Approaching the Ancient Artifact : Representation, Narrative, and Function

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    • Abstract:
      This volume consists consists of forty contributions written by an internationally renowned selection of scholars. The authors adopt an interdisciplinary methodology, examining both literary and archaeological sources, and a comparative perspective that transgresses national, chronological, and cultural boundaries, in order to investigate the nature of the links between text and image. This multifaceted approach to the study of ancient artifacts enables the authors to treat art and artistic production as activities that do not merely mirror social or cultural relationships but rather, and more significantly, as activities that create social and cultural relationships. The essays in this book are motivated by their authors'belief that there is no simple direct link between art and myths, art and text, or art and ritual, and that art should not be delegated to the role of a by-product of a literate culture. Instead, the contextual and symbolic analyses of artifacts and representations offered in this volume elucidate how art actively shaped myth, how it changed texts, how it transformed ritual, and how it altered the course of local, regional, and Mediterranean histories.
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