COLLOQUIUM: Antonis Kotsonas, NYU, "Containers, Commodities and Greek Colonization in the Mediterranean of the 8th century BCE"

Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

402 Cohen Hall 

Several milestones and new beginnings punctuate the history of the ancient world in the 8th century BCE, but my Colloquium focuses specifically on the beginning of Greek colonization and its impact on the Mediterranean economy. I review the traditional “agrarian” and “commercial” models of Greek colonization, and I evaluate the relevance of the under-studied class of transport containers and the commodities they contained to the relevant discourse. Recent research has demonstrated that the widespread production and circulation of many Aegean amphora types dates from the 8th (rather than the 7th) century BCE, thus largely synchronizing this phenomenon with the beginning of Greek colonization. Focusing on a case study drawn from my current research on a large assemblage of transport amphorae from the Euboean colony of Methone in coastal Macedonia, I demonstrate how a general consensus on the “agrarian” model of colonization of a region can be reassessed on the basis of transport containers and the commodities they contained.