ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE IONIAN SEA – Landscapes, seascapes and the circulation of people, goods and ideas (Palaeolithic – Bronze Age)

The International Conference will take place in Athens, on 10-11 January 2020. It is organised by the Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens.

The region of the Ionian Sea occupies a geographically complex area off the south western Balkan Peninsula, which since the Pleistocene underwent significant alterations due to tectonic activity and sea- level fluctuations. This dynamic environment presented different landscapes and seascapes to the human communities occupying the region at different times in the past, providing an ideal setting for their study from a diachronic perspective. The principal aim of this two-day conference is to investigate the reciprocally transformative relationship between human communities and natural setting and the multi- layered interconnections between sites, islands, archipelagos and the adjacent continental coasts during the periods ranging from early prehistory to the end of the Bronze Age.

Fieldwork west of the Pindus mountain range has since the mid-20th century produced a rich archaeological record dating back to the Palaeolithic. During the last twenty five years, the results from excavations and systematic survey projects have not only enriched but also altered our perception of settlement, subsistence, mobility and interaction patterns in the region. The investigation of these patterns and the processes of circulation of raw materials, artefacts and ideas sheds light on aspects of regional and interregional communication, collective memory and the creation of distinct identities within and between different cultural and social groups.

We invite contributions from specialists in different fields working on topics including but not restricted to: site and regional organization, maritime connections, funerary landscapes, technology and craft production, short and long distance exchange. We also welcome phenomenological approaches and results from GIS studies, underwater archaeology and geoarchaeological projects, geospatial analyses and mobility network analyses. In this way we hope to address the dynamic relationships between human communities, questions relating to their relationship with the sea, the critical role of coastal environments in the formation of cultural and economic networks of exchange, and the associated social transformations these communities underwent, from the Palaeolithic to the end of the Bronze Age.

Please submit a title and an abstract of no more that 250 words by 20 September 2019 at the following email address: [email protected]