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Gesture and body senses in Assyrian palace reliefs.

Grant number: 19/16055-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2020
Effective date (End): June 28, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Ancient and Medieval History
Principal researcher:Marcelo Aparecido Rede
Grantee:Leandro Penna Ranieri
Supervisor abroad: Martin Worthington
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Cambridge, England  
Associated to the scholarship:18/13540-7 - Gesture and body senses in Assyrian palace reliefs (IX-VII BCE), BP.PD


The purpose of the whole postdoc research is to identify and examine the gestural expression and the evocation of body senses in the Assyrian palace reliefs of the first millennium BCE (9th to 7th centuries), from the palaces of Kalhu (or Nimrud, from the reign periods of Assurnasirpal II and Tiglath-Pileser III) and Nineveh (from the reigns of Sennacherib and Assurbanipal II). In bas-relief wall sculptures, implemented inside the Assyrian palaces during its imperial development, the images of the body configure the meaning of these objects. The knowledge of the historical context, the palace architecture and the relief narrative scenes has served to analyse the bodily aspects. Concerning gesture and body senses, the general historiography has identified, in written sources, how the senses are valued and how they constitute sensorial environments, in different places and times, as well as how the gestures appear in expressions that communicate, by body metaphors, a meaning related to behaviour codes. However, in ancient or modern, Eastern or Western contexts, body gestures and senses are treated as detached research topics, mainly investigated through written documents. In the relief images, the body figures in gestures can evocate the composition of a sensorial environment, inside or outside the image, related to lighting, sound, odour and kinaesthetic experiences. Based on an approach that combines the recognized contributions of anthropology, archaeology and history, it seeks to examine gesture and body senses, and their interconnection, from the images of the Assyrian palace reliefs. For the proposed five-month research internship abroad, the focus is on the reliefs from the Kalhu historical setting. This focus unfolds into three aims: a research one, considering writing an analytical essay; a bibliographic survey of recent works both on the Neo-Assyrian history and on Sensorial Studies; and active academic participation in seminars.

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