Technological change in the Laurion silver mining area. An archaeological contribution to the study of the Athenian economy
This study sets out to explore technological change in the Laurion silver mining industry within the wider debate on the Athenian economy. The study of ancient technology has known a turbulent history, which was greatly determined by primitivistic and substantivistic views, specifically those formulated by Moses Finley in 1973. Under this influence, the debate on economy and technology was immersed in a particularly negative atmosphere: the ancient economy was supposedly characterised by stagnation, and hence, technological advancement could never be accomplished. In spite of the fact that several of these ingrained prejudices have been set aside and technology is now considered an important agent in history, present research is still problematic in two distinct respects. The first problem is the overemphasis on Roman technologies, with the underestimation of Greek realisations as unfortunate corollary. The second issue is the neglect of the archaeological evidence in the scientific discourse on Greek technology. There is no better case study to tackle these issues than the Athenian silver mines at Laurion, located in southeast Attica. A close study of the archaeological evidence has revealed remarkable technological innovations. For instance, miners and metallurgists experimented and improved their technologies continuously. Some of these advances were small and random in nature but others, such as the hydraulic mortars, affected more far-reaching developments that enabled the reorganisation of the silver business. These results challenge the primitivistic/substantivist views that suggest the lack of economic growth and technological advancement in ancient Greece, but will hopefully also form a stimulus for a different, less biased debate on the ancient Greek economy in which archaeology has a more prominent role to play.
The reciprocity between architecture and man: power representation in the Mycenaean megaron-palaces
In archaeology, we want to reconstruct human activity, namely human experiences and social activities, that took place on an archaeological site. These two aspects are the most difficult to comprehend for the Late Helladic IIIB society of Mycenaean Greece from which there are no literary sources. Architecture, as it is the built-environment in which the social activity took place, is a great source of information to fill this gap. The relationship between humans and architecture contains a certain reciprocity as man creates architecture, but architecture facilitates the activities and experiences obtained by a visitor. Creating a sense of movement and control and incorporating symbolic representation within a built-environment can be perceived as non-verbal communication with the visitor. This article presents analyses of the Mycenaean megaron-palace of Pylos and comparative material from Tiryns. An integrative approach, combining space syntax methodology with material analyses and an anthropological perspective on power architecture, is used to gain a new perspective on the social activities within the ruling class of this society.
Peer Polity Interaction in Archaic Latium Vetus: temple building as a form of competition
Latium Vetus witnessed a rapid development of city-states in the region from the sixth until the beginning of the fifth century BC. With an average distance of 10-15 km in between these city-states, intensive interaction is assumed. In this paper such interaction is demonstrated by using the theory of Peer Polity Interaction (or PPI), introduced by Colin Renfrew in 1986. PPI assumes that neighbouring socio-politically independent polities – in this case city-states of equal complexity such as Ardea, Lanuvium, Velletri, Satricum and Lavinium – compete with each other through various networks of interaction and communication. This case study illustrates how contact between these cities resulted in a temple building competition amongst them.
Empty tombs in a new light. A study of the Late Orientalising and Early Archaic graves from Crustumerium(Italy) (ca. 650-500 BC)
This article aims to shed light on the (almost) empty tombs from the Late Orientalising and Early Archaic periods in Crustumerium (Central Italy). Whereas the tombs dating to the Early and Middle Orientalising periods were generally quite wealthy, containing personal ornaments and banqueting sets, the later dating tombs were almost completely deprived of objects. In addition, the funerary architecture for latter periods was generally less refined and many tombs were used for more than one burial. Furthermore, these tombs show a much larger variety in their orientation and often interfere with existing tomb constructions. Whilst the reduction of the funerary wealth has often been explained as a result of sumptuary legislation issued in the Twelve Tables, it is argued in this article that the changes in the funerary ritual should also be related to processes of urbanisation and state formation. Aristocratic families presumably shifted their focus of investment to the urbanised centres and away from the funerary realm. A change in the ideological perception of death and the afterlife may further explain why deceased relatives were no longer accompanied with an elaborate set of objects.
