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Later European Prehistory Group Lecture Series

Anja Krieger, (Stanford University) - Seascapes and seafaring: Shipwrecks in the Eastern Mediterranean from the Late Bronze Age to the Archaic Period
When Mar 06, 2017
from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM
Where South Lecture Room, Division of Archaeology, Downing Site
Contact Name
Attendees All welcome
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The Late Bronze Age (c. 14th cent. BCE) and the Archaic period (c. 7th cent. BCE) saw several important changes in the Mediterranean. Empires and palaces fell, a subsequent period of social and cultural opportunity in the Aegean led to the rise of the city states in the Archaic Period. The Late Bronze Age also saw the earliest shipwrecks in the Mediterranean with a substantially diversified cargo.
Shipwrecks, through their synchronic value, remain a unique source of information about seaborne activities and maritime connectivity. They are homogeneous in terms of event, conditions and agents and can therefore widen our knowledge of the past significantly.
By analyzing the cargo composition of several wrecks as well as their distribution we can assess changes of shipping behavior and degrees of intentionality as well as levels of intensity in maritime trade and so gain a better understanding of the relationships between local, regional and long-distance interactions. This paper will briefly sketch the success of the application of World systems theory and its derivations, for instance network theory, with its concept of small world, in this regard. The paper’s main focus will be on structures of power in the maritime realm, with an introduction of the concept of heterarchy, and in particular with respect to the human experience of seafaring as part of a broader maritime seascape. A thick descriptive approach to life on board several shipwrecked vessels will be offered as an interpretive manifestation of such a focus.

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