The transition from protohistory to history (the 9th-8th centuries B.C.) in the Mediterranean set the stage for the creation of the Classical world. The most potent agent of change was the Greek colonisation, alongside which came vast transformations in the structure, ideology and culture of many communities across the Early Iron Age Mediterranean. However, the Greek colonisation and its associated transformations remain poorly understood. This is because research has chiefly focussed on the colonisation event itself rather than the long-term socioeconomic dynamics internal to the indigenous groups amongst whom the Greeks settled. This project aims to clarify how these dynamics shaped the Greek colonisation and its associated, wide-ranging changes in the Mediterranean. The project involves a re-evaluation of the archaeological evidence from the coastal area of the Gulf of Taranto, southern Italy, with an emphasis on funerary data from two major EIA cemeteries. Among the regions where Greeks settled in the Mediterranean, the Taranto Gulf is an extremely promising area of investigation because of its extensive and well-documented archaeological evidence. Additionally, its burial and settlement patterns have close parallels to other Mediterranean regions, giving this project much potential for resolving wider processes operating during this formative period. The typological analysis of grave good assemblages and burial structure at these cemeteries will be integrated with a battery of fresh scientific investigations including osteological and isotopic analyses, and AMS radiocarbon dating of human remains. This multidisciplinary approach will enable a comprehensive reconstruction of diachronic socioeconomic developments in the organisation of indigenous communities in the years before and immediately after the Greek colonisation.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeMC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)