The Experience of Stone: Materiality, Landscape, Expression

deadline for submissions: 
February 9, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Alexander D'Alisera (Boston College, USA) and Christina Cowart-Smith (Durham University, UK)


Alexander D'Alisera and Christina Cowart-Smith invite abstract submission to session #331 ("The Experience of Stone: Materiality, Landscape, Expression") at the 2023 annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists in Belfast. Please see the text below for further details. Any questions may be addressed to the organizers at and

Session Title and Number:
#331. The Experience of Stone: Materiality, Landscape, Expression

Alexander D'Alisera (Boston College, USA)
Christina Cowart-Smith (Durham University, UK)

9 February 2023


Stone is a durable, lasting medium. Even in its fragmentation, it exudes permanence, solidity, and symbolism. For millennia, humans have shaped stone, fashioning it into architectural wonders, sculptured monuments, objects of lived religion, and things of everyday use. At the same time, natural stonescapes, from caves and mountains to canyons and valleys, have played indisputable roles in the shaping of human experience and expression. Natural and hewn stone has long been used, reused, repurposed, and recycled in myriad contexts, at local, regional, and global levels. To this end, this session explores human relationships to stone from both historical and archaeological perspectives. It invites scholars of all time periods and geographies, but especially those working from the prehistoric to the medieval periods, to contribute papers exploring the experience of stone. Possible subjects include, but are not limited to: stone and the landscape; a phenomenology of stone; agentive stone; stone and lived religion; the theology of stone; the materiality of stone; the reuse of hewn or sculptured stone; the relationship of stone artifacts to ecofacts; stone and memory; or, shaping stone into space. Above all else, this session seeks to open a dialogue between eras, disciplines, methodologies, and geographies, with the particular aim of bringing archaeologists and historians into further conversation with one another.

stone, phenomenology, sculpture and architecture, landscape archaeology, material culture, monumentality