Séminaire – Economic Archaeology: comparative approaches for determining economic performance in archaeological and historical research

Ghent University, Campus Ufo, time and place is TBD

Those who would like to include this course into their Doctoral Training Program are requested to register ASAP by email to dimitri.vanlimbergen@ugent.be . Registration is free of charge.

For practical reasons non-Ghent participants are asked to RSVP to dimitri.vanlimbergen@ugent.be prior to the start of each seminar.

Capture d’écran 2019-05-08 à 09.59.02

Economic archaeology is the study of the (diachronic) relationship between ancient populations and their (available) natural and cultural resources, as expressed principally through exploitation, production, distribution and consumption. Over the years, archaeologists and historians have become particularly interested in how ancient societies ‘performed’ economically – as determined by factors such as climate, geography, technology, demography and institutions – and how this ‘performance’ changed through time. To this purpose, scholars have developed a wide range of methodological and conceptual tools and new methods of investigation. This has turned economic archaeology into an increasingly interdisciplinary discipline, encompassing many specialized subfields such as paleobotany, zooarchaeology, bio- archaeology, geomorphology, climatology, demography and spatial analysis. At the same time, the application of modern economics to archaeology and history has resulted in a greater sophistication in (theoretical) thinking. This means that (doctoral) students need evermore and better guidance.

Objectives :

The principal aim of this course is to make PhD researchers in archaeology and history who work on Antiquity and the Middle Ages more familiar with the increasingly important sub-discipline of economic archaeology. Through a series of seven thematic interactive seminars, they will gain insight into – and learn how to critically apply – a selective number of comparative concepts, methods and theories in this field that are of key relevance to their own research. In particular, by the end of this course, the participating doctoral students will have acquired foundational-level skills for scholarship in economic archaeology with regard to the following topics: demography and ancient economic performance (1); the vulnerability and resilience of complex societies under climate change (2); ancient landscape use and satellite remote sensing (3); agricultural productivity in past societies (4); the chaîne opératoire approach to the exploitation of natural resources (5); data analysis and pre-modern trade networks (6); and the socio-economic and spatial analysis of ancient urban space (7).

A second important aim of this specialist course is to allow the targeted PhD researchers to present, discuss and receive feedback on their work-in-progress from national and international peers. Through the involvement of members of the SDEP network, the active participation of UGent researchers at all levels (postdoctoral and faculty) with ample experience in economic archaeology and history, and the attendance of researchers from Brussels and Leuven, the course will promote knowledge transfer and the building of an interdisciplinary network.

Programme :

13/02 Søren Michael Sindbaek (Aarhus University): Data analysis and pre-modern trade networks

13/03 Thomas Currie (University of Exeter): Agricultural productivity in past societies

27/03 Paul Erdkamp (Vrije Universiteit Brussel): Climate, complexity and the resilience of the Roman economy

25/04 Martin Sterry (Durham University): Ancient landscape use and satellite remote sensing

09/05 Timothy Anderson (Laboratoire Recherche Historique): The chaîne opératoire approach to the exploitation of natural resources

16/05 Neville Morley (University of Exeter): Demography and ancient economic performance

23/05 Akkelies van Nes (Western Norway University): The socio-economic and spatial analysis of ancient urban space

Source : UGent

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