Textual and Material Past(s)? Reflections on the Epistemology of Historical and Archaeological Knowledge.

Activity: Talk or presentation typesAcademic keynote or plenary lecture


Text and artefacts are conventionally conceived as two separate categories of evidence in the research of past life. This dichotomy is produced and enhanced in the division into faculties and historically formed fields of scientific enquiry. Often texts and artefacts are regarded also as ontologically differing phenomena that require their own distinct methodologies. However, there were never distinctive "material" and "textual" pasts, but an intertwined social, textual and material reality. Text and materiality exist and are produced simultaneously, and their simultaneity should be respected also by historians and archaeologists (and of course historical archaeologists). Literacy, the theme of the seminar, is an enlightening example of the materiality of textual culture. My talk is focusing on the reverse: how materiality is incorporated and contained in language and textuality.
Period23 Sep 2014
Event titleHistory of Literacy in the Baltic Sphere
Event typeConference
LocationTurku, Finland
Degree of RecognitionInternational