15. November 2018

Jo Stoner (University of Kent)

The meanings of domestic possessions: identifying personal value in the material culture of Late Antiquity

IG-Farbenhaus, EG 311, 16:15 Uhr

The material culture of Late Antiquity (c. 4th-8th c. AD) has been extensively studied in relation to economic value and displays of social status. However an important, but generally ignored, perspective is the personal or sentimental value of objects. Such scales of value are often neglected in contemporary scholarship on Late Antiquity, as they are conceived of as subjective and thus impossible to identify. However, theoretical approaches from archaeology, anthropology, and disciplines even further afield, can provide the tools necessary to identify and discuss such kinds of value within a meaningful framework. This paper explores how theories such as object biography can be applied to specific examples of late antique evidence, in order to reconstruct the full range of potential values for domestic material culture.