Paper Abstracts

**Please note: If you plan to attend the workshop please RSVP by February 11th and fill out this form to access the pre-circulated papers. On this Saturday portion of the event, each presenter and their discussants will lead guided discussion of the papers, so please plan to read the papers prior to the workshop. For questions about this, please contact Linda Gosner ( 


Mining, Movement, and Migration in Roman Iberia
Linda Gosner (University of Michigan)

From the American gold rush to Spanish colonial silver mining in Peru, the exploitation of metal resources has often stimulated episodes of migration to support mining and related industries. Mining in the Roman Empire was no exception. In this paper, I explore diachronically the changing patterns of movement—both of people and the goods that accompanied them—in and out of major mining districts in the Iberian Peninsula, a place long known as a rich source of metals in antiquity. Following the Roman conquest of this region beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, the scale of mining increased dramatically and this growth catalyzed episodes of migration of people and movement of materials in ways that stimulated both regional and empire-wide connectivity. I argue that the migration of Italians into Iberia soon after Roman conquest contributed to the diversification of communities in mining landscapes, and the development of lasting and sometimes unexpected connections between these areas and other parts of the empire. By contrast, in later centuries, increased movement of people and goods within the peninsula stimulated regional connectivity, cementing intra-provincial ties and connections between mining districts. Understanding connectivity brought about by the demands of mining ultimately sheds light on the organization of labor, the complexities of local and imperial economies, and the lived experience of empire in the mining landscapes of Roman Iberia.


The missing link? Connecting Sardinia, Corsica, and Italy in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age
Jeremy Hayne (Independent Researcher)

The late Bronze and early Iron Age are fruitful periods to study when thinking about ‘connectivity’ as they were periods of movement and interaction for the different communities in habiting the Mediterranean. While recent scholarship has highlighted the multi-directional interactions and networks involving the various communities across the whole of the west Mediterranean, some of the islands remain ambiguous players, often presented as disconnected. Two examples of this ambiguity are the islands of Sardinia and Corsica, which lie very close to each other but whose (pre)histories are quite different. Scholars have convincingly argued for the active role of Sardinia in EIA exchanges with the Italian peninsula. However, despite being along the route between Villanovan and Etruscan Italy and Sardinia Corsica has a less well understood role in these dynamics. Taking a long-term approach this paper examines how far it played a part in the exchanges and whether ‘network thinking’ can help explain the dynamics of the interactions in this area of the Mediterranean. This paper focuses on the interactions between north Sardinia and the Italian peninsula, specifically examining the role that Corsica may have played in them, examining local connectivities at the start of the 1st millennium BCE. It argues how connections are not necessarily geographically based but depend on a multitude of factors involving shifts in the social and economic situations of the different participants.


Intra and inter-inland connectivity in the Balearic Islands in Antiquity
Catalina Mas (University of Barcelona)

The Balearic Islands lie in a strategic position for navigation and trade routes in the western Mediterranean, as was recognized very early by ancient populations of the Mediterranean Sea. Over the centuries the maritime routes have permitted the movement of goods and people, and with them their cultural background and ideas between the Balearics islands and other territories. However, inland routes and their relationship with the settlements also played an important role connecting local communities and the different colonizers of the islands. This paper explores connectivity in the Balearics (Mallorca and Menorca) in the Roman and Late Antique periods, trying to understand intra and inter island connectivity and how this conditioned connectivity within the islands and beyond. The role of ancient terrestrial and maritime routes is addressed through an analysis of the landscape, the settlement patterns and the commercial dynamics in a longue durée approach from the Roman period to the end of Antiquity.


At the margins of “orientalization”: funerary ritual and local practice in Apennine central Italy
Jessica Nowlin (University of Texas at San Antonio)

Greater trade and connectivity have often been associated with the introduction of new cultural practices. This is particularly the case for the Orientalizing period, for which the traditional view holds that objects, ideas and practices from the eastern Mediterranean exerted tremendous influence on local Italian communities during the 8th and 7th centuries BCE. This chapter articulates the subtle differences between the presence of imported objects, changes in material culture, and alterations in cultural practice by focusing on two inland sites within the Apennine region of the Abruzzo. It examines funerary assemblages from the necropoleis of Fossa and Campovalano through mutliscale bootstrap resampling of grave goods. The results show that although both communities experienced increased connectivity during this period, the number of imported objects does not necessitate a change in funerary ritual. The frequent presence of imported bucchero at Fossa shows strong ties with Etruria, but the local Iron Age funerary tradition was maintained. At Campovalano, although the number of imported objects is low, local ceramics and metal wares were employed within a new funerary practice of feasting. The findings of these two case studies are then contextualized within the broader regional network of the Apennine mountains, which exhibits a high degree of internal connectivity while only selectively engaging with external networks. Through this examination of local responses within the Italian interior, an area often considered to be at the edges of the effects of the Orientalizing period, it further demonstrates the importance of examining the limits of heightened Mediterranean connectivity and contextualizing the impact of greater foreign contact with an understanding of local practice and regional networks.


