A work-in-progress talk by Shirley Elderfield, PhD student in Classical Studies and Religious Studies at The Open University.
Abstract: The area of the senses and sensory experience is one which is currently being explored and developed within both Religious Studies and Classical Studies as an approach to understanding and interpreting the ancient world. The Oracle of Zeus at Dodona in north-western Greece functioned from the eighth century BCE until the second century CE. A study of the ancient textual sources will be used together with an evaluation of the material remains and objects connected with the sanctuary in order to formulate an assessment of sensory experience at the oracle site. Although the sense of sound is particularly relevant at Dodona, this research will consider all the senses and embrace the concept of ‘intersensoriality’ to evaluate the ways in which the different senses relate to and interplay with each other. In this context, a material approach is key to understanding the function of the material objects and how their relationship both to other objects and the individual helps to create the sensory experience.