“Something ends, something begins”. Refuse and reuse in Islamic Archaeology
Guest Editor: Dr. Jose C. Carvajal Lopez (University of Leicester)
Refuse and reuse are ever-present and well-documented phenomena in the archaeology of Islamic societies, but even if they are at the core of the formation of many of our datasets, they remain understudied in themselves. There is little work yet done to understand the relationship between these phenomena and the idea of Islamic societies emerging from the remains of previous (Islamic or pre-Islamic) societies.
The advances of Islamic archaeology in the last decades have taken us away from the exclusive focus on art history and architecture that characterised the first steps of the field. It is more and more frequent to find research on Islamic societies where the technologies and typologies of common wares are studied along with highly decorated glazed vessels, small villages and modest houses are documented along palatine and religious complexes and bioarchaeological approaches consider faunal and botanical remains and human bones to understand the lives of women and men, the powerful and the weak alike. And yet, within Islamic contexts, relatively little attention has been paid to the processes of formation of the archaeological contexts that we study and even less to the processes of resignification of refused materials.
In this special issue we welcome papers that deal with the information provided by refuse contexts about the Islamic societies that left or reused them. This information may emerge from taphonomic considerations of one or several categories of refuse (bones, plant remains, ceramics), or it may reflect specific behavioural traits that have led to the accumulation of specific refuse, or a combination of both. We also encourage explorations of the meaning of reuse of materials. Which affordances of things, which associations of meanings led to the particular selection of elements to be reused? This is a question where New Materialist approaches may offer exciting insights, although this issue is open to all theoretical perspectives.
Please get in touch for more details and for expressions of interest!
Submissions should be ready by end of 2021
Jose C. Carvajal Lopez: email@example.com
University of Leicester