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The Cyprus Institute's Bioarchaeology group participates in the preparation of the new exhibition ‘The Body’ at the Cyprus Museum

thebody-5538The Department of Antiquities is presenting, with The Cyprus Institute’s contribution, the temporary exhibition “The Body: lived experiences in ancient Cyprus” which is hosted at the Cyprus Museum.

For archaeologists, who study human civilisation through the ages, the body constitutes the creator, as well as the witness of history. As the creator, the body shaped society in a dynamic way through the use of objects and its involvement in cultural practices, such as work, food consumption or ritual and recreational activities. Lived experiences that resulted from the connection of people with the world were inscribed on the body, becoming integral parts of personhood and social identity. The human body, therefore, preserves indications of its tangible and elusive action and bears witness to the culture of ancient societies that shaped it, literally and metaphorically.

Within the above framework the exhibition presents antiquities dated from the Neolithic to the Early Christian period, originating from archaeological sites throughout Cyprus. Figurines, sculpture, vessels, jewellery, grooming and medical tools, musical instruments, and skeletal remains are presented, some for the first time to the public, inviting the visitor to explore some aspects of the ancient body’s lived experiences. Through traces in the form of skeletal remains and artefacts, the exhibition fleshes out the invisible male and female protagonists who were once active on the island of Cyprus.

A team of experts from the Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Center (STARC) of The Cyprus Institute contributed to the exhibition by providing scientific consultation on the domain of human bioarchaeology, design and execution of bioarchaeology and related exhibits, and the production of videos regarding archaeologically significant human remains as evidence of lived experience, using 3D technologies, Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), Photogrammetry and other technologies. The CyI team is led by Dr Kirsi O. Lorentz (Asst Professor at CyI). Team members contributing to the production of videos include the following CyI staff and interns: Ropertos Georgiou, Andriana Nicolaidou, Panayiotis Kyriacou, Eleni Athanasiou, and Alexia Kolosova. Eleni Markidou contributed to the preparation of the bioarchaeology exhibits.

The exhibition opening by the Minister of Communications and Works took place on 17 May 2014 within the framework of the International Museum Day and European Night of Museums. The exhibition will run until February 2015. Further information and related events can be found here.

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