An interesting take on the runic pots from Spong Hill

Shine A Light Project

Today’s guest blog is from Livia Roschdi and features one of our ‘star objects’, the Spong Hill Pots. Livia is an intern with Norfolk Museum Service’s Archaeology Department.

Communication problems: Understanding our Past through Signs and Symbols

As a historical linguist, I am often confronted with the question of how communication over centuries works. Scholars come up with many different readings and explanations of objects from the past and claim to know what they are, what they were used for and even draw (sometimes hasty) conclusions on the respective society. But do we actually understand our ancestors? Do we read the signs correctly or are we just interpreting from our modern point of view?

According to Ferdinand de Saussure, a Swiss linguist of the early 20th century and a key figure in the study of semiotics (the study of signs), a sign represents or stands for an idea of an…

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