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DossierNe w perspectives in Celtic Studies The Westhallstattkreis as spaces of contact

DossierNe w perspectives in Celtic Studies The Westhallstattkreis as spaces of contact
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    Dossier  New perspectives in Celtic Studies   621-633 Article received on November 1, 2017 and approved on July 18, 2018.  DOI: 10.1590/TEM󰀭1980󰀭542X2018v240311. Te Westhallstattkreis  as spaces of contact Philipp W. Stockhammer[*;**]Bogdan Athanassov[***] [*]Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) — Munique (Baviera) — Germany. E-mail : philipp.stockhammer@lmu.de[**] Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History — Jena (Thuringia) - GermanyORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4702-9372 [***] New Bulgarian University —  Soa — Bulgaria. E-mail : bo.atana@nbu.bgORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3971-7151  Abstract :  The idea of the contact zone has already been of interest for archaeologists for a long time, but rarely had they been applied to the study of the so-cal-led Westhallstattkreis . Both the ‘contact zone’ as well as the Westhallstattkreis  have generally been understood as geographically denable spaces: the rst one as a space where cultural encounter unfolded its transfor-mative potential; the second one as a space where par-ticular types of objects and features were found. Based on the understanding of spaces of encounter by Marie Louise Pratt and Richard White, the ‘contact zone’ will be redened for the study of the Westhallstattkreis . We suggest dissolving the ‘contact zones’ from geo- graphically dened spaces and seeing them — as well as the Westhallstattkreis  — as performative spaces. Keywords : Westhallstattkreis; Contact space; Appropriation.  A zona hallstattiana ocidental como zona de contato Resumo:  A ideia de uma zona de contato tem sido de interesse para arqueólogos por um longo tempo, mas tem sido raramente empregada para o estudo da chamada “zona hallstattiana ocidental”. Tanto a “zona de contato” quanto a “zona hallstattiana ocidental” têm geralmente sido compreendidas como espaços geogracamente denidos : a primeira como um espaço onde contatos culturais revelam seu potencial trans-formador; a segunda como um espaço onde tipos par-ticulares de objetos e características são encontrados. Com base no entendimento de espaços de encontro de Marie Louise Pratt e Richard White, redenimos a “zona de contato” para o estudo da “zona hallstat-tiana ocidental”. Sugerimos que temos de romper com as “zonas de contato” como espaços geogracamente deníveis e que devemos, ao contrário, compreender “zonas de contato”, bem como a “zona hallstattiana ocidental”, enquanto espaços performativos. Palavras-chave : Zona hallstattiana ocidental; Espaço de contato; Apropriação.  Tempo | Niterói | Vol. 24 n. 3 | Sept./Dec. 2018.   622-633 The Westhallstattkreis   and its southern contact Being in contact is crucial — in the past as in the present — and there is no doubt that people were aiming at contact with others throughout all times and spaces. This article picks up the notion of the ‘contact zone’ which has enjoyed much popularity in the humanities for the past two decades. 1  ‘Contact zone’ has also sporadically found its use in the study of the Early Iron Age in Central Europe (Brun, 1988, p. 128-143; Dietler, 2010, p. 13.), but it is still far from being used as a heuristic category, and its potential has not been evaluated for the study of this region and time. For many decades, the study of cultural encounter between Early Iron Age Central Europe (ca. 700-400 BC) and the Mediterranean has been dominated by the bipolar opposition of ‘Greeks’  vs. ‘Celts’. Both were understood as radically different entities epitomizing very different kinds of societal organisation, world views, life styles, daily practices etc. The differences between both entities were emphasized. Homogeneity within each entity was assumed, generally not further problematized (in the case of the ‘Greeks’) or even stressed (in the case of the ‘Celts’) while the spectacular nds from a very few places were considered sufcient enough to explain the situation at all other sites (Eggert, 1989, p. 53). The different forms of contact between the two entities have been intensively discussed and a broad range of complementing (or sometimes also contradictive) explanations have been brought forward — from transhumant herders via foreign visitors who brought presents/ keimelia  up to intense economic exchange or the long-term stay of specialists from the Mediterranean in order to transfer technological knowledge — e.g.  in the case of the construction of the mud brick wall of the Heuneburg. The focal area of this contact was generally equated with the so-called Westhallstattkreis . Up to the present, the Westhallstattkreis  is understood as a particular region, within which the evidence and/or ubiquity of characteristic nds and/or features allow us to dene an ‘archaeological culture’ which is subsequently almost exclusively equated with the ‘Early Celts’. The type-fossils taken as a basis for the regional delimitation differ from author to author. Nils Müller-Scheeßel devoted an extensive study to the different ways and kinds the Westhallstattkreis  was dened by different authors (Müller-Scheeßel, 2000). At that moment, there seems to be some general agreement that southwestern Germany, northern Switzerland and parts of eastern France could be seen as its core, whereas its eastern boarder within southern Germany and western border in eastern France are still disputed. Processual 1  This is not the place to cover the large body of literature in many different disciplines which has followed and discussed Pratt’s in󰁦luential writings (e.g. Clifford, 1997; Schorch, 2013; with further literature). Critical voices have pointed out that she represented the meeting cultures as too compact or put too much emphasis on texts and narratives. Christoph Ulf (2014, p. 469󰀭504) chose ‘contact zone’ as an overarching term under which very different kinds of places and spaces were subsumed.  