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Ancient Literacy

The Tavoliere Project


Alto-Medio Polesine -Basso Veronese

Research Projects

Accordia is associated with a number of major research projects.  Some, such as the excavations at Gravina and the Alto-Medio Polesine -Basso Veronese Project, are now complete and published or in preparation; others are still in progress. Accordia also has two ongoing major research projects, both based at the Institute of Archaeology at UCL but organised in association with Accordia.

Literacy in Early Italy is funded by the AHRC and comprises two three-year projects, one of which is took place in 2003-5, while the other ran from 2005-2008.  The first project, Developmental Literacy in Early Italy, examines the role of incipient literacy in the formation of urban societies, and in the emergence of cultural identities in three areas of ancient Italy where local communities developed in contact with the Etruscans, the Western Greeks and the Romans. The three areas are Northwest Italy, Southeast Italy, and Northwest Italy. In association with this project, the 2003-2004 series of Accordia seminars was based on the theme of The Establishment of Literacy in State Societies. The Ancient Mediterranean. A further seminar series, on the theme of Language, literacy and identity in the Ancient Mediterranean, took place in semester 2, 2005. The second project, Etruscan Literacy in its social context, 8th - 5th centuries BC, is concerned with Etruria, which was a primary centre of literacy in ancient Italy. A seminar series related to this project, on New Approaches to the Etruscans, took place from 2006-7 and a conference on Etruscan Literacy in it Social Context was held in September 2010. The proceedings of the conference are being prepared for publication.

The Tavoliere-Gargano prehistory project is funded by the British Academy, the Institute of Archaeology, UCL and the National University of Ireland, Galway. It is directed jointly by Prof. Ruth Whitehouse and Prof. Sue Hamilton of the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. Other Accordia members and associates involved in the project include deputy directors, Dr Edward Herring (NUIG) and Keri Brown (University of Manchester) and Mike Seager Thomas. The main project ran from 2002 to 2007, with two further small-scale seasons in 2008 and 2010. The project investigates the relationships between the Tavoliere plain and the Gargano promontory, southeast Italy, in later prehistory at regional, inter-site and intra-site scales. It aims to invetigate the social use and organisation of landscape and 'taskscapes' and focuses on interfaces of the domestic, specialist and ritual sites of these areas. The work combines innovative and traditional surface survey and mapping methods, as well as the development of approaches for understanding the human experiential aspects of 'dwelling' in prehistory.

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