Sheffield Aegean Round Table List

Of Odysseys and Oddities: Scales and modes of interaction between prehistoric Aegean societies and their neighbours

16th Annual Round Table, 25-27 January 2013
Organized by: Barry Malloy

The image of the Greek world we receive from literary works, ranging from the Oresteia to the Odyssey, is one of multiple of scales of interaction, from the household (oikos) to the supra-regional. Extensive connectivity also characterises the Aegean in most periods, a region into which various influences are drawn and from which they are shared with surrounding societies. From the microcosm of a household to the macrocosm of a possible 'Mycenaean empire', spatial and temporal gradations of influence extend from the ground beneath the agent to far ranging political and economic relations. Although raw materials and finished products carry with them cultural meanings, these are transformed within local traditions as they move across wide fields of social discourse. The Aegean, traditionally viewed as a core area, comprises a number of geographical sub-regions that interact differently with each other, and with neighbouring societies in the Apennine, Anatolian and Balkan peninsulas. In this sense the Aegean may be seen as a composite entity and dividends arise from assessing the many scales and directions in which influences exist in each part, irrespective of cores, peripheries, liminal zones or margins.

The focus of this Round Table is twofold: to explore how and why we make connections and to investigate how we recognise and define connectivity. Participants are invited to discuss the modes and motivations for the sharing of objects and ideas through studies that foreground practice and context alongside typology and 'value'. In particular, the ways in which connectivity, or indeed a lack thereof, is used to formulate social and economic models that draw in different parts of the Aegean and the above regions will be evaluated. By adopting a diachronic perspective, we seek to reveal how the character of connectivity is construed in different ways and on different scales through time.

The Round Table will provide an opportunity to assess how Aegean evidence can be utilised in wide-ranging syntheses that extend throughout the Aegean itself and well beyond into the neighbouring societies of the Anatolian, Apennine and Balkan peninsulas, and into Temperate Europe. In doing so, we hope to collapse differences in the ways 'Classical', 'European' and 'Near Eastern' archaeologies read and interpret essentially the same data.


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Sheffield University Sheffield Centre for Aegean Archaeology is a Research Centre in the Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield.

How to cite this page: Sheffield Centre for Aegean Archaeology,, Accessed: 22 May 2018