Hand in hand: Rethinking anatomical votives as material things.

Graham, Emma-Jayne (2020). Hand in hand: Rethinking anatomical votives as material things. In: Gasparini, V; Patzelt, M; Raja, R; Rieger, A-K; Rupke, J and Urciuoli, E eds. Lived Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World: Approaching Religious Transformations from Archaeology, History and Classics. De Gruyter, pp. 209–236.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110557596-012


Religious experience in ancient Italy was intimately connected with the production, manipulation, veneration, and discarding of material objects. This chapter argues that for a fuller understanding of lived religion it is necessary to approach these objects as more than the mere material or visual expression of otherwise intangible concepts. It consequently explores the affective relations between things, particularly how objects and human bodies assemble in order to produce lived religious experience and religious knowledge. Taking votive terracotta models of hands from mid-Republican Italy as a case study, this chapter adopts a broadly new materialist approach to the examination of anatomical votives, focusing on the tripartite affectivity of these offerings as objects manipulated in the moment of ritual, as material things, and as bodily proxies.

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