Settlement Patterns in Albania from the Iron Age Through Greek and Roman Colonization and Integration (1100 BCE–395 CE)
Erina Baci (UMMAA, University of Michigan)
The Illyrians were an Indo-European group of people who once inhabited a large expanse of the western Balkans. As interactions with the Greeks and, later, the Romans increased, the traditional way of life and sociopolitical organization of the Illyrians were undoubtedly altered. In this poster, I present an overview of the results of my thesis research, the goal of which is to understand better how interactions with other groups of people influenced Illyrian settlement patterns. Specifically, how did Greek colonization, followed by Roman incorporation, affect Illyrian settlement patterns in Albania? This study uses a regional approach in combination with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to analyze how the locations of sites changed over time. Cluster analysis is used to analyze the relationships between contemporaneous sites in the designated research area. In cluster analysis, the relationship between sites and these influences, or lack thereof, appears in three patterns: random, regular, or nucleated. Site location can be influenced by a number of factors: social, economic, and environmental. In this study, I focus mainly on the economic pull of Greek and Roman colonies and the importance of proximity to certain geographical features as the primary influences on site location and overall settlement pattern. Following the cluster analysis, three patterns stand out within the data set: the lack of nucleation before colonization and incorporation, nucleation around colonies or “cores,” and linear patterns around roads or trade networks. The data for the analysis were collected during the summer of 2017 via archival research in Albania, and compiled into a gazetteer, which was imported into ArcGIS. The sites included in the analysis range from the year 1100 B.C.E. to 395 C.E. This range was selected specifically to show the change in sites over time following Greek colonization and Roman integration. Encompassed by this range are key dates, such as 627 B.C.E., the foundation of the first colony in the area that is today Albania; 167 B.C.E., the integration of Illyria into the Roman empire; and 395 C.E., the fall of the Roman empire in the west. Due to its peripheral location in the Mediterranean, Albania provides a unique case study for investigating colonization, integration, and interactions between different cultures.
Connecting the Pieces: Conceptualising Adriatic Connectivity through Ceramic Evidence
Leah Bernardo-Ciddio (IPCAA, University of Michigan)
Long-term connections between the coasts bordering the Adriatic Sea have long since been acknowledged; indeed, even ancient historical texts reveal some understanding of these relationships. The material signs of these connections, however, have been undertheorized, and the limited chronological focuses of many studies treating more recent eras obfuscate the nature of Adriatic connectivity in the longue durée. This poster will first offer a brief overview of the patterns of long-term communication in the Adriatic that signal the diachronic development of spheres of interaction that variably become linked up with or nested within each other over time. Next, the poster will focus on two case studies centered on Italy’s southeast. By means of a well-theorized approach to the production, export, and imitation of south Italian matt-painted pottery in northern and southern Puglia, it becomes possible to tease out interactions at the meso-scale, offering us an opportunity to develop more robust ways of thinking about regional material culture shift and exchange.
Studying Mobility through Isotopes in Western Central Italy: A Methodological Discussion
Sheira Cohen (IPCAA, University of Michigan)
Identifying Global and Local Ritual Traditions in the Roman Provincial Capitals of Iberia
Bailey Franzoi (IPCAA, University of Michigan)
Recent archaeological scholarship has continuously been moving away from the narratives of ‘Romanization’ first put forward by 19th and early 20th century scholars such as Theodor Mommsen, Francis Haverfield, and Camille Jullian. Such an approach has historically been applied especially to areas like Baetica, whose indigenous Iberian inhabitants were considered even in ancient times to have been “not far from being all Romans” shortly after the conquest of the peninsula (Strabo, Geographies, 3.2.15). One might expect this to an even higher degree in centers of imperial control, such as provincial capitals, of which Roman Iberia had three: Corduba in Baetica, Tarraco in Tarraconnensis, and Augusta Emerita in Lusitania. Certainly, in a first glance at the ritual structures of each of these sites, there seems to be very little indicating a continued indigenous presence or religious practice, as structures dedicated to the worship of the imperial family, deities of the ‘typical’ Roman pantheon, and Eastern cults are prominent. However, looking more carefully, it is possible to see variations on these three themes in each of the capitals, indicating that local Iberians adopted and adapted Roman ritual practices in differing ways at each site. Local traditions or mindsets could and did persist in the religious lives of the inhabitants of those cities while they simultaneously openly presented as Roman. These changes can perhaps best be understood from a globalization/glocalization perspective, as reflect the changes occurring within the broader network of Roman imperial conquest in the Mediterranean as well as the re-assertion of local identities which occur during periods of increased global cultural interaction.
