School of History, Classics & Archaeology

CANCELLED - Munro Lecture - Prof Dr David Fontijn: 'The Bronze Age "destructive economy"’

HCA Prof Dr David Fontijn
Professor Dr David Fontijn

How can a society function when its members systematically destroy objects and materials that are important to them? Bizarre as it may seem, useful, scarce and sometimes even objects of outstanding quality were often deliberately destroyed by people. In this lecture, Professor Dr Fontijn will deal with this strange practice, by focusing on one period in which such destructive practices reached unseen heights: the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age of Europe (c. 2300-500 BC).

Intriguingly, this ‘destruction’ appears not to have been as irrational as it seems, but rather highly structured, patterned and related to the construction and dissolution of social and personal identities. It appears that, in a way, ‘value’ was constructed by destroying valuables. This will bring us to much broader questions on the nature of ‘economy’ in general: to achieve something in society, sometimes something else has to be given up. At root, every economy has an element of destruction.

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The event is free and open to all and will be followed by a reception.

Professor Dr David Fontijn

David Fontijn is Professor in the Archaeology of Early Europe at the Faculty of Archaeology, University of Leiden and affiliated member of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). His research focuses on ritual landscapes and on the social evolution of prehistoric farming societies in Europe and Eurasia. He is the author of 'Economies of Destruction' (Routledge, 2019) and the award-winning 'Sacrificial Landscapes' (2003).


More on the Munro Lectures

Apr 02 2020 -

CANCELLED - Munro Lecture - Prof Dr David Fontijn: 'The Bronze Age "destructive economy"’

Professor Dr David Fontijn will deliver the Munro Lecture, 'The Bronze Age "destructive economy"’.

Meadows Lecture Theatre, William Robertson Wing, Doorway 4, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG