New book on ancient anatomical votives!

boe-cover-croppedBodies of Evidence: Ancient Anatomical Votives Past, Present and Future is a new edited volume just published by Routledge as part of a new series on ‘Medicine and the Body in Antiquity’. The volume, edited by Jane Draycott (University of Glasgow) and Emma-Jayne Graham (The Open University / The Votives Project), is based on a conference held at the British School at Rome in June 2012. The book brings together scholars studying ancient anatomical votives from a range of perspectives, looking not only at the roles these objects played in ancient religious and healing contexts but also the impact they have continued to have on shaping ideas about the human body through their subsequent collection and study. Several of the contributors are also members of The Votives Project.

Below is a description of the book and the full Table of Contents:

Dedicating objects to the divine was a central component of both Greek and Roman religion. Some of the most conspicuous offerings were shaped like parts of the internal or external human body: so-called ‘anatomical votives’. These archaeological artefacts capture the modern imagination, recalling vividly the physical and fragile bodies of the past whilst posing interpretative challenges in the present. This volume scrutinises this distinctive dedicatory phenomenon, bringing together for the first time a range of methodologically diverse approaches which challenge traditional assumptions and simple categorisations. The chapters presented here ask new questions about what constitutes an anatomical votive, how they were used and manipulated in cultural, cultic and curative contexts and the complex role of anatomical votives in negotiations between humans and gods, the body and its disparate parts, divine and medical healing, ancient assemblages and modern collections and collectors. In seeking to re-contextualise and re-conceptualise anatomical votives this volume uniquely juxtaposes the medical with the religious, the social with the conceptual, the idea of the body in fragments with the body whole and the museum with the sanctuary, crossing the boundaries between studies of ancient religion, medicine, the body and the reception of antiquity.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Debating the anatomical votive Emma-Jayne Graham and Jane Draycott

Chapter 1: Corpora in connection: anatomical votives and the confession stelai of Lydia and Phrygia Justine Potts

Chapter 2: Partible humans and permeable gods: anatomical votives and personhood in the sanctuaries of central Italy Emma-Jayne Graham

Chapter 3: Anatomical votives (and swaddled babies): from Republican Italy to Roman Gaul Olivier De Cazanove

Chapter 4: Hair today, gone tomorrow: the use of real, false and artificial hair as votive offerings Jane Draycott

Chapter 5: Demeter as an ophthalmologist? Eye votives and the cult of Demeter and Kore Georgia Petridou

Chapter 6: Wombs for the gods Rebecca Flemming

Chapter 7: Ritual and meaning: contextualising votive terracotta infants in Hellenistic Italy Fay Glinister

Chapter 8: The foot as gnṓrisma Sara Chiarini

Chapter 9: The open man: anatomical votive busts between the history of medicine and archaeology Laurent Haumesser

Chapter 10: Fragmentation and the body’s boundaries: reassessing the body in parts Ellen Adams

Chapter 11: Votive genitalia in the Wellcome collection: modern receptions of ancient sexual anatomy Jen Grove

Chapter 12: Votive futures: an afterword Jessica Hughes

Please see the Routledge website here for full details or to purchase the book.

E-J Graham

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