Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2014

26 February 2015

Mediterranean Voyages. The Archaeology of Island Colonization and Abandonment

Helen Dawson

Mediterranean Voyages. The Archaeology of Island Colonization and Abandonment

City: Walnut Creek, California

Year: 2014

Publisher: Left coast Press

Series: University College London Institute of Archaeology Publications

Description: Hardback, 323 p., 65 b/w figures, 31 b/w plates, 23,4x15,8 cm


This book is a comparative study of the archaeology of colonisation, abandonment, and resettlement of the Mediterranean islands in prehistory. Presenting an extensive and up-to-date body of evidence, it provides a pan-Mediterranean review of island data, a task last completed in the mid-1990s. The considerations made over the course of the following chapters are supported by a database of 147 islands, from the Balearics in the west to Cyprus in the east, and cover some 10,000 years (from the Mesolithic to the Iron Age, with a few earlier instances).

Colonisation is a subject that has been extensively discussed in archaeology; by comparison, abandonment has received less attention, at least in the Mediterranean. Islands offer ideal case studies for exploring social connectivity, episodes of colonisation, abandonment, and alternating phases of cultural interaction and isolation. Nonetheless, distinguishing between visitation, utilisation, occupation, establishment, abandonment, and recolonisation remains a considerable challenge. How did these activities vary spatially and temporally, and what were the potential reasons behind different islands’ colonisation and abandonment processes? Any observations must be placed against the backdrop of the changing palaeogeography of the prehistoric Mediterranean, by taking into account physical changes in sea levels and in the islands’ environments, and the resulting perceptions of landscape, all contextualised within the broader scheme of reference of Mediterranean prehistory.


List of Illustrations [7]

Acknowledgments [11]

Chapter 1: Island archaeologies [13]

Chapter 2: The Mediterranean: physical and cultural spaces [22]

Chapter 3: Theories of colonization [42]

Chapter 4: Island colonisation in the western Mediterranean [69]

Chapter 5: Island colonisation in the eastern Mediterranean [123]

Chapter 6: Redefining island colonization [146]

Chapter 7: Theories of abandonment [180]

Chapter 8: Islands in time [209]

Chapter 9: Mediterranean voyages [260]

References [270]

Index [317]

About the author [324]


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