Globalising the Mediterranean's Iron Age

Tamar Hodos

University of Bristol


The Mediterranean’s Iron Age – roughly 1200-600 BCE – may be regarded as one of its most dynamic periods of history.  Although it is not its first era in which people across the sea exchanged goods, ideas, values, customs, practices, and technologies, the difference is the scale to which this occurred. The interactions that resurged from the tenth century onwards eclipsed their Bronze Age antecedents in geographical, material and ideological scope. The period is characterized perhaps most of all by the movement of peoples from their homeland to areas far away on an unprecedented scale, notably the settlement of Greeks and Phoenicians in the central and western Mediterranean, which began in the ninth and eighth centuries. The long-term impact of this extensive interaction was the creation of what may be regarded as the Mediterranean’s first globally connected period. A globalized era is not the narrative scholarship has always presented, however.  This talk tracks interpretations of the Mediterranean Iron Age from its colonialist origins through post-colonial perspectives to explore how contemporary globalization theories are transforming our understandings of this culturally complex and socially vibrant era. 

Tamar Hodos is Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.  A specialist in the Iron Age Mediterranean, she is the author of Local Responses to Colonisation in the Iron Age Mediterranean (2006: Routledge), Material Culture and Social Identities in the Ancient World (2010: Cambridge University Press; edited with Shelley Hales), and, most recently, The Routledge Handbook of Globalization and Archaeology (2017: Routledge; lead editor).  She is presently completing a major monograph, The Archaeology of the Mediterranean Iron Age, for Cambridge University Press. Her current research projects include a collaboration with the British Museum to elucidate the production techniques and geographic origins of decorated ostrich eggs, objects of elite consumption from Mesopotamia to Iberia during the Mediterranean Iron Age.

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