Session: #511

Theme & Session Format

4. Globalisation and archaeology
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

A Crossroads between the Continents – Interdisciplinary Approaches to Interconnectedness in the Ancient Mediterranean
Since the first transition of hominins out of Africa, the Mediterranean – with its unique landscape and central position – has served as a pathway between Africa, Asia and Europe. It saw the rise and collapse of vast interaction networks, and has been (and still is) mediating the movement of people, and along with them the exchange of objects, technology and cultural practices. These human interactions took place at different temporal and spatial scales that can be traced by an ever-growing array of methods that in turn require increased integration and communication between disciplines.
The inquiry into Mediterranean interconnectedness is not answered with the mere description of interactions, but encompasses questions about both their catalysts and effects, such as the roles of health – especially technological innovations, social organization, the spread of diseases and pandemics, and climate.
We welcome contributions that use inter- and cross-disciplinary approaches to study connectivity between the regions surrounding the Mediterranean during the main periods of what could be termed "ancient globalization" in the 2ndmillennium BC to the 1st millennium AD: from the emergence of regional kingdoms and first territorial entities with their "international relations" in the Middle and Late Bronze Age, until the intensified mobility and cultural entanglement associated with the trade networks, colonies and imperialist expansions of the Greek, Phoenician and Roman cultures. Such approaches may include, but are not limited to: stable isotope analysis, aDNA of humans, animals and pathogens, proteomics, material source analysis, network analysis, and statistical modelling. In this session, we aim to gather a broad scope of methodological approaches and research questions into the individual and large-scale movements seen in the ancient Mediterranean, their causes and demographic effects, and what this can potentially reveal about the response of societies to demographic, political and environmental changes, as well as to catastrophes and crises.
Interdisciplinary Approaches, Mediterranean, Connectivity, Bioarchaeology, Demography, Mobility
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The Max Planck – Harvard Research Center for the Archaeoscience of the Ancient Mediterranean (MHAAM)


Main organiser:
Alissa Mittnik (United States) 1,2
Stefanie Eisenmann (Germany) 3
Alexander More (United States) 4,5
1. Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
2. Harvard Medical School
3. Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Department of Archaeogenetics, Jena
4. Climate Change Institute, UMaine
5. Initiative for the Science of the Human Past, Harvard University