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Research Groningen Institute of Archaeology Research Research groups GIA

The impact of the population expansion on the rural society in the Hellenistic period in Magna Graecia

Tineke Roovers

Tineke Roovers MA


Promotor: Prof. P.A.J. Attema

Period of employment: 1 June 2015 (start)

Financed by: self-funded

Project description

From the beginning of the Hellenistic period (ca 325-25 BC) there is a huge (population) expansion in Southern Italy. The reason for this expansion is still not very clear. This project aims to investigate this phenomenon specifically in the coastal plains of the Sibaritide, Siritide and Metapontino and their hinterland, the foot-hills and mountain areas. Subjects are especially the rural society, the small indigenous settlements and solitary farmsteads in the foot-hills and mountain areas. A higher population density has an impact on the size of the agricultural area and techniques, crop choices, expansion to areas that need irrigation, pressure on water sources. In turn, these changing circumstances may show in the amount of luxury pottery and in changes in building constructions of farmsteads.

Research questions

The main research questions are:

1.     What caused this population expansion in the Hellenistic period?

2.     What were the effects on the society, for example expansion to marginal areas, changes in sizes and lay-out of farms, changes in pottery assemblage?

3.     Was the expansion induced by the Greek cities on the coast? And, if so, how much of the indigenous identity was preserved?

These questions will be addressed by studying the site distribution and location in relation to soil types, site typology, pottery typology and assemblage, as well as historical sources.

Last modified:29 October 2015 12.22 p.m.