Annual Open Meeting of the Work of the Institute
Presented by Christina Souyoudzoglou-Haywood
With a lecture
“Ancient DNA and the Dorian invasion? Perspectives on migration and the Bronze Age collapse ca. 1200 BC”
Dr. Barry Molloy (University College Dublin)
Migrating hordes of Dorians wiping out the palatial Mycenaean world is an interpretive model rightly resigned to a time of archaeologies past. Although the discipline now employs more nuanced ways of characterising and explaining mobility as a phenomenon, there has remained until recently a reluctance to engage directly with migration in archaeological language and explanatory models concerning the collapse of Mycenaean societies. Ancient DNA studies in particular have challenged our understanding of human mobility in prehistory, though critiques of returns to outdated migrationist models and inadequate balancing of genetics, culture and identity abound. Taking such a ‘hoary old model’ as the Dorian invasion as a focal point, this talk reviews the archaeological evidence and reflects on the brief ancient mentions of Dorian migrants. The purpose is to assess frameworks for integrating newly emerging genetic evidence within archaeological discourse on migration and identity negotiation at the end of the Bronze Age in the Aegean region.