Book: Constructing Data in Religious Studies
Chapter: 12. Scholars and the Framing of Objects
Scholars who study the ancient world often assume that material artifacts from the past have a meaning, an identity, and the role of the scholar is to access those meanings as much, or as closely and accurately, as possible. Despite this common assumption and in response—as well as in agreement—to Craig Martin’s chapter, who argues that reality is mind-dependent and that scholars produce what they study, this essay further looks at how artifacts, such as for example terracotta figurines, became meaningful objects from the past and consequently items worth studying through scholarly discourses.