Archaeological Evidence for Mobility in the Central Mediterranean and Sahara (4 weeks)

Mobility is defined as movement of people, plants, animals, or inanimate objects from one place to another. This can be temporary or permanent and be events where single individual or larger populations moves from one place to another, or where people brought inanimate or animate objects and left them behind only to move onto to somewhere else themselves. The question of how we study this archaeologically, however, is one that continues to change through time as new technologies allow us to better understand how mobility changes. This class will look at evidence for mobility in the Central Mediterranean and the Sahara, concentrating on sites in Italy (Rome, Ostia, Sicily, and Sardinia), Tunisia (Carthage), and Libya (Cyrenaica, Tripolitania, and the Fezzan). The archaeological evidence for mobility that will be examined will include material found in excavations such as pottery, burial practices, and inscriptions as well as strontium isotope, ancient DNA, and other analyses of human, animal, and plant populations in these regions. In addition to discussing the different types of evidence for mobility, we will look in detail about the advantages and disadvantages of each and also discuss ethical considerations for how the data should be collected, analyzed, and published in order to present as a complete a picture of mobility as possible.

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