Demography, Migration, Interaction: New Archaeological Narratives for the Past and the Present | Wed Dec 18 14:00:00 | Room 822
Recent years have seen an increase in political narratives and propaganda focused on boundaries, borders and walls, primarily based on a mentality of ‘us’ versus ‘them’. At the same time, contemporary archaeological research has seen a resurgence of studies into prehistoric demography, driven by cross-disciplinary methods and techniques. Looking closely at issues of human migration and cross-cultural interaction across time and space, this session aims to highlight the value of archaeology as a tool for challenging current attitudes towards migrants. To this end, we invite papers that develop new archaeological narratives on co-existence, co-operation, conflict and/or exchange between different communities, thus demonstrating the significance of cross-cultural interaction to the human condition, as well as the long-term benefits of hybrid or ‘mixed’ communities. These narratives should however be placed firmly in the current socio-political context. What are the contemporary implications and entanglements of archaeological research focused on questions of demography, migration, and interaction? To enable this dialogue, we particularly welcome papers that approach these issues through a broad array of archaeological methods, including archaeological sciences (zooarchaeology, geoarchaeology, archaeobotany, osteoarchaeology), material culture studies (ceramics, lithics and metallurgy), and anthropological studies. We seek to discuss these topics from a broad temporal and geographical perspective, covering examples from the Palaeolithic to the Modern era, and from a diverse array of regions around the Globe. We particularly seek case studies from the Americas, Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Oceania.We encourage early career researchers, women and minorities to apply.
14:00 | Ana Catarina Vital, UCL Institute of Archaeology; Gwendoline Maurer, UCL Institute of Archaeology
14:10 | Gwendoline Maurer, UCL Institute of Archaeology
Diaspora Subsistence Strategies: The Kura Araxes in the 3rd Millennium BC Southern Levant
The Kura Araxes cultural complex is an archaeological phenomenon, in which Early Bronze Age migrants from the Caucasus, northern western Iran and Eastern Anatolia expanded through Russia, parts of southeastern Anatolia, the Iranian plateau and as far as the Southern Levant, during the 3rd millennium BC. Tel Bet Yerah (Sea of Galilea) presents the most southerly point of expansion. Tel Bet Yerah is unique among all known Kura-Araxes sites in that it shows the clear side-by-side habitation of migrants and the local population, at this Early Bronze Age urban centre (2770 B.C.E – 2400 B.C.E).
14:25 | Alicia Núñez-García, University of Edinburgh
Ubuntu! Phoenicians in Iberia, Syrians in Europe
Over the past few years, waves of Syrian immigrants have sought refuge from their country’s civil war in Europe, reaching mostly the coasts of Greece, Italy and Spain. Having made headlines as the ‘refugee crisis’, the situation has prompted not only positive humanitarian responses but also many nativist ones. How legitimate are these claims to the land?
14:40 | Yuyang Wang, Stanford University
Looking into the Shattered Mirrors: A Study of Destroyed Bronze Mirrors in Qin, Han, and Xiongnu Tombs
Archaeological discoveries show that people from various civilizations had interests of burying destroyed objects for ambiguous reasons. Ancient Egyptians would “kill” their ceramic objects by poking holes in the bottom; Northern Europeans of the Iron Age would bend their swords to “kill the spirits;” the Shang Chinese would shatter their bronze objects into pieces to “send away the dead.” Why is it cross-culturally common to favour destroyed objects in burial?
14:55 | Christian Langer M.A., Freie Universität Berlin
Researching ancient Egyptian deportations: political economy and scholarly discourse
In this contribution, I will outline the role of deportation policies in domestic and international affairs in Egypt’s Late Bronze Age empire (c. 1550–1069 BCE). Egyptian deportation policies have been an understudied topic. Neither Egyptology nor other academic disciplines have recognized it as a fruitful field of enquiry that may also hold value in global comparative studies. The understudied nature of the topic necessitates multidisciplinary angles that incorporate insights and approaches from fields as varied as modern history or the social sciences more broadly. The explanatory potential of archaeology is discussed in this context.
15:10 | Sara Simões, Cambridge Archaeological Unit / STARQ- Sindicato dos Trabalhadores de Arqueologia (Portuguese Union for Archaeologists); Tânia Casimiro, IHC-NOVA University of Lisbon; José Pedro Henriques, IAP – Universidade NOVA de Lisboa; Vanessa Filipe, Independent Researcher
An archaeological perspective of African mobilities in Portugal between the 15th and the 19th centuries
African diaspora archaeology was until recently completely ignored by Portuguese archaeologists, relegating these populations to the role of the others, the ones with no voice in historical narratives. Although Portugal was the first and one of the main responsible nations for the forced mobility of thousands of African slaves for more than 400 years during the early modern age, this has just recently turned into a debate within the country. Archaeologists have a privileged part in the discussions around early modern human mobility and its cultural implications, however the social impact of these studies in nowadays Portugal is yet to be seen. Possible evidence of these African migrants, either slaved or free, are constantly found in the archaeological record and it is possible to cross such information with documental and iconographic documents, revealing their daily lives, beliefs and identities. Who were these people? Where did they come from? How did their coexistence shape new African and Portuguese identities? And how do Portuguese archaeologists understand their role in a country responsible for such massive migrations? Archaeological studies are essential to trace these human and territorial heritage legacies, developing new approaches and new narratives. Having as a starting point evidence retrieved from excavations in Portugal dated from the 15th to the 19th centuries, these are just some of the questions this paper will debate.
