AGAr-lezing: Beyond sound. Archaeoacoustics and alternative perspectives on religion and ritual in archaeology

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27-02-2020 van 17:30 tot 20:30
Paviljoen Charles Vandenhove, Rozier, Gent
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Alumni Gentse Archeologen (AGAr)
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Lezing (in het Engels) van prof. dr. Margarita Diaz-Andreu (Universiteit Barcelona) over "Beyond sound. Archaeoacoustics and alternative perspectives on religion and ritual in archaeology"

AGAr-Alumni lezing
Donderdag 27 februari 2020, om 19.30 in Paviljoen Charles Vandenhove, Rozier, Gent 

Inkom: € 5

Speaker: Prof. dr. Margarita Diaz-Andreu
Beyond sound. Archaeoacoustics and alternative perspectives on religion and ritual in archaeology

Archaeology has always contemplated the past in a way that is, so to speak, silent, looking at the material, tangible manifestations that those societies once produced. Yet, past people’s lives were full of sounds and melodies that they understood through their own, specific culture. The sounds produced by people and those they heard from non-human entities were perceived in distinct ways. In many pre-industrial societies, the distinction that we make today between humans, animals, plants and the natural landscape did not exist. All of them were beings and the sounds produced by them took on a totally different meaning to that we would take in today. But, how do we approach this way of understanding the world when we are dealing with societies for which we have no written information? Archaeoacoustics is trying to answer this question through the systematic, rigorous analysis of sound of archaeological contexts. The ultimate aim of this analysis to bring us closer to a series of religious universes that have already disappeared.

ICREA Professor Margarita Díaz-Andreu is a prehistoric archaeologist based at the University of Barcelona (Spain). Over the years she has developed several lines of research, including history of archaeology, heritage, gender and nationalism. She has also been working, lecturing and supervising doctoral work on rock art, and she has conducted fieldwork in Western Europe and more recently also in Belize and Mexico. Her more than fifty publications on rock art have focused on the description of new discoveries of rock art sites with engravings, carvings and paintings; interpretation of particular sites and rock art landscapes, rock art management and recording and, in the last decade, archaeoacoustics. The latter is an innovative line of research developed thanks to funding received for projects such as SONART, Palarq and, currently, Artsoundscapes. Within the Artsoundscapes project she and her team will be undertaking fieldwork in diverse areas of the world in collaboration with local archaeologists. A range of rock art landscapes will be analysed through physical acoustics, psychoacoustics, neuroacoustics and anthropological perspectives. Her research in archaeoacoustics has not only been published in some of the best international journals, but it has also reached the general public through radio interviews and news published on many web pages and in local newspapers.

Keywords: prehistoric rock art; archaeoacoustics; sacred landscapes; outreach.