Reading Ancient Temples through the Lens of Disability Studies and Mobility Design

Footprints at Ain Dara
Professor Laura Zucconi
Date 06/06/2023 at 17.30 - 06/06/2023 at 19.15 Where Syndicate Room 3 (Chancellor's Centre) & Zoom

How can the archaeology of temples account for people with disabilities?

Footprints at Ain Dara


Modern archaeological scholarship works under the assumption that the physical space of the ancient world, much like the modern, was oriented towards the able bodied. This has rendered people with disabilities as “archaeologically invisible.” Recent developments have proven that it is possible to look for previously invisible groups. Archaeologists have revealed items related to disability such as prostheses and votives of body parts at healing shrines. Yet, excavations and the subsequent interpretations of material culture still tend not to consider the lived experiences of the people with disabilities in antiquity. In this talk, Prof. Zucconi will suggest a new approach which integrates disability studies into the field of archaeology in order to reveal the lives of the disabled. She will draw upon another burgeoning field of mobility design as a possible avenue for revealing the lived experiences of the disabled. Disability Studies and Mobility Design are here used to study the access to temples for people with disabilities in ancient Greece, Egypt, and Canaan/Israel. The talk will demonstrate that disability can be read if archaeologists understand the theology behind the construction of religious sites.



Laura Zucconi is a Professor at Stockton University. Her research interests are the interplay of religion, medicine, and Levantine archaeology. Her books are Can No Physician be Found: The Influence of Religion on Medical Pluralism in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Israel (Gorgias 2010) and Ancient Medicine: From Mesopotamia to Rome (Eerdmans 2019). She is working on The Formation of Edom: Archaeology and the Political-economic Alliance of Timna, Feinan, and Buseirah.



This is a hybrid event, which will take place in-person in Syndicate Room 3 (Chancellor's Centre) and also on Zoom.

If you would like to attend online, please register for the Zoom link.

Refreshments will be available for the in-person audience.


The Humanities Society organises regular talks spanning a wide range of topics. Every Tuesday during term time.



This event will take place in Syndicate Room 3 on the second floor of the Chancellor's Centre. It has step-free access with a lift and there is an accessible toilet located each floor of the building.

For more details please view our AccessAble guide.

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