Session: #359

Theme & Session Format

2. [Re]integration
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Borderlands, Interaction Zones, and Bounded Spaces in the Prehistoric Eastern Mediterranean: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Reconstruction of Connectivity
In recent years the global challenges in mobility dynamics and permeability of modern nation state borders, particularly obvious in the eastern Mediterranean, have revived archaeological discussions on the reconstruction of connectivity, mobility patterns, and the definition of material culture transformations along marginal zones, borderzones, or simply bounded spaces. However, these terms are often used interchangeably and under biased interpretations to denote complex phenomena and socio-cultural or political circumstances that go beyond simply the natural and physical conditions of geographical limits. In particular, there is a gap in archaeological knowledge between developing regional and interregional patterns in the examination of large-scale circulation of artefacts and the identification of such ‘in-between’ areas, where phenomena of hybridisation and creativity take place in the expression of ethnic and cultural identity. Such transformations are especially complex and require multi-level, interdisciplinary approaches in islandscapes and coastscapes, where technological and ideological/conceptual innovations are explained under the influence of core-periphery models.
This session aims to bring together contributions from various geographical contexts in the eastern Mediterranean, presenting multiscalar and theoretically informed projects, with a special emphasis in the Aegean basin, to tackle:
• the definition of cultural borders;
• patterns of bilateral interaction and integration of ‘foreign’ materials;
• the transmission and transfer of goods and ideas and identity negotiation;
• the past mobility of people during the later prehistory.
We particularly invite papers developing theoretical frameworks with specific case studies, addressing the impact of modern geopolitical borders and biases in our definitions of archaeological frontiers particularly in regions with long-term or ongoing conflicts, and the fluidity of such concepts and application of bottom-up micro-scale approaches in understanding shifting traditions and relevant effects in shaping interaction borderzones.
Borderzones, Connectivity, Eastern Mediterranean, Pottery, Interdisciplinarity
Session associated with MERC:
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Main organiser:
Sergios Menelaou (Cyprus) 1
Umay Oğuzhanoğlu (Turkey) 2
Ourania Kouka (Cyprus) 1
1. Archaeological Research Unit, University of Cyprus
2. Department of Archaeology, Pamukkale University