Subproject Synthesis

Synthesis: South Euboia as a case study in Mediterranean interconnectivity – Prof. Jan Paul Crielaard (project coordinator).

In the Synthesis the outcomes of the three subprojects are compared and integrated to arrive at a diachronic reconstruction of developments in interconnectivity by land and sea. Key issues are diachronic and regional variations in interconnectivity and ability to connect, the interplay between local, regional and supra-regional systems of communication, and the interplay between terrestrial and maritime networks.As a next step, these patterns in interconnectedness or isolation will be explained by making connections with socio-political and economic developments that can be reconstructed on the basis of archaeological and historical data for the study area during the periods in question. Important issues in this stage of the analysis concern the opportunities and impediments for interconnectivity, determined by e.g. the physical landscape, available technology, regional and supra-regional socio-political constellations, cultural factors and mentalities. Other issues that are discussed are ideational aspects of interconnectivity (and isolation), motivations for land and sea movement, the valuation of interconnectivity, the social use and context of interconnectivity at different spatial levels (local, regional, supra-regional), and the effects of increased or decreased interconnectivity, for instance on socio-political structures. At this point it is of interest to make comparisons with other regions in the Aegean. The aim is to find clues to determine to what extent our data and analyses are comparable to those from other regions in order to estimate the representativity of our case study for more general patterns and trends in Aegean and Mediterranean interconnectivity.

Another aim of this synthesis is to relate the outcomes of the research project to the broader discussion about Mediterranean interconnectivity. First we will identify what insights we have obtained about forms of land use and settlement organization in relation to regional communication networks (subproject 1), about the organization and significance of overland communications and rationale for terrestrial interconnectivity (subproject 2), and about the parameters that determined maritime interconnectivity and mobility (subproject 3). From here we will return to the main aims of the project. We will define on what points we have been able to give a firmer empirical basis to theories about interconnectivity and on what points the basic tenets of the interconnectivity paradigm need revision. Next to that we will indicate how our refocus on local and regional systems of communication and land-based interconnectivity have succeeded in drawing a more complete picture of Mediterranean interconnectivity.