The Value of All Things

30 August – 3 September 2017

The Value of All Things.

Value expression and value assessment in the Ancient World (Europe, Near East and the Mediterranean)

Session #314 of the 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

Organizers : Alexis Gorgues, Lene Melheim (Museum of Cultural History, Oslo) and Thibaud Poigt


The idea that things have a value is probably almost universal. In contrast, as a social construction, value assessment may be very different from one place to another. Roughly, we can consider that the social “construction” of value can follow three different paths.
Firstly, value can be measured and expressed according to one or more standard units. Such behaviors are nowadays intensely investigated, mainly through the study of the various forms of money of through the materiality of measurement
Secondly, value may be related with the symbolic relevance of things: prestige transmitted through successive owners, provenience, uses… This dimension of value is mainly explored through the study of objects biography.
Thirdly, value may be linked with the labor related to the making of the object, with its quality. This labor value is indeed poorly investigated, but can be approached through technique studies, still fashionable nowadays.
Value is often assessed by taking more than one of these criteria into consideration, and actual scenarios are indeed numerous and complex. We would like to invite, in this session, contributions interested in dealing with the many faces of value and with value assessment practices in a long-term perspective, in Europe, Near East and Mediterranean, from Bronze to Iron Age, including the Classical world. Contributors may present papers or posters discussing one of the three aspects mentioned before, or cross-analysis taking into account different factors.

OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Thibaud Poigt (April 17, 2020). The Value of All Things. TIE : Trade, Institutions, Economics. Retrieved July 13, 2024 from

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