Christopher Nuttall (Uppsala Universitetet), "Aegean Seascapes: Space, Place and coastal habitation in prehistory"
(Chapter from PhD thesis- “Seascape Dialogues: prehistoric maritime communities in Aegean Seascapes)
My doctoral study focuses on the interaction between prehistoric communities and seascapes in the
later Neolithic and Bronze Age. Discussion of the sea in Classical Archaeology traditionally focuses
on shipwrecks, nautical technology and economically-driven interaction, yet few have
problematised the engagement between communities (and indeed groups of people) and their
The unique interplay between land and sea in the Aegean means that there are several
different ways to inhabit this space, depending on the specific setting and choices of communities.
The study therefore sets out to find out when and where interaction with the sea was intense in the
fields of material culture, settlement and mortuary practices, as well as whether a closer interaction
with the sea is intrinsic to island communities, or if coastal communities of the mainland could be
This seminar will focus loosely around my third chapter which has been written during the
period of my stipend at the Swedish Institute in Athens. The chapter utilises data collected for
around 200 sites from within the study’s catchment area to ascertain when people were and were not
living beside the coast and whether we can see any wider or localised trends in the evidence.