Local Identity in the Mani Peninsula in Classical Antiquity

Author(s): Chelsea Gardner

Year: 2016


This paper presents a new approach to studying ancient identity in the Mani peninsula, using a combination of archaeological and epigraphic evidence and existing theoretical paradigms. Mani can be classified as an 'ahistorical historical' region – one that is inhabited within the historical period but which does not itself produce emic written evidence. Regions like Mani are often left out of typical inquiries into ancient Greek identity, which are overwhelmingly divided between studies of a) prehistoric identity through examinations of geography and archaeology; versus b) historic cultural identity through examinations of written records and literature. The result of this divide is that investigations of ancient ethnic and cultural identity tend to centre on areas with either an abundance or a complete absence of written history.

This theoretical methodology applied to this region is used in order to understand ancient identity in this remote peninsula, and the way in which regions like Mani (those which are occupied within the historical period, but which lack primary historical sources) are still able to contribute to the discussion of ancient identity. The results of a pedestrian survey in the Diros Bay region illustrate this 'ahistorical-historical' approach to identity on a hyper-local level.

Cite this Record

Local Identity in the Mani Peninsula in Classical Antiquity. Chelsea Gardner. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403882)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;