Preface: Continuities and Changes of Meaning
It is our pleasure to introduce the Distant Worlds Journal (DWJ), an online peer-reviewed journal established especially for presenting the research of early-career scholars on the ancient world. In seeking to encompass a broad range of distinct academic fields, each edition of the DWJ takes as its starting point a question or specific topic pertinent to the diverse disciplines engaged in the study of ancient cultures. In our opening edition, “Continuities and Changes of Meaning”, we thus wish to take up a question that both scrutinises and captures the very essence of scholarly endeavour: how does the meaning of an object change – or resist change? – throughout its “life” both in the past and, as an object of academic research, in the present? It was our aim in choosing this topic to not only address the changing functions, contexts, and interpretations of objects in antiquity, but also to problematise our own modes of interpreting the (material and textual) remains of societies temporally distant from our own.