Session: #202

Theme & Session Format

1. Widening horizons through human-environment interconnections
Session format:
Session with keynote presentation and discussion

Title & Content

Ancient Cultural Routes: Past Transportation as a Two-Way Interaction between Society and Environment
Ancient regional routes were vital for interactions between settlements and deeply influenced the development of past societies and their “complexification” (e.g. “urbanization”, Roman expansion). For example, terrestrial routes required resources and inter-settlement cooperation to be established and maintained, and can be regarded as an epiphenomenon of social interactions. Similarly, navigable rivers provided a complementary inter-settlement connectivity, which conditioned the development of roads and pathways. In this sense, fluvial and terrestrial connections can be seen as the two layers of an integrated regional transportation system, which was the product of social relations and of the interplay between past societies and environment. Sea transportation is also relevant as it expands the scale of these relations and interplays.
When we consider past societies, we implicitly or explicitly take into account interlinked aspects, such as their culture, traditions, politics, economy and religion. Under the umbrella of environment, we include topography, terrain, visibility, water management and sustainability,
In view of numerous conference sessions and publications on transport networks in past societies, this session specifically focuses on how the transportation networks and their modes, from terrestrial to riverine, sea routes or a combination of them, were a crucial part of the dialogue between past societies and the environment and how the dynamic processes related to human culture were developed by this dialogue. Following this rationale, we welcome methodological papers and case studies that focus on:
- How the constraints of the physical environment impacted on dynamic processes of human societies in the past, such as cultural transmission, trade, migration, and war, or in the opposite direction;
- How the activities and motivations of human agents shaped and structured the environment with respect to mobility.
Routes, Society, Environment, Mobility, Cultures, Dynamic processes
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Main organiser:
Francesca Mazzilli (Norway) 1
Tomáš Glomb (Norway) 1
Francesca Fulminante (United Kingdom) 2,3
Franziska Faupel (Germany) 4
1. University of Bergen
2. University of Bristol
3. University Roma Tre
4. University of Kiel