Tempo | Niterói | Vol. 24 n. 3 | Sept./Dec. 2018.   623-633 approaches to the study of the Westhallstattkreis  did not try to overcome the predominant notion of a particular and rather homogenous zone, but just updated the terminology by locating it as ‘periphery’ within the popular world-system-theory (Frankenstein and Rowlands, 1978, p. 109). In the past years, network approaches and quantitative spatial analyses became popular and were taken as a basis for spatial analyses and denitions (Nakoinz, 2009, p. 87-100, 2013, 2014, p. 187-199).The aim of our contribution is not to overcome or replace these spatial approaches to the Westhallstattkreis , but rather ask, if the current approaches are sufcient for understanding the complexity of the intercultural encounter, appropriation and resistance, material and relational entanglements (cf. Stockhammer, 2012a, p. 43-58; Hofmann and Stockhammer, 2017, p. 45-66). The material remnants of intercultural encounter are most prominent in the material evidence from the Westhallstattkreis  — from famous imported objects ( e.g.  Krater of Vix, Attic pottery, Mediterranean transport amphorae) to local products which were inspired by Mediterranean counterparts ( e.g.  beaked jugs, Heuneburg goblets) or architecture created under the supervision or with the knowledge of Mediterranean specialists (esp. the mud brick wall of the Heuneburg). The Westhallstattkreis  as such is, of course, no relevant actor, but the people living in the referred time in this respective region are. However, it has generally been assumed that the different actors within this region had similar motivations in relation to their effort to acquire and appropriate Mediterranean objects, and — if possible — also life styles in the sense of social practices such as feasting. It is our aim to increase the awareness of the possibility of differences of interaction with objects, ideas and practices transferred from the Mediterranean through different actors and channels and of different motivations of local actors to acquire and appropriate them. Evaluating ‘contact zone’ and ‘middle ground’ The spatial correlate of intercultural encounter has found much attention in the humanities over the past decades — especially in and around the eld of Postcolonial Studies. The two most prominent approaches were brought forward by Marie Louise Pratt, who dened the ‘contact zone’, and Richard White, who proposed the ‘middle ground’ as the space of cultural encounter. In our view, it is necessary to be aware of the potentials and pitfalls of these approaches, instead of using them in a metaphorical way without any further reection. Therefore, we will start our thoughts on the link of intercultural encounter and space by a critical evaluation of both concepts. Marie Louise Pratt (1991, p. 33-40) rst published her concept in the  Arts of the Contact  Zone  in 1991 and in the subsequent year 1992 in Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation   (Pratt, 2008). She dened ‘contact zones’ as ‘social spaces where disparate cultures meet,  Tempo | Niterói | Vol. 24 n. 3 | Sept./Dec. 2018.   624-633 clash, and grapple with each other, often in highly asymmetrical relations of domination and subordination — like colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths’ (Pratt, 2008, p. 7; almost identical: Pratt, 1991, p. 1). Consequently, her denition of ‘contact zones’ is based on two underlying concepts, i.e. ‘social space’ and the transformative power of colonial encounters.With the noun ‘contact’ she aims to underline ‘the interactive, improvisational dimensions of colonial encounters’ (Pratt, 2008, p. 8) as the basis of ‘transculturation’. Pratt’s understanding of ‘contact’ is very much inuenced by the notion of ‘contact language’ in linguistics where it refers to an improvised language that develops among speakers of different tongues who need to communicate with each other consistently, usually in the context of trade (Pratt, 2008, p. 8). In her view, contact zones are not only produced in situations of conquest and war, although the asymmetrical character of the encounters remains crucial to her. She also focuses on bilingualism, pidginization and dialogue, which create the basis of what she designates as ‘transculturation’, thereby following Ferdinando Ortiz’s (1995) nomenclature. Pratt clearly states: ‘Transculturation is a phenomenon of the contact zone’ (Pratt, 2008, p. 7; almost identical: Pratt, 1991, p. 2). It is the key feature for its distinction. The textual sources evaluated by Pratt share