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Rie Bloch

PhD Student

Rie Bloch


Symbolic communication is a fundamental and defining trait of humankind. Throughout history and across cultures, symbolic functions of material culture – from the most mundane to the most abstract – are found across many different domains, e.g, tools, adornments etc. Abstract decoration on Stone Age pottery is one ubiquitous example of symbolic expression in prehistory that potentially offers insights into the cultural and cognitive affiliation, interaction and practice among the human groups behind these expressions.

By applying the Network Analysis on the Funnel Beaker decoration, I seek to decipher the syntax of these ornaments and hence, to decode the underlying system organising the ornaments beside one another. The Network Analysis enables me to discuss centrality of the different geometric ornaments and thus also the different roles they play, in the overall composition of ornamentation. The ornamented Funnel Beaker ceramics are no products of coincidence: they are evidence of human intentions which will be discussed in my project. 

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