Session: #249

Theme & Session Format

1. Networks, networking, communication: archaeology of interactions
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Going beyond Diffusion vs Migration: Perspectives on Social Change in Bronze Age Mediterranean Europe and ‘The Third Science Revolution’
The Mediterranean region has long been a development ground for theoretical perspectives on the development of social complexity, with much focus on elite trade and hierarchical power structures until recent years, with mobility and interaction playing a prominent role in models of large-scale social dynamics. Without doubt, new ancient DNA and stable isotope studies provide new opportunities through empirical analyses of mobility in prehistory. Though emphasising the crucial role the movement of people at various scales played in social change at multiple time-scales, concerns over integration with current archaeological thinking on contexts of mobility emerge. The Mediterranean is a region where several hypotheses have been put forward by different scholars identifying archaeologically detectable turning points, characterised by movement of people. Hence, the region provides us with a valuable venue to test the said hypotheses using a robust theoretical framework, with the aim of contextualizing the character and impact of human mobility. Only thus can we develop a viable multidisciplinary perspective which utilises new scientific data in a socially sensitive and theoretically informed manner.
The session explores this potential for multidisciplinarity by considering social change, even tipping points, that accommodate and trigger human mobility by integrating the assessment of related social phenomena. A major concern is to evaluate the balance between cultural identity and its material correlates. Though new analytical techniques are at the core of the focus, the aim is to showcase and explore how archaeology can lead in such collaborative venues, driving research agendas and methodologies, thus untapping the new datasets’ social dimensions. We welcome papers that explore the social character of mobility in Bronze Age Mediterranean Europe and neighbouring regions, working from local through to regional scales of analysis. Can we identify key turning points that hinge upon population shifts and changing regional relationships, and, if yes, how?
Migration, Mediterranean, Interaction, aDNA, Material-Culture, Bronze-Age
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Main organiser:
Barry Molloy (Ireland) 1
Francesco Iacono (Italy) 2
Hüseyin Öztürk (Turkey) 3,4
Vana Orfanou (Greece) 1
1. University College Dublin
2. Università di Bologna
3. College Year in Athens
4. American School of Classical Studies at Athens