The many lives of Chikaba's jar: biography of an 18th century pot from a convent in Salamanca, Spain

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Presentation for EAA session 582

Tucked away in a small cabinet in a convent in Salamanca (Spain) is a finely crafted little jar. Originally a filtered water jar of islamic origin, it has since had a wide and diverse range of lives, from utilitarian object to Christian relic. In its life trajectory, it has woven together people, things, and historical processes across cultures, borders and religions, from its maker Halim to its most famous owner, the 18th century afro-hispanic nun, former slave, and renowned writer Teresa Chikaba. The jar’s long and complex life trajectory thus illustrates and embodies a web of entangled lives, material processes, and global encounters. Through a combination of archival research and the reconstruction of the jar’s chaîne opératoire, we have started to untangle these complex webs and traced some of the diverse past lives of this curious object and the stories it tells about the slave trade, relics, islam, Christianity, court intrigues, politics, and racism in 18th century Spain and beyond.
Period2 Sept 2022
Event titleAnnual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA): (Re)Integration
Event typeConference
LocationBudapestShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational