used in different time periods and cultures to underwrite, rewrite, or overturn narratives of national or community origin? How do shifts in foundation myths, e.g. between the Middle Ages and early modernity, initiate shifts in the treatment of the long-dead? How and why do material remains come to embody the past in the present, collapsing essential distinctions in temporality? What similarities and what differences can be seen in ways of dealing with human bodies and non-human artefacts in relation to historical myths and narratives? Under which circumstances were prehistoric mortuary structures reused by later populations?
Papers should be 15 minutes.