The archaeological process of reconstructing and understanding our past has undergone several reassessments in the last century and latest years, producing an equal amount of new perspectives and approaches. The recent material turn emphasizes the necessity to ground those achievements in order to build fresh avenues of interpretation and reach new boundaries in the study of the human kind and its ecology. If materiality is a key element in the development of the archaeological and anthropological discourse, symbols are the intrinsic value that lead to interpretation, infused in their physical body as well as a result of the minds and gestures that created it in a specific context and with a specific chaîne opératoire. Symbol, therefore, must not be conceived only as allegory but also, and perhaps mainly, as reason (raison d’être) and meaning (culture). For these motivations, symbols must be considered as a paramount aspect in the archaeological investigation, which require their own dedicated space for a collective analysis and discussion, hence the ICAS conference.
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