Playing the Part: Masks and the Performance of Identity in Iron Age Cyprus

Lecture | September 12 | 5-7 p.m. | Graduate Theological Union, Center for the Arts & Religion, Doug Adams Gallery

 2465 LeConte Ave, Berkeley, CA

 Dr. Erin Walcek Averett, Associate Professor, Archaeology, Creighton University

 Center for the Graduate Theological Union Arts & Religion, Bade Museum of Biblical Archaeology, Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion

Masks of many types were used in the ancient Mediterranean for a variety of purposes, from ritual performances to theatrical plays. The island of Cyprus is well known for its abundance of masks depicting primarily bulls and bearded males. Although these distinct masks have been the subject of focused studies as well as broader investigations on Phoenician and Punic masks, there has been no comprehensive and diachronic overview of this important corpus contextualized within its Cypriot setting. This talk reevaluates the evidence for masking rituals in Late Bronze Age and Iron Age Cyprus through close analysis of archaeological contexts to reconstruct masked performances.