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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: April 2020

Four - Combining


In Chapters 2 and 3 I described modelling and imprinting as techniques that, through the transformations they impose, serve to prompt a creative outlook on the real. By viewing material technologies in this way, a range of ancient materialities, such as figurines, models, miniatures, seals, sealings and relief stone vases, can be made to appear in a new light. What I want to do in this chapter is develop a framework for looking anew at a creative phenomenon that is quite common in the Aegean Bronze Age, and in many other ancient, and indeed modern, settings. This creative mode entails the combining or ‘blending’ of heterogeneous elements – putting pieces together that might not seem to belong together at all. But the composite that is thereby generated can be quite powerful. It may be counterintuitive, but that is very much the point – the counterintuitive combination of parts feeds the imagination.1