Professor Maria Mina (University of the Aegean), “Manifestation or mirage? The cultural construction of insularity in the south-east Aegean”
The lecture assesses the position of islands of the south-east Aegean in relation to diachronic prehistoric phenomena, such as colonisation, interaction, and perceived acculturation. The scope of the presentation is twofold. On one hand, it intends to highlight the centrality of the south-east Aegean in prehistoric cultural phenomena with topical and wider repercussions; on the other hand, it is argued that prehistoric insularity was culturally constructed and should not, therefore, be linked to the islands’ aquatic state or perceived geographical marginality. As a result of cultural choices, it is proposed that islands of the south-east Aegean faded in and out of topical and wider interaction networks either as solid manifestations or as mirages. A reappraisal of archaeological evidence from prehistoric Karpathos serves to demonstrate the dynamic role played by islands lying in strategic locations in connecting or dividing insular and mainland regions in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean.
This British School at Athens Virtual Upper House Seminar was recorded 10 May 2021.