Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


1 October 2018

A.Sho.Re 2011-2015, SE Kephallenia in the Ionian Sea: investigating the geoarchaeology of the coastal zone

Evyennia Yiannouli In E. Photos-Jones, Y. Bassiakos, E. Filippaki, A. Hein, I. Karatasios, V. Kilikoglou & E. Kouloumpi (eds), 2016. Proceedings of the 6th Symposium of the Hellenic Society for Archaeometry (Bar International Series 2780), Oxford: 179-185.

Archaeological Shoreline Research (A.Sho.Re.) is a geoarchaeological project set up to explore archaeology in relation to the Coastal Zone. Although the role of shores is seminal in the modeling of major events in world prehistory, the discipline is still in need of a standard method of approaching the dynamics of cultures in relation to the nature of seacoasts. A principal aim of this project is to establish an interdisciplinary survey methodology of maritime landscapes in order to detect and assess major or local events in the Mediterranean culture sequences. The platform of investigation is based on fieldwork conducted in SE Kephallenia, the Ionian Sea, in collaboration with N.C.S.R. ‘Demokritos’ and the Hellenic Centre of Marine Research (H.C.M.R.). This paper outlines the main fields of interest between Archaeology and the Earth Sciences covering coastal geohistory, the coastal environment and a survey strategy designed to trace and document the composite flux of culture and nature in maritime contexts. An outline of the research strategy is discussed in relation to greater Poros in SE Kephallenia following the systematic and extensive fieldwork conducted above and below current sea level during field seasons 2011-2012. A brief account of results is then put forward. A preliminary interpretation of results includes the identification of human presence, hitherto unknown in the vacant seascapes of the eastern shores, ranging from the Age of Stone to the Middle Byzantine and the modem eras. The next step forward is to assess the cultural dynamics of the whole region in the context of the respective palaeo-coastal sequences. Yet, the pioneering conception of coasts as dynamic natural and cultural systems already conveys that the historical understanding of maritime stretches lies beyond the realm of the individual site or the contingent relation of site to sea.


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