Re-thinking early prehistoric art as a cognitive technology: neuroscientific, anthropological, and techno-functional perspectives
Dušan Borić received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and is a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. He is an anthropological archaeologist interested in dynamics of culture change and cultural transmission processes. His primary foci have been foraging and the first farming societies in the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean. He has written about various aspects of mortuary and corporeal symbolism, social memory, and household archaeology in prehistoric periods. He is also interested in the integration of science-based methodologies and archaeological interpretation, primarily in relation to palaeodietary studies and radiocarbon dating in conjunction with Bayesian statistical modeling.
At the Italian Academy in the Fall and Spring semesters, his research will focus on the rethinking of prehistoric art by drawing on a range of neuroscientific, anthropological, and techno-functional perspectives. A particular focus will be on the interdependence of diverse modes of depiction in prehistoric contexts and different ontological schemes of practice.
His published volumes include Archaeology and Memory (2010) and Past Bodies: Body-Centred Research in Archaeology (2008), the latter co-edited with John Robb. His most recent monograph, Deathways at Lepenski Vir: Patterns in Mortuary Practice (2016), explores the role of mortuary data in reconstructing diverse practice-based rituals and perceptions of the living and dead body throughout the Mesolithic and Neolithic use of this iconic site of European Prehistory. Methodologically, the book provides a comprehensive case for the necessity of integrating archaeological and bioarchaeological data. He has conducted archaeological field work at a number of Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic sites in Serbia and Montenegro, and participated in research projects in Italy, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, and Brazil.