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15:55 | Lucy Timbrell, Professor Marta Mirazón Lahr, Leverhulme Centre of Human Evolutionary Studies, University of Cambridge
Characterising and exploring patterns of cranial shape variation in recent Aboriginal Australians
Aboriginal Australians have a distinctive cranial shape compared to other global populations which, coupled with the early appearance of modern humans in the Australian archaeological record, has led to many questions about their population history. For example, the anthropological scholarship disagrees on the degree of isolation of Aboriginals since the initial colonisation of the continent and whether recent communities are the direct ancestors of the first settlers. Genomic evidence suggests recent groups have had a deep-time continuous occupation of the landmass; however, some morphological analyses have attributed variation to the differential admixture between multiple, largely successive, waves of prehistoric migration into Australia. This work uses previously collected 2D cranial measurements and 3D models to analyse patterns of Aboriginal cranial shape variation. Both craniometric methods and 3D geometric morphometric analysis were employed. Results suggest that there is interesting variation in the Aboriginal sample, structured spatially in a statistically significant way. This structuring maps onto deep-time genetic divergence, supporting genomic evidence for a single colonisation model. Both 2D and 3D shape analysis methods found that facial prognathism and cranial vault shape are variable aspects of Aboriginal morphology. This mirrors the dichotomous variation observed throughout the Australian fossil record, supporting the genomic evidence that suggests that most modern groups are descended from a single colonisation event.
16:10 | Konstantinos P. Trimmis, University of Bristol; Christianne L. Fernée, University of Southampton
Εuromobile: Exploring migration narratives and mobility routes in the South East Europe from prehistory to the present
Questions about migration and mobility in Europe are a current focal point in both the news and in discussions between archaeologists, anthropologists and social scientists. Many of these discussions have focused upon the crossing of the Mediterranean and the routes to Central Europe through the Balkans. South East Europe has formed a natural bridge for the mobility of people from the Levant to Europe since the Palaeolithic. In contrast, modern states in existence today were formed through the gradual movement of populations. With this in mind, this newly established project aims to map the patterns of mobility in South East Europe from the past to the present. These patterns will be mapped both temporally and geographically using a combination of landscape archaeology, osteoarchaeological and anthropological methods. Sensorial landscape mapping, population and isotopic studies, creative writing and interaction patterns are explored. The movement of contemporary transhumance groups is followed and their material culture is studied to investigate how and why the different routes have been selected. As an output we aim to assess how and if these routes have changed from prehistory to modern times. The data are correlated using GIS to highlight the biography of the migration routes and to create a diachronic narrative of population movement and co-existence in the area. This paper presents the theoretical framework of the project, providing a step by step methodology, with a preliminary application of these methods to the transhumant societies of the Vlach communities in North Western Greece.
16:25 | Marte Spangen, Førsteamanuensis/Associate professor, Arctic University of Norway
Roads of the North – movement, interaction, and landscape negotiation in northern Norway
The medieval and early modern Far North of Fennoscandia is often viewed as a periphery of little population and activity. However, archaeological, historical, and toponymical sources reflect a relatively significant amount and variety of people moving within and to and from these areas for purposes of livelihood, taxation, and trade. In the project «Roads of the North», a combination of archaeological sources, isotope studies, old maps, and other historical sources, as well as toponyms, are studied to trace the movements of these groups and the interaction between them in the primarily Sámi areas of northern Norway. This includes studies of the historical development of Sámi mobility patterns and economics before the introduction of more extensive reindeer pastoralism and herding; the archaeological traces of the threefold taxation of the Sámi by Russian, Danish/Norwegian, and Swedish state powers, and how regional and local landscape access and use were negotiated between these groups and different native Sámi communities.
16:40 | Lauren Nicole Coughlin, University of Southampton
If nowhere else, they belong when they are in that class
Identity is an intangible aspect of our daily lives and can be taken for granted or desperately sought. Identity supports resilience and often relies on a space and particular group of individuals to manifest. Therefore, it is particularly difficult to facilitate heritage identity in the event of a forced migration.
16:55 | Alexandra E. T. Kriti, Headland Archaeology Ltd. / Kingston University of London
Cooking [at] the borders: The Taste of the Aegean Internationality(-ies)
The so called ‘refugee crisis’ has re-formed the social landscape(s) of the Balkans and especially those of the Aegean islands. Sea crossing routes, border passages and ‘hotspots’ are just few of these emerging sites to name. The ‘borderline’ islands of the Aegean are focal points of this ongoing situation due to their geographic location, imaginary symbolism and propagated historical background.
17:10 | Ana Catarina Vital, UCL Institute of Archaeology; Gwendoline Maurer, UCL Institute of Archaeology
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