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Maritime Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean World

December 2018

This volume brings together scholars of Mediterranean archaeology, ancient history, and complexity science to advance theoretical approaches and analytical tools for studying maritime connectivity. For the coast-hugging populations of the ancient Mediterranean, mobility and exchange depended on a distinct environment and technological parameters that created diverse challenges and opportunities, making the modeling of maritime interaction a paramount concern for understanding cultural interaction more generally. Network-inspired metaphors have long been employed in discussions of this interaction, but increasing theoretical sophistication and advances in formal network analysis now offer opportunities to refine and test the dominant paradigm of connectivity. Extending from prehistory into the Byzantine period, the case studies here reveal the potential of such network approaches. Collectively they explore the social, economic, religious, and political structures that guided Mediterranean interaction across maritime space.