Material Connections eschews outdated theory, tainted by colonialist attitudes, and develops a new cultural and historical understanding of how factors such as mobility, materiality, conflict and co-presence impacted on the formation of identity in the ancient Mediterranean. Fighting against ‘hyper-specialisation’ within the subject area, it explores the multiple ways that material culture was used to establish, maintain and alter identities, especially during periods of transition, culture encounter and change. A new perspective is adopted, one that perceives the use of material culture by prehistoric and historic Mediterranean peoples in formulating and changing their identities. It considers how objects and social identities are entangled in various cultural encounters and interconnections.
The movement of people as well as objects has always stood at the heart of attempts to understand the courses and process of human history. The Mediterranean offers a wealth of such information and Material Connections, expanding on this base, offers a dynamic, new subject of enquiry – the social identify of prehistoric and historic Mediterranean people – and considers how migration, colonial encounters, and connectivity or insularity influence social identities. The volume includes a series of innovative, closely related case studies that examine the contacts amongst various Mediterranean islands – Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Crete, Cyprus, the Balearics – and the nearby shores of Italy, Greece, North Africa, Spain and the Levant to explore the social and cultural impact of migratory, colonial and exchange encounters. Material Connections forges a new path in understanding the material culture of the Mediterranean and will be essential for those wishing to develop their understanding of material culture and identity in the Mediterranean.
1. Material connections: mobility, materiality and Mediterranean identities A. Bernard Knapp and Peter van Dommelen 2.Classifying an oxymoron. On black boxes, materiality and identity in the scientific representation of the Mediterranean Carlos Cañete 3.Reproducing difference: mimesis and colonialism in Roman Hispania Alicia Jiménez 4.From colonisation to habitation: early cultural adaptations in the Balearic Bronze Age Damià Ramis 5.Social identities, materiality and connectivity in Early Bronze Age Crete Marina Gkiasta 6.Foreign materials, islander mobility and elite identity in Late Bronze Age Sardinia Anthony Russell 7.Negotiating island interactions: Cyprus, the Aegean and the Levant in the Late Bronze to Early Iron Ages Sarah Janes 8.Entangled identities on Iron Age Sardinia? Jeremy Hayne 9.Iron, connectivity and local identities in the Iron Age to Classical Mediterranean Maria Kostoglou 10.Mobility, materiality and identities in Iron Age east Iberia: on the appropriation of material culture and the question of judgement Jaime Vives-Ferrándiz 11.Trading settlements and the materiality of wine consumption in the north Tyrrhenian Sea region Corinna Riva 12. Concluding thoughts Michael Rowlands
- The cohesion of the papers and the explicit interaction amongst them is impressive
- The common denominator of Material Connections is method as much as it is the Mediterranean
- The empirical results of the local case studies ... will be necessary reading for archaeologists working in those areas
- ... it provides them with an innovative toolkit for approaching complicated research questions
- ... the book will encourage readers to rethink the ethnic and regional boundaries imposed by their academic disciplines. Jed Thorn, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, USA
- Material Connections in the Ancient Mediterranean offers a multitude of ideas about and perspectives on the study of cultural interaction and materiality in the ancient Mediterranean.
- The volume offers much to think about for anyone interested in the themes of cultural interaction and materiality in the Mediterranean Elon Heymans
- ... it is a worthy book for both those who are interested in specialised regional studies, and those who want to address wider theoretical questions Mercourios Georgiadis, University of Nottingham, England