Peter S. Wells is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. His special field of interest is later prehistoric Europe, especially the Bronze and Iron Ages and the Roman Period. He has directed archaeological excavations at three prehistoric settlement sites in Bavaria, Germany. Among his thematic interests are interactions between societies, visual representation and perception, and systems of communication. His most recent books are How Ancient Europeans Saw the World: Vision, Patterns, and the Shaping of the Mind in Prehistoric Times (Princeton 2012) and, as editor, Rome Beyond its Frontiers: Imports, Attitudes and Practices (Journal of Roman Archaeology, Supplementary Series, 2013).
Title of Talk:
Teaser: The development and introduction of writing systems have resulted in profound changes in all societies. What kinds of systems of communication did writing replace? How can we interpret the images, designs, and signs that people used to communicate and store information in pre-literate contexts? This paper examines the evidence from the Bronze and Iron Ages of Europe to answer these questions.