Between legacy and legacy data: the heritage of a lost landscape around Crustumerium (North-Latium, Italy)
Archaeological field surveys from the 1970’s suggested that there was a considerable increase in the number of sites in the territories of Latin settlements such as Crustumerium, Fidenae, Ficulea and Collatia during the Orientalising and Archaic period (seventh and sixth century BC). As a consequence, there was a subsequent period of decreasing exploitation of the countryside from the end of the Early-Republican period onwards, when these territories fell under the influence of Rome. Although the data from the 1970’s surveys is both extensive and valuable, more recent data from the 1990’s surveys demonstrate that this model can no longer be retained. Moreover, the increased establishment of settlements during the Archaic period (the “Archaic boom”) was much less intense than previously thought. A critical reassessment of the dating evidence from all survey data necessitated the reconsideration of the chronological developments in the areas to the north-east of Rome in these periods. Instead of a period of growth followed by a period of decline, the data indicates a continuously increasing exploitation of the countryside from the Orientalising period until the Imperial period. In light of their analysis the authors emphasize the value of legacy data, but also stress the importance of a critical evaluation of the compatibility and quality of the source material.
Sicilië in de oudheid. De Griekse periode
Romeinen en Barbaren. De ondergang van het Romeinse Rijk in het Westen
The Urbanisation of Rome and Latium Vetus From the Bronze Age to the Archaic Era
Carthago. Opkomst & ondergang
The Chora of Metaponto 3: Archaeological Field Survey – Bradano to Basento, vol. I, II, III
Die Grabreliefs aus dem Bosporanischen Reich
Two oxen ahead: Pre-mechanized farming in the Mediterranean
introducties op lopend onderzoek
Reconceptualizing the Greek countryside: a material culture perspective
The sea and land routes of Southern Euboia, ca. 4000–1 BC. A case study in mediterranean interconnectivity
Ways of life and death in a pastoralist landscape: an archaeology of nomadism in Jordan’s Black Desert between Hellenistic and Early Islamic times
The agricultural economy of Islamic Jordan, from the Arab conquest to the Ottoman period
TMA 54 – Het mediterrane gebied in verbinding
Once owned by L. Cominius, Victor and Alexander. Connections through the Roman army mapped out by graffiti
The high mobility of the Roman army created many connections, from one corner of the Empire to the other, from the centre to the periphery and vice versa. Many of these connections are underrepresented in the traditionally consulted sources, which are the historical sources and monumental inscriptions. A study of graffiti, consisting of owners’ marks scratched mostly onto pottery, can shed more light on the composition and deployment of the Roman army. In this article, three graffiti from Dutch sites on the Lower Rhine limes are presented. They can tell us more about the legionnaires, auxiliaries and soldiers serving in the fleet who came from the Mediterranean to the northern borders of the Empire.
The connectivity between cities in Roman Asia Minor
This paper describes the urban patterns of Asia Minor in the Roman Imperial period, which saw marked regional variation. The west and southwest were densely occupied with cities, but the centre and northern parts of the region were relatively empty. Furthermore, the urban hierarchies of these regions show distinctiveness, whereas the largest cities situated in the west and a few in the centre and east, while Lycia and Pamphylia are densely settled with cities, which are more egalitarian in size. Although some scholars claim that the urban hierarchy is a product of the economic integration of the cities, this is not undisputed. Nevertheless, the connection between cities can be a valuable object of study. In this article the example of tableware is used to attest the complexity of these connections over time and space. Despite the fact that economic connectivity, as partially reflected by the small finds, is important, it must be remembered that other forms of official and less official links between the cities existed, such as the assizes. Furthermore, this does not negate the fact that most cities were at their core autarkic in character, but that the interaction between connectivity, political and socio-economic changes and structural factors of climate and landscape, caused the diversity and complexity in the pattern of urbanization.
Commercial contacts in the Sahel region during the Punic period: the case of Uzita
Our present study focuses on the amphora repertoire of the earliest phases of occupation at Uzita, a small town in the North- African Punic heartland, which is best known for its mosaics dated to the Roman period. We pay particular attention to local and regional fabrics as well as the provenance of imported amphorae, employing a combination of morphological and fabric analyses. The aim of our research is to define the commercial relations involving the Central Tunisian Sahel and, in particular, the role played by Uzita in this network during the period of Carthaginian control over the region.
