Bridging cultures: networks in the Strait of Sicily (2014-2018)

The reconstruction of the commercial and cultural interaction across the Strait of Sicily between the VI and II centuries BC (doctoral research by Andrea Perugini).

View of the Strait of Sicily from a Space Station. NASA image courtesy the rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC
View of the Strait of Sicily from a Space Station. NASA image courtesy the rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC
This project focuses on interaction and mobility across the Strait of Sicily between the VI and II centuries BC. This part of the Mediterranean, nowadays being close to an 'Iron Curtain' dividing Europe and Africa, in the past has always served as a bridge connecting the various cultures who dwelled on its shores. The main actors during the five centuries concerned here were the Punics and the Greeks, but a few miles inland we find several indigenous populations who had been living there before the arrival of these colonial groups over the preceding two-and-a-half centuries. The methodology proposed in this project borrows from the 'network theory', a relatively new approach that only more recently has been applied to address archaeological questions by the scholarly community.

Over the last 20 years, quite a few coastal sites on the Strait of Sicily have been thoroughly investigated archaeologically, resulting in sometimes extremely detailed final publications, but nearly always in isolation, on site or micro region level. Understanding the meso-regional level of the Strait of Sicily has never been attempted, mainly  because the different cultures and countries involved. Still, such a study is feasible and even timely. Comparing a selection of these well-studied sites (both Punic and Greek) under a strict set of parameters and using 'network theory' as an encompassing framework, will lead to an understanding of the measure of interaction and mobility across the Strait.

Contact

Drs Andrea Perugini