Sensory studies arises at the conjuncture (and within) the fields of anthropology • sociology • history • archeology • geography • communications • religion • philosophy • literature • art history • museology • film • mixed media • performance • phenomenology • disability • aesthetics • architecture • urbanism • design

Sensory Studies can also be divided along sensory lines into, for example, visual culture, auditory culture (or sound studies), smell culture, taste culture and the culture of touch, not to mention the sixth sense (however it might be defined)

Making Senses of the Past: Toward a Sensory Archaeology

27th Annual Visiting Scholar Conference
Center for Archaeological Investigations
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

March 26-27, 2010

This conference will bring together researchers who share an interest in sensory modes of
approaching the past and will cross boundaries between chronological periods, geographical
regions, and material specializations. Themes to be covered at the conference include the
presentation of new results of sensory archaeological projects; multisensory and synesthetic
aspects of the production and consumption of material culture; embodied practices,
including memory; and the dissemination of sensuous pasts in the present.

Hamilakis/Tringham/Van Dyke/Pursell/Holmberg/Weismantel/Day/Mongelluzzo/
Dakouri-Hild/Kok/Foster and Blotner/Hurcombe/Williams/Porter/King/Eneix/Murphy/
Avery/Thomas/Ryzewski/Høgseth/Tsamis/Weddle/Hopwood/Crawley/Allen, Noganosh,
O’Regan and Fletcher


Minoan -color -soft -perfume -Malta -sound -body -volcano -temple -wood -Chaco -slate -ritual -haptics
-mound -dry -craft -Macedonia -stone -smell -wet -lightning -Thebes -iron -reflections -Maya -silver –
hard -landscape -Canterbury -sacrifice -Bronze Age – gravestones -silence -taste -rock -Roman -food
-museum -blood -Oaxaca -sulfur -household -Beth She’an -death -music -touch Çatalhöyük –
flowers -Pylos -copper -scent -palace -Chavín de Huantar -agate -cook -Iberia – light – quiet –
New England – darkness – Mississippian

Making Senses of the Past: Toward a Sensory Archaeology

Provisional Programme 1 (January 2010)

Friday March 26

8.00 – 8.45 Registration

8.45 – 9.00 Welcome and introductory remarks

Session 1: Sensing Landscapes

9.00 – 9.20 William A. Allen (Heritage One), Roger Noganosh (Elder of the Magnetawan First
Nation), Gerard O’Regan (University of Auckland), Perry Fletcher (Maori Elder)
Dibéwagendamowin / Karohirohi: reflections on sacred images on the rocks.

9.20 – 9.40 Marjolijn Kok (Institute of Landscape Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Rotterdam)
Experiencing a soft landscape – how performative actions created an understanding of the

9.40 – 10.00 Corin C. O. Pursell (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale) Colored monuments and
sensory theater among the Mississippians.

10.00 – 10.20 Karen Holmberg (Brown University, Joukouwsky Institute for Archaeology and the
Ancient World) The sound of sulfur and the smell of lightning: sensing the volcano.

10.20 – 10.30 Session 1 questions

10.30 – 11.00 Break

Session 2: Archaeoacoustics

11.00 – 11.20 Stacie M. King (Indiana University) Soundscapes and household ritual in ancient Oaxaca,
Mexico, A.D. 1000 – 1200.

11.20 – 11.40 Joe Williams (University of Kent) Musical space and quiet space at two medieval monastic
sites in Canterbury: St. Augustine’s Abbey and St. Gregory’s Priory in the mid-thirteenth

11.40 – 12.00 Kimberly K. Porter (University of North Dakota) ‘Grown so witty as to speak’: aurality in
the gravestones of New England, 1750-1800.

12.00 – 12.20 Linda C. Eneix (The OTS Foundation) Tuning in to the Maltese temple culture.

12.20 – 12.30 Session 2 questions

12.30 – 2.00 Lunch

Session 3: Sensing Society

2.00 – 2.20 Vasilis Tsamis (Wessex Archaeology) Multisensory archaeology: sensory potential of
everyday practices in Late Bronze Age Macedonia, Greece.

2.20 – 2.40 Mary Weismantel (Northwestern University) The sensorium of Chavín de Huantar.

2.40 – 3.00 Ruth Van Dyke (Binghamton University, SUNY) Imagined narratives, sensual lives.

3.00 – 3.20 Ryan Mongelluzzo (University of California, Riverside) Maya palaces as experiences:
ancient Maya royal architecture and its influence on sensory perception.

3.20 – 3.30 Session 3 questions

3.30 – 4.00 Break

Session 4: Keynote Address

4.00 – 4.45 Yannis Hamilakis (University of Southampton) Title TBA

5.30 Reception

Saturday March 27

Session 5: Craft and Manufacturing Processes

8.30 – 8.50 Jonathan T. Thomas (University of Iowa) Scents and sensibilities: the phenomenology of
Late Neolithic Iberian slate plaque production.

8.50 – 9.10 Krysta Ryzewski (Brown University, Joukouwsky Institute for Archaeology and the
Ancient World) The production process as sensory experience? A multidisciplinary
consideration of iron and copper manufacture in colonial New England.

9.10 – 9.30 Harald B. Høgseth (Sør-Trøndelag University College, Technical Building Protection and
Restoration) The senses of touch: haptics and affects in craftsmanship.

9.30 – 9.50 Anastasia Dakouri-Hild (University of Virginia) Craft and sensory play in Late Bronze Age

9.50 – 10.00 Session 5 questions

10.00 – 10.30 Break

Session 6: Archaeolfaction

10.30 – 10.50 Joanne M. A. Murphy (University of North Carolina, Greensboro) The scent of prestige:
perfume in Bronze Age Pylos, Greece.

10.50 – 11.10 Emerson Avery (University of Pennsylvania) A whiff of mortality: the smells and sounds
of death in Roman and Byzantine Beth She’an-Scythopolis.

11.10 – 11.30 Jo Day (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale) Imagined aromas and artificial flowers in
Minoan society.

11.30 – 11.40 Session 6 questions

11.40 – 1.10 Lunch

Session 7: The Full Body Experience

1.10 – 1.30 Ruth Tringham (University of California, Berkeley) A sense of touch – the full-body
experience – in the past and present of Çatalhöyük, Turkey.

1.30 – 1.50 Marie Hopwood (DePauw University) Consuming the past: sustenance, taste, and the
shared embodiment of food preparation.

1.50 – 2.10 Heather Crawley (University of Bristol) The senses and the divine in Late Antique material

2.10 – 2.30 Candace Weddle (University of Southern California) The sensory experience of blood
sacrifice in the Roman Imperial cult.

2.30 – 2.40 Session 7 questions

2.40 – 3.10 Break

Session 8: Presenting a Sensory Past in the Present

3.10 – 3.30 Linda Hurcombe (University of Exeter) Touching the untouchable? Replications, digital
objects and virtual touch to engage the senses.

3.30 – 3.50 Catherine P. Foster and Pamela Blotner (Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology, Pacific
School of Religion) Beyond the display case: creating a multisensory museum experience.

3.50 – 4.00 Session 8 questions

Session 9: Discussant and Open Discussion


After this final session, speakers are asked to remain in the auditorium for a brief explanation of the
publication process, hosted by the CAI publications editor, Mary Lou Wilshaw-Watts.

Conference attendance is open to all. For registration details and other information see:

For further information, or with any queries, contact: Dr. Jo Day, the 2010 CAI Visiting Scholar, (618) 453-5032