In this talk, ICREA Professor Margarita Diaz-Andreu will discuss how immaterial aspects, usually disregarded in archaeological research, can be integrated into the study of the past. Her talk will centre on the acoustics of landscapes, especially of those marked by past communities with prehistoric rock art as a way of providing them with a special meaning. A connection will be established between the aural experience of place and religious emotion. At the same time, however, she will propose that this type of study should be explored systematically, with scientific rigour and objectively and that, in order to do so, an interdisciplinary approach becomes essential.
Professor Diaz-Andreu has been based at the University of Barcelona since 2012, having moved there from Durham University. She is interested in the prehistoric archaeology, rock art and acoustics of Western Europe. She is also concerned with heritage, history of archaeology and the politics of identity in archaeology (social engagement, nationalism and colonialism, ethnicity and gender). She has carried out fieldwork in several countries around the world and successfully supervised several PhD students. She is the author of about 20 books and many articles. Having researched on prehistoric rock art for two decades, in 2010 she decided to focus on the acoustics of rock art landscapes. She has recently been successful in obtaining funding for her ERC project, “The sound of special places: exploring rock art soundscapes and the sacred”.