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Classics Presents... Dr. Jennifer Moore: The Kneader of Patience Tastes It: An Ethnoarchaeology of Roman North Africa

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Mackintosh-Corry Hall
Room: D216
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Dr. Jennifer P. Moore
Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Trent University 

The Kneader of Patience Tastes It: An Ethnoarchaeology of Roman North Africa
What is the common element between the characteristic layout of houses of Roman North Africa, the persistence of old technologies when new and supposedly better ones were available, and women being possessed by spirits? Ethnoarchaeology offers a solution: observing how people today interact with their material culture, with a view to inspiring new ways of thinking about how their ancient counterparts did so. Present-day Tunisians offer an intriguing opportunity for such an approach, since they still craft and use items that have been part of their heritage for over two millennia. These traditional practices are most evident among modest villagers and especially women, individuals who tend to be under-recognized today, much as their Roman equivalents were. The resultant investigation nuances considerations of economic modes of production and exchange, gendered roles, the functionality of homes, and religious rituals. To explore these aspects, we will focus on two kinds of artifact that have maintained a place of both literal and associative centrality: hand-made ceramic ovens and braziers.

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