NWO grant: What went into the melting pot?

CLUE+ researcher prof J P Crielaard has been awarded a NWO free competition grant for the project: What went into the melting pot? Land-use, agriculture, and craft production as indicators for the contributions of Greek migrants and local inhabitants to the so-called Greek colonization in Italy (ca. 800-550 BC).

07/02/2018 | 4:31 PM

When during the 8th to 6th centuries BC Greek colonists settled along the shores of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, an important new chapter in the history of the ancient world began. But did these Greek colonists operate on their own or were they dependent on local knowledge and networks? By answering this question this project aims to make a decisive contribution to the ongoing scholarly debate about the character of the Greek colonization in Italy and the role of local peoples. The key to solve this problem can be found in the earliest years of settlement and in the most basic elements in the life of the colonies’ inhabitants, namely agricultural practices, land-use, and the production of pots, pans and jars for domestic use and storage. Scientific data and science-based research methods will be employed to analyze and compare how farming and craft production were organized in the Greek motherland, in the indigenous milieu in Italy, and in the colonies themselves. By comparing these datasets it will be possible to define to what extent colonial communities imported knowledge of agricultural systems and craft production, or adopted or adapted autochthonous methods. This can be used as a proxy for the influx of new people and ideas, and for transformations of local and migrant societies. This project will provide a new perspective on the beginnings of ancient globalization, founded on three cornerstones: new theoretical insights, trans-disciplinary synergy of bioarchaeology, landscape-modelling and scientific analyses of ancient craft-products, and international scholarly collaboration.