Subproject Water

Maritime landscapes, searoutes and seaborne communications around southern Euboia’.

PhD-researcher: Ruben Brugge, MA.

Outline: This subproject aims to contribute to a better understanding of Mediterranean interconnectivity by a detailed study of the information that our study area provides about maritime communication systems and their functioning in relation to the physical and cultural maritime landscape. A mariner´s perspective is adopted to fully appreciate this maritime landscape, and four aspects are studied in detail to come to a longue durée history of the maritime Karystia:

The physical maritime landscape. This concerns the area’s marine geology, coastal geomorphology and bathymetry, with special attention to alterations in the coastal and submarine landscape. Other importance aspects are climate and weather, especially wind, and sea currents.

The cultural maritime landscape. The point of departure is that stories and myths were extensively used to give meaning to and make sense of the seascape. These narratives provide important information with regard to the way that the seascape was perceived and used, containing information about such things as searoutes and the dangers associated with specific areas. Many such are also found in connection with the seas and coastal areas around southern Euboia. In this part of the research, information from ancient texts will be systematically collected and analysed, and linked to elements of the physical maritime landscape, particularly to land and sea marks. All this is to achieve two goals: to create a biography of the maritime landscape of southern Euboia, and to analyse what information these narratives contain about searoutes and maritime interconnections.

Visibility and visual perception. These aspects are of key importance for experiencing and evaluating the seascape. Visibility at sea, however, is a complex matter. Together with Prof. A.M.J. van Eijk (TNO), visibility maps of the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean will be created. These will be used to analyse the relationship between the visibility of coastlines and land and sea marks, on the one hand, and navigation routes on the other.

Maritime interconnectivity. This part encompasses the study of imported artifacts and other aspects of material culture from key sites in the region that provide information about interregional social interaction (or the lack of it). The ultimate goal is to arrive at a multi-scalar, longue durée reconstruction of maritime interconnections and connectedness of the area.