According to the Oxford English Dictionary (2021), the term interaction means “reciprocal action” or “action or influence of persons or things on each other”. More interactions, involving a different number of agents, can form an interrelated system called a network (Oxford English Dictionary 2021). Interactions require some degree of movement, that is “a journey, outing, commission, or other significant activity undertaken by a person or group of people” (Oxford English Dictionary 2021). When people move with the purpose of settling a different locality either for an unlimited or temporary period of time, it is possible to talk about migrations (Oxford English Dictionary 2021). Movements are not restricted to people, but involve also the objects and the ideas that accompany humans on the journey. The social and political complexities behind matters of interaction, trade, and mobility have recently been the object of significant attention from the media, the effect of which can also be seen in the archaeological field. The Graduate Archaeology at Oxford (GAO) International Conference 2021 provides graduate students and early career researchers with the opportunity to share their work and ideas related to this topic within the wider archaeology community. The conference will take across three days, each dedicated to a different aspect: social interactions, economy and trade, and maritime network.
Interaction and its consequences: assessing the nexus between economic interaction, mobility and settlement dynamics in the Mediterranean Bronze Age
Through time and its paradigmatic shifts, archaeological interpretation has sometimes conceived human mobility and economic interaction as alternative explanations to make sense of social and cultural change at various scales.
In this paper my (somewhat obvious, but not frequently articulated) point is that there is actually a systemic connection between economic interaction and movement of people. It is suggested here that in situations of encounter, frequently, the hegemonic role and directional influence of some of the participants, is paired with a reverse in-flow of bodies from the non-hegemonic communities that become ineluctably attracted by the perceived origin of such an influence.
I will try to support my argument discussing data from the Roca Archaeological Survey, the survey project recently undertaken by the University of Bologna around the important Late Bronze Age hub of Rocavecchia in South-eastern Italy. Such discussion will be combined also with insights from different contexts, with the aim of disentangling the complex relationship between hegemony, economic interaction and mobility.
Roman bulk trade in low-value goods: return cargoes and subsidised trade by land and sea
This paper examines the factors that made the bulk long-distance trade of relatively low-value goods (bricks, tile, table pottery) not merely economically viable, but common, in the Roman world. It will consider the extent to which such cargoes may have ‘ridden on the back of’ other cargoes demanded or organised by the state; and it will also explore whether the concept of ‘return cargoes’ in maritime trade can be extended to overland trade, and if so under what circumstances. In particular, it considers to what extent state shipments of gold or grain may have stimulated and subsidised trade in various kinds of pottery of no direct interest to the state.
Prof Andrew Wilson
University of Oxford
Dr Candace Rice
Networks, supply chains and mobility in Roman Mediterranean
Maritime transport was a central step in the supply chain processes for many goods traded throughout the Roman world and shipwreck cargoes provide insightful, albeit not entirely straightforward, snapshots into the complexities of maritime trade patterns (Rice 2016; Leidwanger 2017). Recent studies utilizing formal network modelling vividly illustrate the connectivity that characterized Mediterranean trade, and highlight the significant challenges in interpreting network connections in meaningful ways (Leidwanger and Knappett 2018; Greene 2018; Leidwanger 2020). This paper attempts to provide additional context for network connections by analyzing the supply chains of products from selected shipwreck cargoes as a way of highlighting not only the geographic networks but the human networks involved. Connectivity facilitated the development of widespread specialization in Roman trade, and this can be seen throughout various stages of trade as producers, transporters, and retailers focused on specialized goods and services with seemingly little overlap across stages of supply chains. Such specialization has clear economic benefits, but the resulting segmentation of trading processes also has implications for how we think about the mobility of people, as well as the transmission of information and knowledge. By analyzing product supply chains, we can begin to consider how specialization worked in practice and to explore the implications of specialization for people at each stage along the supply chain. A more detailed understanding of the roles of individual people and communities within the trading process allows us to consider more fully where, how and why connections were made and thus provide a more fine-grained interpretation of broader networks and the implications of connectivity for Roman society.
Submit abstracts of max 300 words by 5th April 2021
The Graduate Archaeology at Oxford (GAO) International Conference 2021 provides graduate students and early career researchers with the opportunity to share their work and ideas related to this year’s theme “Interaction in Archaeology” within the wider archaeology community. The conference will take place online across three days, each dedicated to a different aspect: social interactions, economy and trade, and maritime networks. We welcome papers and posters adopting different methodologies to discuss interactions across different geographical areas and chronological periods.
Aiming at publishing the conference proceedings, all of the papers submitted are going to be reviewed and selected by the organisers. Prior to publications, papers are going to be subjected to peer-review.
School of Archaeology 1 South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3TG Tel: +44(0)1865 288040
Institute of Archaeology 36 Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2PG Tel: +44(0)1865 278240