Workshop on Craftspeople mobility
The British School at Athens hosted a 3-day international workshop entitled “Craftspeople mobility in archaeological, historical and ethnographic record – a comparative perspective from the Aegean” organized by Evangelia Kiriatzi and Bartłomiej Lis from the BSA and Evangelos Karamanes and Paraskevas Potiropoulos from the Folklore Hellenic Research Centre, Academy of Athens.
The workshop started with an introductory session, during which scholars representing three different disciplines: archaeology (Krzysztof Nowicki), history (Elias Kolovos and Denise Klein) and ethnology/folklore studies (Paraskevas Potiropoulos) presented the ways in which the general topic of human mobility can be approached. This session set the stage for papers – and discussions – that took place on Saturday and Sunday.
There were altogether six thematic sessions during the workshop, each with two (or, in one case, three) papers by scholars representing different disciplines and a discussant whose role was to comment on the papers and lead the discussion. The themes were the following: weaving, stone masonry, food technologies, wall painting, pottery and agriculture. As the main idea of the workshop was to initiate an interdisciplinary dialogue, archaeologists dealing with both prehistory and antiquity presented their research alongside ethnographers, folklorists, art historians and social anthropologists. Discussants represented an equally mixed group of scholars, and they were reflecting on the papers from the perspective of their own research and discipline. The binding elements were the focus on craftspeople mobility, the crafts themselves, and the same geographical area of the Aegean that seems to have been a connecting rather than separating entity throughout all the represented periods of time.
Overall, such a juxtaposition of disciplines and approaches resulted in lively discussions after all of the sessions that made everybody aware not only of the differences in the way of thinking about mobility and the kind of evidence that is available for various scholars, but also of the points of convergence, most notably the importance of the historical context that defined the frames for human mobilities. The workshop was closed with a final discussion introduced by the director of the British School at Athens, John Bennet, and the declaration by its organisers of the intent to publish the proceedings. This will be an important next step in bringing together the different ways of looking at and studying mobility, following the lessons that were learnt during this experimental workshop.
This workshop was part of TRACT (Traveling Ceramic Technologies as markers of human mobility in the Aegean), a project carried out at the British School at Athens by Bartłomiej Lis under the supervision of Evangelia Kiriatzi and funded through Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions (grant No No 753569, https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/212050/factsheet/en)
To see the programme or the abstracts, go to: https://www.bsa.ac.uk/events/craftspeople-mobility-in-the-archaeological-historical-and-ethnographic-record-a-comparative-perspective-from-the-aegean/