Making marks meaningful: new materialism and the microwear assemblage
journal contributionposted on 09.09.2021, 14:52 by Christina Tsoraki, Huw Barton, Rachel Crellin, Oliver Harris
In this paper we explore how positioning microwear analysis within new materialism and assemblage theory allows us to develop new ways of thinking about meaning in the past. By mapping the detailed histories of an object’s making and use, we suggest that we can open up an understanding of marks as forms of material meanings. These material meanings operate as intensive events that fold together present and absent materials, and a range of ongoing processes. By studying marks on an archaeological object made of stone from one of the most famous Bronze Age barrows in Britain, within what we term a microwear assemblage, we will explore how a relational, more-than-representational, version of material meanings emerges.