The Lives of Things: Hoarding Jewelry in the Early Medieval Eastern Mediterranean
Ein Vortrag von Dr. Elizabeth Dospěl-Williams (Washington)
Studies on jewelry from the early medieval eastern Mediterranean have traditionally distinguished between “Byzantine” and “Islamic” jewelry, with an eye to dating and attributing works in museum collections. In this presentation, I shift attention to a different set of methodological questions about use and function that arise when considering materials from archaeological hoards alongside museum objects, visual representations, and textual sources. Considering early medieval hoards in their own terms raises new questions about attitudes towards wealth, concepts of gender, and dress practices, among other topics. Taken together, these interpretative frames foreground the important role jewelry played in the Byzantine and early Islamic society, in a manner both familiar and strange to us today.