Aegean monkeys and the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration in archaeoprimatology: a reply to Urbani and Youlatos

Marie Nicole Pareja, Tracie Mckinney, Joanna M. Setchell

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Abstract

In their reply to our article “A new identification of the monkeys depicted in a Bronze Age wall painting from Akrotiri, Thera” [Primates 61(3), 2019], Urbani and Youlatos (Primates https ://doi.org/10.1007/s1032 9-020-00825 -2, 2020) argue for the traditional identification of the monkeys depicted on the north and west walls of Room 6 of Building Complex Beta at Akrotiri, Thera, as vervet monkeys (Fig. 1). Their argument is based largely on previous scholarship and their analysis of monkey morphology as it appears in this Bronze Age artwork. Here, after clarifying some misconceptions and misquotations, we thoroughly contextualize the wall painting in question, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between disparate disciplines for a multifaceted and rigorous approach. The nature of the item in question is key in this reply: it is an artwork. Because the artwork in question is a cultural representation of monkeys rather than a study of live primates or preserved specimens, consideration of artistic choice, color conventions, and the agency of the artist, which are important
facets of material culture, is important when answering the questions raised by Urbani and Youlatos, and should stimulate further cross-disciplinary discussions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-774
Number of pages8
JournalPrimates
Volume61
Issue number6
Early online date5 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Art
  • Bronze Age Aegean
  • Exchange
  • Indus
  • Langur

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