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First Circular - Call for Papers

Dear Colleagues,

We are glad to inform you that an international conference on the terracotta figurines of the Eastern Mediterranean in Antiquity (7th c. B.C.-A.D. 4th c.) will take place on June 2nd-6th, 2007 at Dokuz Eylul University (DEU) in Izmir, Turkey. We warmly invite contributions by scholars and graduate students from a variety of disciplines related to this subject. Intended to bring together Turkish, European, Mediterranean, and North American scholars to discuss a range of issues concerning terracotta figurines, this conference should be an excellent opportunity to increase our knowledge of this material. It also aims to encourage dialogue among Turkish and European scholars in Classical Archaeology.

The aim of this meeting is to report on the state of research concerning the terracotta figurines of Antiquity in a broad sense, between ca. 7th century B.C. and 4th century A.D. in the Greek and Roman Eastern Mediterranean. The geographical areas concerned are Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, the rest of the Near East and the Black Sea countries. The focus is, however, Asia Minor.

The quantities of figurines which have come to light on numerous sites, as well as recent research on the various collections from the geographical area concerned, now permit us to make significant additions to the archaeological evidence to which we owe recent progress in coroplastic research in western Europe. The colloquium aims to tackle, concentrating on unpublished finds or collections from the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, a series of questions which can be grouped as four principal interlinked and overlapping themes: production and diffusion, iconography and function. The following suggestions are, of course, not prescriptive:

Production: we welcome papers presenting and characterising production sites (from minor workshops to large manufactures specialized in coroplastic production) with their installations and production tools (moulds). The moulding process, which was standardized in Greece from the 7th c. B.C. onwards, is now well known, as well as the manufacturing processes linked with it, such as derivative moulding; so one could produce evidence for particular or original production modalities, as for instance the phenomenon of the moulded « signatures ». Papers on other fabrication techniques (modelling, on the potter’s wheel, mixed techniques), which are older or survive when the moulding technique was already in use, will also be welcome.

Diffusion: in the area concerned one could study the modalities of diffusion: distribution of objects, figurines and moulds, by trade or by itinerant craftsmen; derivative production and its transformations, through remoulding; simple imitation by a modelling new prototypes directly inspired by existing products. One could try in this way to reconstruct “production series” involving several production centres, and to follow the formation of a common shape’s repertoire, as the so-called “Rhodo-Ionian” koine for the Archaic period and especially the style of Tanagra in the Hellenistic period; the reasons and the significance of their widespread and rapid diffusion should also be examined. On the other hand, the longevity of particular shapes or styles also needs explication.

Iconography: a large part of the immense coroplastic repertoire is well understood and easily interpreted, but a lot of elements are still problematic. There is, for instance, the case of rare objects, original creations with limited diffusion; and also the case of complete families of objects, the significance of which is still a matter of debate, such as the protomes or the numerous female figurines : goddesses or simply mortal women ? Moreover, it remains questionable if this significance is universal or changes from place to place, from period to period. Texts and other images, which are sometimes more explicit (vases, sculpture, engraved gems…), will sometimes be a useful aid for papers dealing with such questions.

Function: through the abundant finds of certain well known sites, it generally seems that the votive and funerary functions of the figurines is fully understood. However, the chronological and geographical extension of these practices often still needs to be defined, their recipients to be identified (deities, sex, age at death?), and their exact meaning and significance to be understood. As to finds from houses, their interpretation – “genre scene” and simple decoration, evidence for domestic cults, toys, magic or apotropaic objects ?— still very often remains problematic. This shows how much we need papers on precise archaeological contexts which could give us some answers in this field.

On these themes and questions, all approaches and methods susceptible to bring some progress to our knowledge are of course very welcome: archaeology, archaeometry, history of art, iconology and critical approach of texts, cultural anthropology….

Papers and oral presentations can be given in English, French, German, Italian, Greek or Turkish, but English will be the preferred language for oral presentations.

We would be delighted if you could consider contributing to this conference. If you wish to participate, please fill out the form below and send it to one of the organizers.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words together with the attached registration form before October 1, 2006 by e-mail (if possible) to: <terracottas@deu.edu.tr>, or by fax to: +90.232.453 41 88.

The issue number 24 (Dec. 2006) of the journal Instrumentum is planned as a special issue containing the Conference abstracts. Abstracts of accepted papers will also be made available on the conference web site: <web.deu.edu.tr/terracottas/>.

A participation fee of 50,- € will be charged (25,- € for students and colleagues from Eastern Europe, Black Sea and Arab countries), including lunches at the DEU Cafeteria, coffee and refreshments at conference breaks, but not accommodation, travel expenses, excursions, the booklet of conference abstracts and publication of the proceedings. We will make the required hotel and travel reservations as soon as we know the exact number of participants. The conference proceedings will be published in 2008.

Post-conference excursions are planned on June 5th-6th to the archaeological museums of Izmir, the excavations at the Agora and in Old Smyrna, Ephesus, the Ephesus Museum, Pergamon and its museum, Kyme and Myrina. Along with the conference an exhibition will be displayed at the University Chancellery as well as DEU Culture and Congress Hall, entitled: “Greek and Roman Terracotta Figurines from Asia Minor: Samples from Turkish Museums and Excavations”.

The organizers seek to widen participation at this conference, and would like to encourage colleagues from all parts of the world to attend. The conference committee kindly requests that you alert any persons within your research community who would be interested in participating at this conference, either by forwarding our e-mail, or by printing this circular and displaying it in your institution.

We hope that you will be able to join us at Dokuz Eylul University, and look forward to seeing you in Izmir!

Yard. Doc. Dr. Ergun LAFLI, M.A.
Dokuz Eylul Universitesi
Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi
Arkeoloji Bolumu
Oda No. A 461/1
Tinaztepe / Kaynaklar Yerleskesi
Buca, TR-35160, IZMIR, TURKEY.
Fax: +90.232.453 41 88.
E-mail: <elafli@yahoo.ca>.
Prof. Arthur MULLER
Universite Charles-de-Gaulle - Lille 3
HALMA-IPEL – UMR 8164 (CNRS, Lille 3, MCC)
Histoire, Archeologie, Litterature des Mondes Anciens, BP 60149
F-59653, VILLENEUVE D'ASCQ CEDEX, FRANCE.
Fax: +33.3.204 163 65.
E-mail: <arthur.muller@univ-lille3.fr>


Scientific Organizers:
- Chief Organizer: Dr. Ergun LAFLI (DEU, Izmir).
- Co-Organizer: Prof. Arthur MULLER (UL3, Lille).
- Scientific Committee: Dr. Ergun LAFLI, Prof. Arthur MULLER, Dr. Michel FEUGERE (CNRS, Lattes) and Prof. Dominique MULLIEZ (EFA, Athens).

Institutional Organizers:
- Dokuz Eylul Universitesi, Izmir, TURKEY;
- Halma-Ipel – UMR 8164 (CNRS, Lille 3, MCC) Histoire, Archeologie, Litterature des Mondes Anciens, Lille, FRANCE;
- Instrumentum. Groupe de travail europeen sur l'artisanat et les productions manufacturees dans l'Antiquite, Montagnac, FRANCE;
- UMR 5140 of CNRS ("Archéologie des Sociétés Méditerranéennes"), Lattes, FRANCE;
- Ecole francaise d'Athenes, Athens, GREECE.

For the registration form, please click here!


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Last Update: 01.07.2006.
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