Change and Resilience

The Occupation of Mediterranean Islands in Late Antiquity

An International Conference at the
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
Brown University, Providence, RI  USA
1-3 December 2017

During the last three decades, the growing interest in the human occupation of islands has contributed to the development of a large number of surveys and excavations along the entire Mediterranean region and beyond. Island archaeology has developed exponentially as islands have grown to be considered excellent laboratories for the study of sociocultural transformations and the interaction between local and foreign cultures. The focus has been traditionally centered in prehistory and in the colonization of islands.  The study of island systems, however, can be addressed to understand many different processes across historical periods and not only in prehistory.

In fact, islands play a fundamental role in the understanding of the Mediterranean Sea in the transition from the Roman to the Medieval periods. The conference will explore the transformation of Mediterranean islands with a primary focus on settlement patterns and the transformation of landscapes and mindscapes. The idea is to explore how the models of occupation of the islands changed from the Roman to the Medieval Period focusing in change and resilience, in innovation and tradition, in the creation of new settlements and the reoccupation of prehistoric sites.

Synthesis on particular large islands or archipelagos will be prioritized as oral presentations by invitation only. However, the open submission of papers is accepted from scholars at any academic level. These papers will be accepted as posters, but the organization cannot cover the cost of travel and lodging. Scholars that will not be able to physically attend are also welcome to send posters that will be displayed and discussed. All oral and poster papers are invited to present a text for publication.

Although the major focus of this conference is on settlement patterns, landscape/environment and mindscape transformations, any contribution concerning other aspects of the archaeology of Mediterranean islands in Late Antiquity is also welcomed (see publication). The idea is to bring into light and to summarize the large quantity of research over the islands in the last decades and the recent advances in island archaeology in the Mediterranean for this fascinating period of deep transformation.


Friday, December 1st 2017
Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

4:30- 4:45 pm  – WelcomePeter van Dommelen (Brown University)

4:45- 5:00 pm – Opening RemarksMiguel Ángel Cau Ontiveros (ICREA, Universitat de Barcelona, Brown University)

5:00- 6:00 pm – Early Medieval Maritime Linkages: The Mediterranean and the Oceans Compared  –  David Abulafia (Cambridge University)

Saturday, December 2nd 2017
Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

**Posters Displayed All Day (Joukowsky Institute Atrium)

Session I: The Western and Central Mediterranean

9:00-9:10 am –  Introduction – Matthew Pihokker (Brown University)

9:10- 9:30 am – The Occupation of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) in Late Antiquity: Tracing Change and Resilience  – Catalina Mas Florit (Brown University) and Miguel Ángel Cau Ontiveros (ICREA, Universitat de Barcelona, Brown University)

9:30-9:50 am – Urban and Rural Settlements Patterns in Late Antique CorsicaGabriele Castiglia (Pontificio Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana) and Philippe Pergola (Université d’Aix-Marseille, LA3M – Pontificio Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana)

9:50-10:10 am – Procopius’ Barbarikinoi and Gregorius Magnus’ Barbaricini: Mauri and Sardinians Between the 6th and 7th Century AD? –  Pier Giorgio Spanu (Università degli Studi di Sassari)

10:10-10:30 am – Coffee Break

10:30- 10:40 am – IntroductionJulia Hurley (Brown University)

10:40-11:00 am – Sicily from Late Antiquity to Early Middle Ages: Resilience and Disruption –  Alessandra Molinari (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata)

11:00-11:20 am – The Transformation of Adriatic islands from Antiquity to the Early Middle AgesMiljenko Jurkovich (University of Zagreb)

11:20-11:40 am – ResponsePeter Van Dommelen (Brown University)

11:40 am- 12:00 pm – Group Discussion

12:00-2:00 pm – Lunch break

Session II: The Eastern Mediterranean

2:00- 2:10 pm – Introduction Evan Levine (Brown University)

2:10- 2:30 pm – Macro-economy, Micro-ecology and the Fate of Urbanized Landscape in Late Antique and Early Byzantine CreteEnrico Zanini (Università degli Studi di Siena)

2:30- 2:50 pm – The Islands of the Southern Aegean from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages: The Archaeological EvidenceNatalia Poulou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)

2:50- 3:10 pm – Economic Landscapes and Transformed Mindscapes in Cyprus from Roman Times to the Early Middle AgesAthanasios Vionis (University of Cyprus) and Giorgos Papantoniou (University of Bonn)

3:10- 3:30 pm – ResponseJohn F. Cherry (Brown University) Discussant

3:30- 3:50 pm – Group Discussion

Sunday, December 3rd 2017
Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

**Posters Displayed All Day (Joukowsky Institute Atrium)

Session III: Islands Mindscapes

9:00- 9:10 am – Introduction Martin Uildriks (Brown University)

9:10- 9:30 am – The Christianization of Island Landscapes in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle AgesSam Turner (Newcastle University) and Jim Crow (University of Edinburgh)

9:30- 9:50 am – Islands and Resilience: Christianization Processes in the Cyclades – Rebecca Sweetman (University of St. Andrews)

9:50- 10:10 am – Crete, a Border at the Sea: Defensive Works and Landscape – Mindscape Changes (7th-8th Centuries)Christina Tsigonaki (University of Crete)

10:10- 10:30 am – ResponseSusan E. Alcock (University of Michigan and Brown University)

10:30- 10:50 am  – Group Discussion

10:50-11:10 am – Coffee Break

11:10 am- 12:10 pm – Closing RemarksMichael McCormick (Harvard University)

Call for Posters Extended Deadline: 15 October 2017
View the Call for Posters Here

Brown University

– Dean of the Faculty,  Charles K. Colver Lectureship
– The Cogut Institute for the Humanities, Humanities Initiative
– The John Carter Brown Library
– Program in Early Cultures
– Department of History
– Department of the History of Art and Architecture
– Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology
– Department of Religious Studies
– Program in Medieval Studies
Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA)
Agència de Gestió d’Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (AGAUR), Generalitat de Catalunya
Equip de Recerca Arqueològica i Arqueomètrica de la Universitat de Barcelona (ERAAUB)