Bodily comportment in Aegean Bronze Age two-dimensional and three-dimensional representations is a powerful communicative tool. Figures and figurines, glyptic scenes, wall paintings, vessels with figural decoration, jewellery, and even script depict expressive and often interacting bodies, which not only communicate amongst each other but also convey messages to their onlookers and users. A number of studies have therefore pointed to the salience of gesture and stance in these depictions by identifying different patterns of body ‘language’, the contextual clusters in which they appear, and by interpreting their ritual, religious or social significance.
The conference’s objective is to systematically and critically advance research on bodily comportment by focusing especially on the forms and methods of communication expressed, triggered, and intended by Aegean Bronze Age depictions of the anthropomorphic or hybrid body. Attentive to recent theoretical and methodological advancements, the conference aims to explore the conventions employed in representations of the gesturing, still and moving body; the conventions employed in the depictions of interlocutor(s) and receiver(s); the evidence for choreographed action; the different forms of bodily vocabularies which subsequently arise, as well as the potential impact of chronology and geography in their formation, use, and abandonment; the subtle renderings of emotion and affect; the contexts in which various forms of communication are depicted; and the relevance of body type, gender, age, status, occupation, and identities more generally, to the bodily expression represented. Discussions may also include considerations of the role that material and object type plays in the scenes’ representation and significance, and the appropriateness of existing methodologies employed in broader studies on the body for research focused on bodily comportment.