Bioarchaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean

This broad thematic encompasses a number of sub-projects, partly supported by STARC graduate students. The focus is on human osteoarchaeological assessments of migration, kinship, diet, activity and pathology, captured under the broad themes of physical and social mobility. Temporally this study covers the Archaic to post-Roman times, with most of the assemblages dating to the Hellenistic period and Roman era. The aim is to gradually build an open-access database of Eastern Mediterranean human osteoarchaeological data that will allow exploring key questions pertaining to migration patterns in the Roman Empire, social stratification in ancient Greece beyond Athens and many others, complementing historical sources and other archaeological lines of evidence.     

Relevant dissemination

Invited talk to the 11th meeting of the Hellenic Association of Bioscientists titled: ‘Bioarchaeology: A window to the diachronic interplay between diet, environment, health and disease’, 15th December 2018, Athens.

Palaeomobility in the Eastern Mediterranean: The Osteoarchaeological Dimension

map with networking skeletonThis project examines human mobility in the prehistoric Aegean in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. The Aegean is a region the connectivity of which has been highlighted by numerous scholars; however, relevant studies have focused almost exclusively on material (trade) networks. Even though such networks suggest material culture exchanges among past societies, it is not clear to what extent they involved the movement and direct interaction of individuals beyond middlemen or craftsmen.

Such information can be provided through the study of human skeletal remains. Dental morphology is largely hereditary, thus the study of specific dental traits can offer insights to the patterns of phenetic and, subsequently, genetic divergence of past human groups. In the context of this project, data has so far been collected from almost 30 prehistoric assemblages from mainland Greece and the islands of southern Aegean.

Relevant data collection was funded by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the British School at Athens in the context of fellowships held by Efthymia Nikita in 2013/14 and 2014/15, as well as a grant by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Research Committee given to a key collaborator of this project, Dr Sevasti Triantaphyllou (Department of History and Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki). More data collection is currently under way with a focus on pre- and early proto-Palatial Crete.

Relevant dissemination

Invited talk at the Archaeological Research Unit, University of Cyprus, 12th November 2018.