the common feature that in all of them the action takes place on the margins of the inuence of colonial powers. That is why Pratt claims that ‘contact zone’ in her discussion ‘is often synonymous with ‘colonial frontier’. But while the latter term is grounded within a European expansionist perspective (the frontier is a frontier only with respect to Europe), ‘contact zone’ shifts the center of gravity and the point of view’ (Pratt, 2008, p. 8). The noun ‘zone’ is dened as ‘social space’ (Pratt, 1991, p. 1, 2008, p. 7). However, there is hardly any other information about her understanding of ‘space’ than that ‘contact zone’ designates ‘the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations’ (Pratt, 2008, p. 8). For Pratt, ‘social space’ is not a permanent attribute of a particular geographical space. Frontier and contact zones are produced in the description and are created by factors ranging from the people, who have made contact, up to the audiences of their texts. The social nature of Pratt’s contact zone is probably the reason why she concentrates on narratives and texts and not on physical or geographical characteristics of the contact zone. Pratt’s frontiers are not linear boundaries separating people, but liminal mosaics where different people meet (Blake, 2004, p. 240). The concept is extremely dynamic, since every interaction of people creates a social space, i.e. a contact zone. In the same year as Pratt’s Imperial Eyes, Richard White’s monograph The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lake Region, 1650-1815 was published. White created his concept of the ‘middle ground’ in order to overcome simplied notions of acculturation in his analysis of the encounter of European settlers and local Indian populations in North America: ‘The middle ground is the place in between: in between  Tempo | Niterói | Vol. 24 n. 3 | Sept./Dec. 2018.   625-633 cultures, peoples, and in between empires and the non-state world of villages.’ (White, 2011, p. x). Following White’s argument, the ‘middle ground grew according to the need of people to nd a means, other than force, to gain the cooperation or consent of foreigners’ (White, 2011, p. 52). Taking White literally, the middle ground was not produced, but it is the analytical denomination of a particular place, and the actors ‘operated on the middle ground’ or ‘in the middle ground’ (White, 2011, p. x). Contrary to some take-overs of the concept for archaeology (Malkin, 2011; Antonaccio, 2013), the middle ground should not be understood as a demilitarized zone. White (2011, p. xii) insists that it is also not simply about a compromise between two collaborating parties (a phenomenon widely recognised before him), but about the process of mediation. Therefore, one must not underrate the violent character of the middle ground and also not overemphasize the act of persuasion, as the notion of misunderstanding is crucial for White (2006, p. 10; 2011, p. xiii). An important prerequisite for the creation of a middle ground is a rough balance of power, or the inability on both sides to exert enough power to force the other side to change. As a consequence, the alliance rests on constant war-and-peace-making. Another crucial feature is the mutual need or desire for the possessions of the other side. Following White, the middle ground emerged as an alliance in the Upper Country of French Canada because ‘whites could neither dictate to Indians, nor ignore them’ (White 2011, p. xxvi; cf. Deloria 2006, p. 16). Thereby, a new system of meeting and exchange was created (White, 2011, p. xxvi). One of the reasons for the popularity of White’s ideas is that he neither sees mediation in the Upper Country as a French invention and imposition, nor as an Indian diplomatic strategy of compromise in order to survive. For him, it was the emergence of a new hybrid world, where creative misunderstandings were capitalized (White, 2011, p. xxi). 2  Another reason for the popularity of the ‘middle ground’ is that it has turned to a powerful trope providing ‘one of the baste articulations of the practice of new cultural production in cross-social and cross-political contexts’ (Deloria, 2006, p. 16) — similar to Pratt’s contact zones. In White’s case the actors of the imperial powers and the native villagers constitute equal partners during the encounters — neither falling in the limitations of world-systems perspectives nor ignoring the imperial agency. The mutual interest of e.g. trading powers and allies in their endeavour to get along with each other (linguistically, culturally, economically) generates previously unseen ows of information and knowledge. Pratt and White are united in their interest to study the transformative power of intercultural encounter within a framework of strong asymmetries of power. Pratt opens her concept for all possible situations of contact and her contact zone emerges through human 2  The emphasis of misunderstandings as an important path of communication (White, 2006, p. 13; White, 2011, p. xiii, xx, xxi, xxiv) is reminiscent of Bruno Latour’s (1986) — and subsequently — Joseph Maran’s (2011, p. 283) notion of ‘lost in translation’, who stress that only the transformation of meaning through translation made foreign practices, objects and ideas accessible to the local context.
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