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d’archéologie orientale du Caire


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Colloque international

Du lundi 30 octobre 2023 au jeudi 2 novembre 2023 (heure du Caire), IFAO géolocalisation IFAO

Reading reuse. Image recycling in Egypt and beyond

Vera Elizabeth Allen, Axelle Brémont & Simon Connor

Langue : anglais.

The Ifao is organizing a symposium on the concept of reuse of decorated artifacts (entire monuments or wall reliefs, pieces of furniture, statues, figurines, painted or incised pots, items of personal or mobiliary adornment, etc.) in archaeological or architectural settings.

Our aim is to contribute to the understanding of the creation and use of image-bearing objects in societies throughout time and across borders: how and why they may change in form and function, and what it means to study and interpret such “biographical objects.” Shape, size, material and decoration are just a few of the elements that play an important role in the perception and possible reuse of artifacts, that prove to be versatile, always shifting in their apparent passiveness on the basis of our necessities. As such, objects live several lives that are worthy of being explored, the succession of which build up a ‘biography’ over time (Kopytoff 1986, Henare 2006). Their later uses are not necessarily the ones that were intended for them by their producers and patrons; moreover, people and objects constantly influence each other, as theorized by Gell (1998), Freedberg (1989), Bredekamp (2017).

The symposium, held in Cairo, will largely center upon the Egyptian context and material corpus, nevertheless the scope is resolutely interdisciplinary and cross-cultural. Case studies will anchor our reflections to concrete practices, and serve to build a common methodological, interpretative and theoretical framework, accessible to a diversified body of specialists.

It is in the academic interest to bring together scholars from various areas and periods, through a comparative approach, which is not limited to the study of past societies but also benefits from the insights of cultural anthropology. It is our intention to place this scientific gathering at the crossroads of archaeology, anthropology and art history, and we cherish dialogues drawing from a variety of approaches.



October 30th to November 2nd, Cairo (Egypt)

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The registrations to attend the symposium in person are now closed for constraints of space. We invite you to follow the conference online on the Ifao YouTube channel, where you can listen to all talks and participate in the discussions through the chat :