Based on his forthcoming book, Archaeology and the Senses: Human Experience, Memory, and Affect (Cambridge UP, 2014), and using ethnographic and archaeological case studies from Greece and elsewhere, Yannis Hamilakis proposes a new framework on the links between sensorial experience and materiality, and shows how this will also entail an alternative understanding of memory, time and temporality. He suggests that we should move from individual senses to the field of sensoriality and to the affective and mnemonic flows it engenders, avoiding thus the boundedness of the body, and of the thing, as isolated categories. Contrary to our modernist perception, the senses are infinite and inumerable, and an archaeology of sensoriality can in fact contribute to the exploration of hitherto unrecognized sensorial modalities. He also suggests that sensorial scholarship should embrace a new ontological understanding of temporality, based on the Bergsonian concepts of material memory and duration. This is an ontology of multiple, co-existing times, engendered by the durational properties and sensorial affordances of matter, and of material things.
By: Yannis Hamilakis, University of Southampton
Repondent: Joan Breton Connelly, NYU