Sensing the Past Research Group

The next Sensing the Past research group meeting is scheduled for April 27th at 17.00-18.30 (CEST) and will feature a talk by Professor Sue Hamilton. Please email Pam and Sara at for the Zoom link.

Normalising Sensory Archaeology in Field Practice: Rapa Nui’s (Easter Island’s) statue building period.

Sue Hamilton, UCL Institute of Archaeology

The Rapa Nui Landscapes of Construction Project set out to consider the extent to which Rapa Nui’s prehistoric cultural landscape was a social construction based on beliefs as much as on economic/subsistence necessities. The project was not focused at all on sensory archaeology. However, my interest in sensory archaeology allowed me to access new perspectives on the character, meaning and distribution of Rapa Nui’s sites. We are still considering and writing up these issues. My short presentation affords musings on how the integration of sensory considerations forwarded the project’s wider analysis of how the architectures of its ancient landscapes materialised specific understandings of the World.

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