Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2013

20 October 2013

Mediterranean Islands, Fragile Communities and Persistent Landscapes. Antikythera in Long-Term Perspective

Andrew Bevan & James Conolly

Mediterranean Islands, Fragile Communities and Persistent Landscapes. Antikythera in Long-Term Perspective

City: Cambridge/New York

Year: 2013

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Description: Hardback, 327 p., 47 b/w & 31 colour illustrations, 6 tables, 26x18,3 cm


Mediterranean landscape ecology, island cultures and long-term human history have all emerged as major research agendas over the past half-century, engaging large swathes of the social and natural sciences. This book brings these traditions together in considering Antikythera, a tiny island perched on the edge of the Aegean and Ionian seas, over the full course of its human history from the Neolithic through the present day. Small islands are particularly interesting because their human, plant, and animal populations often experience abrupt demographic changes, including periods of near-complete abandonment and recolonization, and Antikythera proves to be one of the best-documented examples of these shifts over time. Small islands also play eccentric but revealing roles in wider social, economic, and political networks, serving as places for refugees, hunters, modern eco-tourists, political exiles, hermits, and pirates. Antikythera is a rare case of an island that has been investigated in its entirety from several systematic fieldwork and disciplinary perspectives, not least of which is an intensive archaeological survey. The authors use the resulting evidence to offer a unique vantage on settlement and land use histories.


Figures and Colour Plates [xi]
Tables [xv]
Acknowledgements [xvii]
Abbreviations [xix]

1. Problems and Perspectives [1]

1.1 Introduction [1]
1.2 Scales, Agencies and Island Archaeology [3]
1.3 Fragility and Persistence [7]

2. Methods and Data [12]

2.1 Intensive Survey [12]
2.2 Artefact Study [18]
2.3 Ethnography and History [19]
2.4 Geoarchaeology and Ecology [19]
2.5 Spatial and Computational Modelling [21]
2.6 Methodological Limitations [21]

3. A Mediterranean and Island Environment [23]

3.1 Geology, Topography and Tectonics [24]
3.2 Short- and Long-Term Climates [26]
3.3 Winds, Waves and Currents [31]
3.4 The Structure of Island Resources [34]
3.5 Plant and Animal Life [41]
3.6 Summary [44]

4. Material Worlds [46]

4.1 Methodological Issues [47]
4.2 Material Timelines [56]
4.3 Behavioural Themes [73]
4.4 Abundance and Scarcity [79]
4.5 Concluding Remarks [83]

5. Landscape Archaeology and Historical Ecology I [85]

5.1 Eighteenth to Twentieth Centuries AD [86]

6. Landscape Archaeology and Historical Ecology II [112]

6.1 Earlier Prehistory [112]
6.2 The Third and Second Millenniums BC [122]
6.3 The First Millennium BC [133]
6.4 The First to Seventh Centuries AD [141]
6.5 The Eighth to Seventeenth Centuries AD [149]
6.6 Concluding Remarks [156]

7. Mobility and Investment [158]

7.1 Connected and Mobile Ecologies [159]
7.2 Landscape Investment [175]

8. The Eccentric, the Specialist and the Displaced [187]

8.1 Pirates [187]
8.2 Cash-Croppers [196]
8.3 Hunters and Herders, Soldiers and Doctors [198]
8.4 Monastics, Hermits and Retirees [204]
8.5 Colonists, Refugees, Exiles and Shipwrecked Sailors [207]
8.6 Tourists, Expatriates, Academics and Other Enthusiasts [213]

9. Antikythera in Context [217]

Appendix I: Statistical and Computational Methods [223]

Appendix II: Locations by Period [231]

Notes [243]
Bibliography [247]
Index [275]


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