18 Jan 2023 16:30 - 18:30 Seminar Room, McDonald Institute, Downing Site, Cambridge


An event organised by the Multidimensional Dialogues research network.


Sensory overload: soundscapes, scents, and visions that criss-crossed the Americas

For Lent Term we gather experts emphasising archaeologies of the Americas’ sensorial worlds: sound, scent, taste, sight, and touch to explore themes of human-environmental impact and agency. An opening social will launch the series and focus of the term’s mission.

The first dialogue, ‘Echoes of the Past,’ will highlight Sound Studies with research relating to in situ and object-based analysis. How can our science and interpretation of soundscapes act as a sounding board for the past, including the latest hi-tech spatial analysis to uncover lost voices and instrumentality?

‘Recovering Scents and Lingering Tastes,’ our second dialogue, churns around scent and taste research helping us rethink the past with experts in archaeologies relating to scents and flavours, residual chemistry that indicates lingering traditions, and iconographies of taste.

The third dialogue, ‘Archaeologies in Sight’ will explore visual cues and optical tools employed by experts to reveal the macro and micro aspects of human-visual traces. How do researchers interpret the observable surfaces of objects and grander landscapes that, in turn, inform today’s studies of human-environmental relationships in the Americas?

‘Articulating the Senses’, the final session of the series, draws together three experts in the crafting of archaeologies of art, opening up a conversation about the senseworlds of expression and critical material culture study. Amplifying themes and topics from our earlier dialogues, our participants and the community will also seek to round out the thematic approaches encountered and situate the enduring insights garnered from the term’s entanglements in the Americas.


Members of Multidimensional Dialogues and Americas Archaeology Group.

For enquiries please contact the Research Networks Programme Manager.

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