Session: #281

Theme & Session Format

Archaeological theory and methods beyond paradigms
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Scientific Dating and Central-Western Mediterranean Prehistory: Developments and Perspectives
The previous two decades have witnessed the widespread application of absolute scientific dating methods in Mediterranean prehistory, following a scholarly tradition dedicated to artefact seriation and typo-chronologies. This surge in research has resulted in an ever-growing body of radiocarbon data, enabling new understanding of the chronology and tempo of cultural change in Mediterranean prehistory. In light of this, we ask what have been the major developments in our understanding of regional chronologies in central-western Mediterranean prehistory over that past 25 years? What are the regions and time periods that required focused research? What are the methodological issues surrounding the application of absolute dating methods in central-western Mediterranean prehistory?
This session seeks to draw together active researchers working towards an improved understanding of the absolute chronology of the central-western Mediterranean area (the Balkans, Italy, southern France, Iberian Peninsula, Maghreb and their surrounding islands) during prehistory, from the 8th to 2nd millennium BCE. We aim to reinforce the obvious but often-overlooked fact that absolute chronology is central to our discipline, especially for the purposes of comparing trends between regions, or examining the archaeological context of environmental change. In light of the ever-growing body of chronological data and methodological advancements over the last 25 years, we invite papers that provide updated regional chronologies for central-western Mediterranean prehistory, especially those presenting new radiocarbon data or new methods for their analysis. Also invited are overviews of historical developments in absolute chronologies. Contributions can deal with an entire country, region or representative site, and we particularly welcome approaches that seek to reconcile absolute chronologies from scientific dating with more traditional approaches to chronology, or other sources of information such as palaeoenvironmental proxies.
Central Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, Prehistory, Chronology, Scientific dating
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Main organiser:
Eóin Parkinson (United Kingdom) 1
T. Rowan McLaughlin (Spain) 2
1. University of Cambridge
2. Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES)