Is Mediterranean Island Colonisation Still Interesting?

Author(s): Cyprian Broodbank

Year: 2017


Island colonisation took off as a field of comparative archaeological investigation during the 1970s and 1980s, with thought-provoking analyses of regional theatres (primarily Oceanic, Caribbean and Pacific), as well as pioneering efforts to explore wider commonalities and differences between these. In the Mediterranean, the research of John Cherry sought underlying patterns and processes among a mass of empirical data, within which new evidence might find meaning and place. Such evidence has indeed accumulated, much of it affirming existing patterns but some potentially questioning earlier interpretative frameworks. This paper considers to what degree island colonisation analysis remains a challenging, innovative framework for Mediterranean archaeology today, versus the degree to which it is now essentially an intellectually mined-out field of study awaiting only the last in-fillings of data. The focus is on the questionable discreteness of insular colonisation from wider processes in this fragmented environment, the disputed significance of putative Palaeolithic activity, early-mid Holocene insights from Cyprus and the Balearics, and the relatively more dynamic results to be obtained from post-colonisation studies. Some implications of these considerations for global island archaeology will be proposed.

Cite this Record

Is Mediterranean Island Colonisation Still Interesting?. Cyprian Broodbank. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430660)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15925