A globalization perspective on Latin colonization
In this article, I argue that a globalization perspective helps to create a better understanding of Latin colonies, and more specifically their role in processes of cultural change. A globalization perspective invites to investigate the various connections that influenced local developments in the colonies (including those coming from Rome), while at the same time it offers models to conceptualize how these ‘foreign’ influences may have been adapted and accommodated at a local level. The advantages of such a perspective are illustrated by a brief discussion of colonial coinage production (specifically the struck bronze produced by colonies and other mints in and around Campania during the First Punic War) and votive assemblages in the colonies.
Greater than the sum of its parts? Italo-Aegean network dynamics in Achaia and the Argolid during the Bronze Age-Iron Age transition (ca. 1250-1000 BC)
This paper presents a comparison of the evidence for Italo-Aegean relations between Achaia and the Argolid during the Bronze Age-Iron Age transition. Drawing on network theory, it seeks to explain how these areas remained connected with Italy during the twelfth century BC crisis. To this aim, a multi-scalar analysis is conducted of the so-called ‘Urnfield’ bronzes. First, the diachronic and spatial distribution of these bronzes is examined for each region in order to obtain a general picture of network dynamics and to identify regional hubs. Second, selected contexts are analyzed as a means to consider the dynamics and hubs at the local level. Third, the local and regional scales are confronted as a means to fully reconstruct Italo-Aegean networks. The analysis indicates that despite some generic points of convergence at the regional scale, network communities in Achaia and the Argolid had their local strategies for remaining connected with Italy.
Lady Moon on the Oxus. Bactrian Ai Khanum as a case for ancient globalization
This article aims to reassess the material culture of Ai Khanum (‘Lady Moon’ in Uzbek) in north-east Afghanistan. At present, this city is the only monumental archaeological site of Hellenistic-period Bactria. Its material culture displays typical Greek features, alongside and seemingly blended with Mesopotamian, Iranian, and Central Asian elements. Many scholars have emphasized the Greek features and subsequently the (colonial) Greek character of the city, which were prioritized over other cultural elements and treated as clear testimony to the presence of ethnic Greek settlers. Conversely, this paper reconsiders Ai Khanum’s persisting status as a ‘Greek city in Central Asia’ by questioning previous theoretical approaches dealing with hybrid material culture. Globalization theory is used as a heuristic framework to further problematize the material and to explore how Ai Khanum’s cultural features might be seen from a wider angle.
Crossroads at Gandhara: cultural interaction between the Mediterranean world and the Indus Valley
This article presents a case study from the archaeological record of the city of Taxila (current Pakistan) in order to examine cultural interactions between the ancient Mediterranean and Indus Valley as evident from the Gandhara region. Taxila was a cultural crossroad between East and West and is especially famous for its Greco-Buddhist artefacts. These objects have traditionally been categorised in ethnic and/or cultural terms, which has led to incorrect interpretations of the archaeological record and its historical implications. For this reason, this study works towards a more comprehensive insight into the available archaeological data by means of new object analyses with the aim to contribute to a better understanding of how cultural diversity developed in the ancient world on a global scale through processes of cultural contact and interaction.
Social Networks and Regional Identity in Bronze Age Italy
Van Rome naar Romeins
Shipsheds of the Ancient Mediterranean
introducties op lopend onderzoek
The Avellino Event: cultural and demographic effects of the great Bronze Age eruption of Mount Vesuvius
Ayios Vasilios: een survey van de paleisnederzetting
The emergence of Central Italian urbanisation and special activity sites along the Etruscan coast between the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age
From Pickaxe to Pixel: een pilotproject voor de toepassing van 3D-leeromgevingen in de opleiding archeologie
Keizers en Decurionen. Verspreiding en acceptatie van keizerlijke macht, ideologie, cultuur en mentaliteit in Romeins Italië (27 voor Christus – 68 na Christus)
From mater and pater familias to social standings. Transformations in gendered identities in Italy between the ninth to sixth century BC