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Body metamorphosis and animality: Volatile bodies and boulder artworks from Lepenski Vir

Boric, Dusan 2005. Body metamorphosis and animality: Volatile bodies and boulder artworks from Lepenski Vir. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 15 (1) , pp. 35-69. 10.1017/S095977430500003X

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Abstract

This article discusses the notion of body metamorphosis as a theory of phenomenal change by examining carved representational and ‘aniconic’ boulders from Lepenski Vir and other Meso-Neolithic sites in the Danube Gorges. The voluminous size of the boulders at Lepenski Vir, the way in which they occupy the three-dimensional space within buildings and around hearths, and the carvings over their surfaces suggest that they were understood as volatile bodies, undergoing continuous metamorphoses. The relationship between the seasonal recurrence of the Danube’s migratory fish and these boulders is explored through the notion of animality. These boulders indicate prescribed stages of life-cycle metamorphosis that affected inextricably-linked realms of human and animal worlds. Prescribed stages of social embodiment at Lepenski Vir are discerned by looking at the archaeological context of representational boulders that sometimes directly commemorate particular deceased individuals. The possibility that boulder artworks acted as sacred heirlooms of particular buildings is connected to the social efficacy they might have acquired.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0959-7743
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:28
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/39758

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