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The Origins of MonstersImage and Cognition in the First Age of Mechanical Reproduction$
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David Wengrow

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159041

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159041.001.0001

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Modes of Image Transfer

Modes of Image Transfer

Transformative, Integrative, Protective

(p.88) 6 Modes of Image Transfer
The Origins of Monsters

David Wengrow

Princeton University Press

This chapter proposes some distinct patterns of transmission that are attested across multiple chronological periods and regional settings, shedding further light on the institutional contexts of image transfer in the Bronze and Iron Ages. The distribution of composite figures in the visual record raises a number of intriguing problems for the study of cultural transmission. Their impressive transmission across cultural boundaries is consistent with the expectations of an “epidemiological” approach to the spread of culture, which would accord them a special kind of cognitive catchiness. This chapter considers the institutional role of externally derived images within centralized (or centralizing) societies and suggests that the macro-distribution of composites follows two distinct but regular modes of transmission and reception: the “transformative” mode and the “integrative” mode. It also introduces a third mode of transmission, termed “protective” mode.

Keywords:   image transfer, composite figures, cultural transmission, Bronze Age, Iron Age, composites, transformative mode, integrative mode, protective mode

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