Aarhus Universitetsforlag

The seascape in Aegean Prehistory

A part of the series Monographs of the Danish Institute at Athens (14) ,

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288 pages ill.
ISBN 978 87 7934 571 3

Edited by

With contributions by
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About the book

This book is about the relationship between the people and the sea in the prehistoric Aegean. It explores how people understood the sea as an integral part of their way of life and examines the role the sea played in the prehistoric societies of the archipelago. It may at first seem obvious - even selfevident - that there had been a close relationship between people and the sea, since the Aegean Archipelago is the dominant feature of its wider area. It spreads over at total area of about 214,000 sq km. This large area of water includes over 1000 islands, many of which are populated today. The Aegean Sea and its islands epitomise Greece in the minds of many people today.

Nonetheless, we should remember that the land that borders the Aegean features the important mountain range of Pindos, the plains of Thessaly and Macedonia and, next to Greece, Turkey, with the solid landmass of Asia Minor. These places have always accomodated extensive and flourishing communities that were not related to the sea at all. Furthermore, many people on Mt Ida in Crete had never seen the sea in the recent past, despite being on an island, while until recently many Greeks living close to the coast had not known how to swim. A maritime way of life may be an obvious option, but it is neither the only nor an inevitable one in the Aegean. There is always room for choice in the relation between people and the sea and this relation may acquire various forms and different degrees of intimacy.

Press reviews

International Journal of Maritime History

"It is a book designed to stimulate, to make us think deeply and to challenge our preconceptions and in this it surely succeeds."


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