Tuesday 28 October 2014

'The Intellectual Consequences of Collecting Archaeological Material'

Fresh from his appearance at the "papyrus" meeting in Manchester at the weekend, the indefatigable David Gill will speak at a seminar in Cambridge this week on 'The Antiquities Market and Archaeology: the Material and Intellectual Consequences of Collecting' (see )
we  need to consider the limitations of discussing such 'unexcavated' objects [...] Among the areas that the seminar will consider are: Athenian red-figured pots attributed to the Berlin painter, Etruscan architectural terracottas, Apulian cavalry armour, Apulian pottery, Classical bronze statues, The Icklingham bronzes, The 'Crosby Garrett' helmet, The Sevso Treasure. Do archaeologists, and especially those dealing with the classical world, need to see how little material comes from secure contexts?
Absolutely. I hope he gets in a mention of Elizabeth Marlowe's excellent and thought-provoking book on this very subject "Shaky Ground: Context, Connoisseurship and the History of Roman Art" which should be on the shelf of every collector of "ancient art" - and not only. This is a serious problem vital to the overall heritage debate and one almost completely ignored in collecting circles.

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