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Transported Landscapes of Greek Mediterranean Colonisation


With the creation of the first colonies by Greek and Phoenician cities a complex process of two-ways acculturation-imitation-syncretisation started that would eventually lead to the development of a Mediterranean ‘koiné’ with common cultural traits and contacts. Although this process has previously been studied from a material perspective (e.g. architecture, urbanism, ceramics), it also involved important cultural-determined landscape modifications. When groups move they carry with them their plants, animals and perceptions. Colonists transformed the environments in which they settled adapting them to their particular economic and production needs but also to their own concepts of landscape and the interaction with local communities. Transported landscapes emerged from all these linkages and evolved as an expression of trans-Mediterranean cultural cross-fertilisation. They form the basis of many Mediterranean landscapes and their morphology has influenced agricultural production, land ownership, settlement and population distribution until today.
TransMed will further the analysis of transported colonial landscapes as means for the understanding of trans-Mediterranean cultural links and landscape evolution. To do so it will combine multi-disciplinary approaches, which include drone-aided survey, multi-temporal satellite remote sensing, GIS, archaeomorphology and multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental analyses, to investigate the landscape impact of Greek Ionian colonies, a coherent cultural group which includes some of the largest and most successful metropoleis. Two case-studies will serve to test these mew methods and extract general insights: the colonies of Emporion (Catalonia, Spain) and Abdera (Thrace, Greece). They were both founded by the Ionian metropoleis of Phocaea, Clazomenae and Teos. Data from the Ionian area will provide a complementary view of landscape evolution in the metropolitan landscape where these colonial groups originated.

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Institut Català d'Arqueologia Clàssica
Plaça Rovellat S/n
43003 Tarragona
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 241 398,72