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Ancient World Seminar: Joanita Vroom (Leiden), 'Most Exciting Times: What Happened in the Eastern Mediterranean After Antiquity?'

Wanneer:ma 17-02-2014 16:15 - 17:30
Waar:room 130
Poster design: Marleen Termeer
Poster design: Marleen Termeer

Dr Vroom explores new perspectives on the organization and use of space in Byzantine towns. The research is part of a VIDI project with the title ‘Material Culture, Consumption and Social Change: New Approaches for Understanding the Eastern Mediterranean during Byzantine and Ottoman Times’ that investigates the material culture in four key urban centres in the Byzantine World. These include Butrint in Albania, Athens in Greece, Ephesus in western Turkey and Tarsus in eastern Turkey.

These four urban centres have been chosen because of chronological and geographical reasons. They all share a long history of occupation, often from Prehistory or Antiquity to more recent times. For their Byzantine phases, excavations on the four sites have provided material from Late Antiquity and the so-called ‘Dark Ages’ to Late Medieval times (ca. 6th/7th to 15th centuries).

The focus in this paper will be on new archaeological discoveries (especially of ceramic finds) from these four urban centres. Pottery distribution patterns will aid in the study of patterns of production, trade and consumption within each settlement and between periods. Differences in pottery types, shapes and technologies will also highlight possible contacts with neighbouring sites and with production centres around the Mediterranean. Finally, the combined analysis of pottery, architectural remains and other finds will provide useful insights on the spatial and economic development of the sites by highlighting continuities and discontinuities in occupation.

Dr. Joanita Vroom is Associate professor at Leiden University with expertise in Byzantine archaeology, Islamic archaeology, Ottomanarchaeology, Ceramics and Dining habits and cuisine. She specializes in Medieval and Post-Medieval archaeology in the eastern Mediterranean (from the 7th to the 20th centuries after Christ), and takes a particular interest in the social-economic aspects (production and distribution) and the cultural aspects (cuisine and dining habits) of Byzantine, Islamic, Ottoman and Early Modern ceramics.