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How Ancient Europeans Saw the WorldVision, Patterns, and the Shaping of the Mind in Prehistoric Times$
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Peter S. Wells

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691143385

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691143385.001.0001

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Objects and Bodies in Motion

(p.155) Chapter 9 Performances
How Ancient Europeans Saw the World

Peter S. Wells

Princeton University Press

This chapter deals with performances, which refer specifically to actions that people carried out in social contexts—“with an audience” and with their material culture. To be a performance, an action must be aimed at communicating with others. A performance involves some kind of movement by a person or persons, and the focus here is with those movements that involved the manipulations of objects. These include throwing swords into the lake at La Tène; arranging bent and broken scabbards in the ditch at Gournay-sur-Aronde; and placing iron tools in the fire at Forggensee. At Snettisham, they buried gold neckrings. All these actions were performed by prehistoric people and were held in open spaces where they could be seen by others, in some cases by large numbers of them.

Keywords:   performance, material culture, actions, social context, late prehistoric Europe

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