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Archaeographies Excavating Neolithic Dispilio by Fotis Ifantidis . 112 pp. 84 2013. ISBN 9781905739622. £9.50 (No VAT). Buy Now

The close relationship between photography and archaeology is widely acknowledged. Since its invention, photography has been an indispensable documentation tool for archaeology, while the development of digital technology has facilitated the growing needs of an archaeological excavation in recording and archiving. Still, both photography and archaeology are much more than documentation practices. On the one hand, photography is the most appropriate medium for creating visual art; on the other, the excavation is a locus where material and immaterial knowledges are constantly being produced, reproduced and represented; as such, it constitutes an ideal “topos” for experimentation in creating images. This entangled relationship between photography and archaeology, and art and documentation, has only recently attracted attention, emerging as a separate field of study. Archaeographies: Excavating Neolithic Dispilio consists one of the very first experimentations in printed format, dealing with this visual interplay between archaeology and photography. The case study is the excavation of the Greek Neolithic settlement of Dispilio. The book tackles archaeological practice on site, the microcosms of excavation, and the interaction between people and “things”. Archaeographies derives from an on-going, blog-based project, launched in 2006 (visualizingneolithic.com). The black-and-white photos of the book were selected from a large archive, and are loosely assembled as an itinerary. They are accompanied by a laconic commentary, in order to retain the sense of ambiguity and allow multiple interpretation of the images.

‘….today some archaeologists have transformed themselves into artists exploiting the visual grammar of the past decades.’ (Review, Antiquity, Vol. 88, Issue 340, June 2014, 671)
Spondylus in Prehistory New data and approaches. Contributions to the archaeology of shell technologies by Fotis Ifantidis and Marianna Nikolaidou. xiv+237 pages; illustrated throughout. BAR S2216 2011. ISBN 9781407307749. £43.00 (No VAT). Buy Now

This volume offers a broad and up-to-date discussion of the Spondylus “phenomenon” in prehistory, in diverse archaeological contexts from Europe and two areas of the New World. It brings together new archaeological data, methodological advances, and current interpretations for the study of this important material. Further understanding comes from consideration of other shell technologies, ancient and traditional. The core of the book consists of papers that were first presented in a special session on “Spondylus in European Prehistory: New Data and Approaches – A Session on the Archaeology of Shell Technologies”, organized by the editors for the 13th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, Zadar, Croatia, 18-23 September 2007. Contents: Introduction - A Volume on Spondylus (Marianna Nikolaidou & Fotis Ifantidis; 1) Spondylus Shells at Prehistoric Sites in the Iberian Peninsula (Esteban Álvarez-Fernández); 2) Spondylus sp. at Lezetxiki Cave (Basque Country, Spain): First Evidence of its Use in Symbolic Behavior during the Aurignacian in Europe (Álvaro Arrizabalaga, Esteban Álvarez-Fernández & María-José Iriarte); 3) Spondylus gaederopus in Prehistoric Italy: Jewels from Neolithic and Copper Age Sites (Maria Angelica Borrello & Roberto Micheli); 4) Status of Spondylus Artifacts within the LBK Grave Goods (Jan John); 5 Reconsideration of Spondylus Usage in the Middle and Late Neolithic of the Carpathian Basin (Zsuzsanna Siklósi & Piroska Csengeri); 6) Spondylus in South American Prehistory (Benjamin P. Carter); 7) Spondylus gaederopus in Aegean Prehistory: Deciphering Shapes from Northern Greece (Tatiana Theodoropoulou); 8 The Neolithic Settlement at Makriyalos, Northern Greece: Evidence from the Spondylus gaederopus Artifacts (Maria Pappa & Rena Veropoulidou); 9) Cosmos in Fragments: Spondylus and Glycymeris Adornment at Neolithic Dispilio, Greece (Fotis Ifantidis); 10) Personhood and the Life Cycle of Spondylus Rings: An Example from Late Neolithic, Greece (John C. Chapman, Bisserka I. Gaydarska, Evangelia Skafida & Stella Souvatzi); 11) Spondylus Objects from Theopetra Cave, Greece: Imported of Local Production? (Nina Kyparissi-Apostolika); 12) The Contribution of Archaeometry to the Study of Prehistoric Marine Shells (Katerina Douka); 13) Paleobiological Study of Spondylus Jewelry found in Neolithic (LPC) Graves at the Locality Vedrovice (Moravia, Czech Republic)(Šárka Hladilová); 14) Spondylus gaederopus Tools and Meals in Central Greece from the 3rd to the Early 1st Millennium BCE (Rena Veropoulidou); 15) Pre-Hispanic Attire made of Spondylus from Tula, Mexico (Adrián Velázquez Castro, Belem Zúñiga Arellano & Norma Valentín Maldonado); Concluding Commentary - Lives and Journeys, of Spondylus and People: A Story to Conclude (Marianna Nikolaidou).
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