Session: #417

Theme & Session Format

4. Globalisation and archaeology
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Connectivity in Later Prehistoric Europe: Mobility, Trade and Interaction from the 2nd Millennium BCE to the 1st Millennium AD
Recent scientific and methodological advances have reshaped our understanding of ancient mobility. Although patterns of far-reaching contact have long been hypothesised, DNA and isotope analyses have demonstrated that mobility was much more widespread than has traditionally been supposed, and that these networks were complex and diverse. Furthermore, artefact studies (including the more routine implementation of materials science and provenance studies) are demonstrating the ubiquity of long-distance trade networks, and the different ways trade (here defined as any peaceful way of exchanging materials, commodities or services) was made.

Such strong and sustained levels of connectivity between different regions for varying durations could only have been achieved with a certain degree of agreement over common social and economic rules, which must have been achieved on the basis of an enduring shared practice, particularly in pre-literate societies where written laws did not exist. As such, informal institutions – i.e. those not enforced by law but based on a common sense of honour and trust – must have been sufficiently strong to allow for swift travel and convenient interaction, within or outwith a formal economic framework.

This session invites contributions examining the materiality of long-distance networks across Continental, Atlantic, Northern and pre-classical Mediterranean Europe, from the beginning of the Bronze Age until the appearance of written law. Papers examining patterns of trade, exchange and mobility through systems of material exchange or distribution, the transmission of ideas (related to, for example, technological or symbolic activities) and bioarchaeological methods are welcome, as are those which consider these processes from a range of perspectives: theoretical models, case studies, regional synthesis, etc.
Bronze Age, Iron Age, Connectivity, Trade, Mobility, Institutions
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Main organiser:
Alexis Gorgues (France) 1
Lindsey Büster (United Kingdom) 2
Matija Črešnar (Slovenia) 3
Lene Melheim (Norway) 4,5
Thibaud Poigt (France) 6,7
1. University Bordeaux Montaigne
2. Department of Archaeology
3. University of Ljubljana
4. University of Oslo
5. Museum of Cultural History
6. UMR 5607 Ausonius - Bordeaux
7. UMR 5608 Traces - Toulouse