Connectivity and Mobility Among Indigenous Groups in Sardinia and Southern Iberia
Kelly Miklas (University of Missouri)
Archaeological evidence attests to Phoenician contact in both the Iberian peninsula and Sardinia as early as the Bronze Age, although permanent Phoenician settlement appears much later during the Iron Age in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE. While many Phoenician imports and hybrid Phoenician material appears in both of these regions during this period of Phoenician colonization, Nuragic ceramics from Sardinia appear in southern Iberian contexts and Iberian ceramics appear in Nuragic contexts as well. Despite this, most scholarship only considers the connectivity between these two regions through the lens of Phoenician colonialism, and thus very few discuss possible direct connections between these two regions without the Phoenicians appearing as the primary agent directing this cultural exchange. Moving away from this unidirectional narrative, this poster explores some of the ways in which local agency can be observed. In the case of southern Iberia, however, Nuragic ceramics have appeared in contexts that predate Phoenician settlement in the area, and, in Onoba, some scholars believe Sardinian potters may have been present due to finding Nuragic shaped plates made of local fabric. Additionally, the hybrid Sardinian and Phoenician type amphorae, known as Sant’Imbenia amphorae, that were produced in western Sardinia have been found throughout southern Iberia as well. Southern Iberian imports have also been found at the site of Sant’Imbenia itself. This type of amphora has also been associated with Phoenician transport of metals, namely copper ore, so it is clear that the Phoenicians played a role in connecting these two regions. Ultimately, however, this poster shows that the local Nuragic and Iberian populations participated more directly in this exchange, and may perhaps have been mobile themselves.
The distribution of tuyères in the Western Mediterranean as a signifier of connectivity in metallurgical practice
Alex Moskowitz (IPCAA, University of Michigan)
The Western Mediterranean was famous in antiquity for its extensive mineral resources, a factor that enticed a host of people to trade and settle in the area. From the southwest coast of Spain to the west coast of Italy and in between, the region’s natural abundance of metals made it an ideal stage for wide-ranging and repeated interactions across cultures. In the Early Iron Age, increased connectivity facilitated the introduction of metallurgical technologies like cupellation and iron smelting in the region. My study takes a specific item within these connections, the tuyère, and considers the many ways in which populations adopted, reject, and manipulated technologies. A tuyère is a pyrometallurgical ceramic that facilitates the use of bellows to stoke the flame in a furnace. Drawing from excavation and survey reports, I create a typology of tuyères that encompasses the variety of forms employed in the processing of metals during the Early Iron Age. I then conduct spatial analysis based on distribution on a regional scale and make special note of the widespread appearance of Levantine-style tuyères in concert with the advent of iron metallurgy. Next, I consider the micro-regional dynamics involved in the spread of tuyères at Tartessian metallurgical sites. My analysis concludes with a discussion of the Ibero-Phoenician settlement of La Fonteta, a particularly well-documented metallurgical site with an extensive record of tuyères. At each level of this multi-scalar analysis, I engage with theoretical approaches to technological transfer like chaîne opératoire and communities of practice to understand the nuanced cultural processes that accompany both technological change and entrenchment. Through this discussion, I note varying processes of adoption, adaptation, and change in metallurgical practices throughout the period, wherein Levantine-style metallurgy proliferates but not without outliers or resistance.