John Lund

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 19:00 to 20:00
Danish Institute at Athens, Herefondos 14A
Event Description: 

John Lund, "A ceramic sidelight on the archaeology of Cyprus in the Roman Period. Old questions – new suggestions"

It has often been claimed that the distinctive “Cypriot character” became diluted, when the island was united politically in the Hellenistic Period by the Ptolemies in Egypt and later by the Romans. I argue that the ceramic evidence suggests otherwise. The distribution of local and imported pottery in Cyprus points to the continued existence of regional exchange networks in the island in Roman times.
Other archaeological finds show that these “ceramic regions” share other similarities in material culture, which is suggestive of a certain level of collective self-awareness. Still, Cyprus became increasingly engulfed by mass produced and standardized ceramic fine wares from the 1st century BC onwards, which put some of the indigenous makers of similar products out of business or forced to modify their output - a development which we might today be inclined to view as symptoms of an early form of globalization.
The paper concludes with a fresh look at Cyprus between ca. AD 150 and 300, when ceramic fine wares are few and far between and seeks to come up with possible explanations of this phenomenon.