Session: #173

Theme & Session Format

Archaeology of mountainous landscapes
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Archaeology of Mountainous Landscapes in Balkan Prehistory
Ascribed to the peninsula by the German geographer Zeune in 1808, the term Balkan – a chain of wooded mountains in Turkish – describes the region’s main geographic features. Balkan landscape is indeed characterised by mountain ranges intersected by small plateaus and deep river valleys that give way to narrow plains near the sea. Throughout Balkan prehistory mountains alternately represented borders and zones of contact, whereas the river system played a major role as communication route, connecting inland areas to both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
Specifically focussing on the Balkan Peninsula, this session aims at understanding different aspects of the interplay between human groups and the mountainous landscape and its change over time.
One of the main goals is to stimulate a theoretical informed debate based on archaeological evidence by cutting across traditional geographic, methodological, and chronological boundaries and by challenging established assumptions and interpretative frameworks In particular, the following topics will be discussed:
1) Appropriation of resources in a mountainous environment. These are intended as socially produced constructions expressing what people perceived as relevant for their life, and satisfying both physical and social needs.
2) Building local and “global” identities, change and endurance of cultural customs and socio-political relations
3) Mountains as sacred topography. Perception and reshaping of natural landscapes in connection with cult practices and funerary customs.
We invite doctoral students, early career researchers, and established scholars to submit papers discussing their research in Balkan Prehistory. Papers adopting a comparative or diachronic perspective stressing both on local characteristics and interregionally shared features are especially welcome.
Balkans, Prehistory, Mountain, Landscape
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Main organiser:
Maja Gori (Germany) 1
Anja Hellmuth Kramberger (Austria) 2
Tobias Krapf (Switzerland) 3
Giulia Recchia (Italy) 4
1. Ruhr University of Bochum
2. Universalmuseum Joanneum
3. Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece
4. University of Foggia