Mediterranean Voyages: The Archaeology of Island by Helen Dawson

By Helen Dawson

Islands are excellent case stories for exploring social connectivity, episodes of colonisation, abandonment, and alternating levels of cultural interplay and isolation. Their societies reveal various attitudes towards the land and the ocean, which in flip solid gentle on staff identities. This quantity advances theoretical discussions of island archaeology through delivering a comparative examine of the archaeology of colonisation, abandonment, and resettlement of the Mediterranean islands in prehistory. This comparative and thematic learn encourages anthropological reflections at the archaeology of the islands, finally targeting humans instead of geographical devices, and in particular at the kinfolk among islanders, mainlanders, and the construction of islander identities. This quantity has value for students drawn to Mediterranean archaeology, in addition to these extra widely in colonisation and abandonment.

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Extra resources for Mediterranean Voyages: The Archaeology of Island Colonisation and Abandonment (UCL Institute of Archaeology Publications)

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The Italian side of the southern Adriatic also had a coastal plain. One can still gauge the extents of this coastal plain, now submerged, by looking at the present-day Tavoliere plain, which covers an area of about 4,500 sq km. Along the present-day coast, there are still lakes (Lago Salso and Lago Salpi, around the Gulf of Manfredonia) (Boenzi et al. 2001), extensive coastal marshes, and two more lakes to the north of the Gargano (Lago Lesina and Lago Varano) (Sargent 1983:223). The lakes and marshes are the remnants of ancient lagoons, which made coastal navigation easy in this region (Delano Smith 1987:15).

The development of sailing not only enabled the settlement of faraway islands (though possibly its decline on others), but once trading networks faded, it also provided the means to pursue alternative settlement. With increased maritime movement, islands may also have become easy targets of raids and piracy. Permanent occupation of small islands would no longer be deemed viable in the absence of trading systems, and they were abandoned, presumably well before physical survival was at stake (‘active’ abandonment).

2 m per millennium), these figures indicate that during the Early Bronze Age, sea levels were up to 5 m lower than in the present (Lambeck 1996:607). key current coastline ancient coastline FIG. J. Fuldain). C HA P T E R 2. P H YS I C A L AND C U LT U R A L S PAC E S 31 key current coastline ancient coastline FIG. J. Fuldain). Chios, Samos, Kos, Thasos, and Skiathos became islands when sea levels reached a depth of 25 m, followed shortly after by Lesbos, Spetses, and Dokos, while Euboia, Tenedos, Salamis, and Poros became insular towards the end of the Neolithic and perhaps as late as the Bronze Age (Broodbank 1999a:23–4).

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