The archaeology of art is a term that includes a wide range of artworks. One of the most challenging is ephemeral art. This term hides a complex reality that encompasses different understandings of art: from body painting to temporary housing or furniture created for special occasions such as pilgrimages or coronation ceremonies. In fact, studying ephemeral art from an archaeological point of view seems contradictory because something ephemeral does not leave material traces. However, material culture gives us some clues to understand the presence of the ephemeral in artworks. The following sections address how archaeologists can investigate this type of art not only through ethnoarchaeological case-studies but also through the material culture left behind in the production of ephemeral art.
From an archaeological point of view, ephemeral art deals with temporary artworks and performances that have archaeologically low visibility. However, they can be...
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