A lower-case ‘g’ globalised world? Examining three paradigms of culture contact in Middle and Late Bronze Age Sicily
Anthony Russell

The second half of the 2nd Millennium BCE represented a highwater mark for pre-colonial material connections in the central Mediterranean for many of its coastal communities. A broadly applied globalisation perspective, however, does not represent a good analytical ‘fit’ for the period, given this region’s lack of hyper-connectivity, and the resulting interdependencies by which globalised worlds are defined. Simply put, the evidence for contact is neither plentiful nor intense enough to facilitate useful analogies between the present and this period of the past. Nevertheless, there are certain concepts drawn from globalisation studies that may provide novel interpretations that avoid such anachronistic pitfalls. By examining material changes through the lens of Nederveen Pieterse’s “three paradigms” of cultural globalisation (culture clash, McDonaldisation, and hybridisation; Nederveen Pieterse 2015, 45-59), new avenues of interpretation are opened, ones that do not depend upon intensive, prolonged or direct contact. Using Middle and Late Bronze Age archaeological assemblages from the island of Sicily (i.e. the MBA building program at Thapsos, and LBA Pantalica North pottery), this study will demonstrate how all three perspectives have something to say about changing material practices, and the coastal communities who engaged in them.


A Shotgun Wedding? Culture mixing as Phoenician mercantile strategy in the Bay of Cadiz (c. 800-600 BCE)

Antonio Saéz Romero (University of Seville) and Philip Andrew Johnston

Our paper examines the evidence for rapid hybridization that marks the earliest phases of Phoenician presence in the Bay of Cadiz in c. 800-600 BCE. As early as 700 BCE, we argue, a local culture had already appeared that was no longer Phoenician or Iberian, but already gadirita. We support this using a wide array of evidence, including ceramic and agro-pastoral production; domestic and funerary consumption; and recent DNA analysis. Drawing on postcolonial thought and direct historical analogies from other Semitic cultures, we suggest that the social developments in the Bay of Cádiz are not just a side effect of culture contact, but an intentional strategy deployed by Phoenician merchants as a means of optimizing their economic activities in the region. This explanation makes sense of competing social and economic perspectives on the Phoenician expansion, and helps explain other Phoenician cultural strategies (like the presence of temples at important economic nodes).


Mediterranean connectivity in Southern Italy. Datasets, methods and theory
Giulia Saltini Semerari (Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, University of Michigan)

From the end of the Bronze Age to the Archaic period southern Italy saw dramatic shifts in connectivity with the rest of the Mediterranean. This paper offers a review of the different strands of evidence used to reconstruct this history, and a discussion of the challenges in integrating and interpreting them. After summarizing current chrono-typological and archaeometric analyses of pottery, metals and other luxury goods traditionally used to determine connectivity patterns in southern Italy, I present the findings of my own research in the region. Aimed at integrating this evidence with multiple strands of bioarchaeological analyses including biodistance, isotope and aDNA, it produced surprising results and fresh methodological challenges. These results point to long-term, two-way interactions between southern Italian communities and migrants from across the Aegean. The challenges concern the possibility of teasing out recurring migration waves and sustained, small-scale mobility between southern Italy and other Mediterranean regions through bioarchaeological analyses. This highlights the need to weave multiple strands of evidence in order to generate as comprehensive a reconstruction of regional diachronic changes in connectivity as possible, from skeletal data pointing to admixture and migration to typological and archaeometric data illuminating élite exchanges and the transfer of technological know-how between craftsmen. Current theoretical insights, from postcolonialism to complex systems, may then help us place this evidence into the long-term trajectory of sea-borne connectivity of southern Italy, shaped by small-scale social dynamics as much as by ‘global’ patters of Mediterranean mobility.


Human Mobility between Italy and NE Hispania during the Late Republican Period
Alejandro Sinner (University of Victoria)

Mobility, movement, communication, and connectivity have been core components of archaeological research in the Iberian Peninsula since the early days of the discipline. Scholarly debates regarding the extent of the long-term mobility from Italy to Hispania have spilled rivers of ink. Two diametrically opposed positions predominate. The first one, widespread in Spanish scholarship, argues that an important influx of Italians, a ‘migratory flow,’ settled in Hispania after the Second Punic War. The second maintains a more cautious position, one critical of the classical written sources, and minimizes the scale of migratory flows to the Iberian Peninsula. Nowadays, therefore, given that the evidence of connectivity and mobility is undeniable, it seems necessary to evaluate its scale, nature and significance. In this paper, I examine the epigraphic record (2nd-early 1st c. BCE) of five important republican cities in NE Spain as well as discuss—although to a much lesser extent—numismatic and genetic evidence. I argue that, in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, a large degree of long-distance mobility is inferred when in reality what we see is a limited mobility that sustained a high degree of connectivity. Permanent mobility did exist, but was minimal and concentrated primarily in Tarraco. The reality of the remaining territory was marked by the dynamism and capacity of adaptation, response and renegotiation of the natives’ peoples to the new colonial reality to which they were now part of and well connected with.


The Business of Becoming: Network and Community in the Northwest Mediterranean in the Mid-first Millennium BCE
Catherine Steidl (Koç University)

The coastal regions of the northwestern Mediterranean (southern France and northeastern Spain) are well known for intensive connectivity with traders from points East during the 1st millennium BCE. The interaction of local communities with the accompanying commodities—what they incorporated, how they used new goods, and what they declined to adopt—has received much attention, and continues to be an important area of research for understanding local identities and practices. What has received less attention, however, is the interplay between connectivities with the greater Mediterranean region and local layers of identity on the micro-regional and regional scales. That is, what did the landscape of community identities in the region look like, and what was the social experience of individuals living in different settlements—nodes of heavy interaction on the coast, inland trading settlements, and other sites with less commercial focus? This paper uses evidence from contact with the wider Mediterranean to help illuminate local spheres of interaction, and explore the development of community identity in the northwestern Mediterranean. It argues that, despite shared characteristics across the region, the primary sense of communal identity would have been focused around settlements and their immediate environs, and that ultimately, daily social experiences and shared interactions would have been crucial for articulating the bonds of communities.