Upcoming SAA Presentation!

Daniel Plekhov, Linda Gosner, and Jessica Nowlin will be presenting a paper at the upcoming Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. The paper, “Remote sensing methods for investigating modern-day land-use intensity in archaeological landscapes: a case study from the Sinis Archaeological Project, Sardinia,” will highlight some new remote sensing methods that Dan has been working on in conjunction with our survey in Zones A and B.

The paper will be a part of the symposium, Mutually Beneficial: Technologies in Archaeological application and Archaeologies in Technological Application Part II, in B117, 8:45-12 pm on Friday, March 31. More information is available here.

Upcoming presentation at EAA 2021!

Project co-directors Linda Gosner and Jessica Nowlin will be presenting a paper, “Approaching Interaction in Iron Age Sardinia: Multi-Scalar Survey Evidence from the Sinis Archaeological Project.” at the European Association of Archaeologists on September 7th. Our colleagues Emily Holt and Davide Schirru have organized a great session, “Scales of Interaction in the Bronze and Iron Age Mediterranean.” Check it out from 14:30-18:000 CEST if you are attending!

More info here.

Guest Post: SAP Data in the Wild

Hello, my name is Alex Claman, current SAP member, recent Texas Tech University graduate, and PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill. I participated in the 2019 field season and plan to return in the future (when possible!). My MA thesis was based in part on SAP data, so I’ve been invited to summarize the thesis as a whole, as well as how I used the project’s data specifically.

The thesis lays out an approach to landscapes predicated on their underlying forms, drawing particularly on the French theoretical school of archaeogeography. Both surface objects (like sherd scatters) and forms (like crop marks) can be indicators of buried objects, including roads, walls, and surfaces. These subterranean things resonate and emanate upward; their forms alter their surroundings and are themselves altered in the process of transmission.

Form is generally understood to be synonymous with shape. Plato presented a three-part schema where “pure” forms are wholly separate from both the world and each other. In turn, Aristotle stated that things are compounds of form and matter, a hylomorphic approach. Form works particularly through imagery, whereas material engagements take place on the ground and studies of those engagements – in other words, archaeology – overwhelmingly emphasize material over form. In turn, others have argued that matter as something separate from form does not actually exist, and that everything is instead composed of substantial forms. I build on these approaches to suggest that forms are tied to both things themselves and memories (for an intentionally broad definition of memory) here in the present.

This approach to landscapes, then, is predicated on their underlying forms, drawing particularly on the French theoretical school of archaeogeography. Surface objects and forms can be indicators of buried objects, including roads, walls, and surfaces. These subterranean things resonate and emanate upward; their forms alter their surroundings and are themselves altered in the process of persisting. The method developed here pays attention to these forms and their intersections through time to build the case for a “morphic history.”

Theory like morphic history exists as its own particular form of knowledge, capable of changing and being changed through dialogue, conversation, reading, and interaction, both with other theories and with other real world objects like landscapes. To that end, this thesis explores both landscapes through the theory and the theory through both landscapes. The Mazi exists and is constructed as a Greek landscape bearing imprints of water, wind, and weather, conflict and fortification, sheep and goat, religion and monastery, commerce and road. The Sinis exists and is constructed as a Sardinian landscape bearing the imprints of procession and church, farm and tractor, stream and mill, ocean and salt (to name only a few).

In the Sinis-focused portion of the thesis, I drew on my own experiences from the 2019 field season, the project’s publications, and geospatial in order to articulate a morpho-historical understanding of the peninsula. Given the time and data constraints, I opted for a higher-level visualization and analysis of the overall material densities, survey unit distributions and sizes, and ground cover across the peninsula. I also singled out the road and waters-related features identified to date. Many of the former were visible at the surface, either underlying currently-used routes or directly adjacent to them (as with the Roman-era bridge over the Riu Mannu). These features are instances of the underlying form continuing to be expressed as a result of consistent use. The two major water-related features in the study area are two ruined mill sites – neither borders the modern riverbed – which hold memories of subsided tributaries and flows.

I am very grateful to SAP’s directors for their support and guidance, especially their willingness to share the data that I used in the thesis.

New collaboration! Migration and the Making of the Ancient Greek World

We are happy to announce the beginning of a new collaboration with Migration and the Making of the Ancient Greek World (“MIGMAG”), a new European Research Council-funded project directed by Naoíse Mac Sweeney of the University of Vienna. The MIGMAG project “combines archaeological and historical evidence to explore the human mobilities c.1200-550 BCE that led to the creation of the ancient Greek world as we know it.” SAP will be providing data from our survey to think about Phoenician mobility in the central and western Mediterranean and contextualize our data with the wider aims of the project. You can find out more about this research here. Follow MIGMAG on Twitter at @MIGMAG_ERC!

SAA Poster is presented digitally!

Hi everyone! After the Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting was canceled this year due to COVID-19, we decided to make our yearly poster and present it online. You can now check the poster out and read it on Academia.edu here. Thanks to the team for their hard work putting this together and helping to share our 2019 season work!

Upcoming team presentations at the University of Michigan 2/14-2/15

Project co-director Linda Gosner has organized a conference on Connectivity and Mobility in the Ancient Western Mediterranean.  Check out the website here. As a part of the event, several members of SAP will be giving presentations:

  • Connectivity and Mobility among Indigenous Groups in Sardinia and Southern Iberia, Kelly Miklas (University of Missouri)
  • At the Margins of “Orientalization”: Funerary Ritual and Local Practice in Apennine Central Italy, Jessica Nowlin (UT San Antonio)
  • Mining, Movement, and Migration in Roman Iberia, Linda Gosner (University of Michigan)
  • Intra and Inter-inland Connectivity in the Balearic Islands in Antiquity, Catalina Mas (University of Barcelona).


Upcoming presentations at AIA 2020

The annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America will be held this year in Washington D.C. from January 2nd-5th. We will be presenting aspects of our fieldwork in two sessions:

Session 3J: Landscapes of Mediterranean “Colonization,” Friday January 3, 1:45-4:45, “An Uncaptured Sardinia? Intra-Regional Mobility and Connectivity the Coastal and Inland Landscapes of Iron Age Sardinia”

Session 4I: Surveying the Punic World, Saturday, January 4, 8-10:30, “Sinis Archaeological Project: Results from the 2018 and 2019 Seasons of Landscape Survey in West-Central Sardinia”

Some of our team members are also presenting on their own research:

Session 7F: Carthage: World City, Sunday, January 5, 8:00-11:00, “Carthaginian Imperialism: The Colonial Perspective” by James Prosser (University of Michigan)

Session 2C: Open Session Fieldwork and Survey in Egypt and the Ancient Near East, Friday, January 3 (10:45 AM – 12:45 PM, “Brown University Petra Terraces Archaeological Project: 2019 Methods and Results” by Daniel Plekhov, Brown University Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Evan I. Levine, Brown University Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Luiza O. G. Silva, University of Chicago, and Max Peers, Brown University Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

For more information, check out the preliminary program here.

Upcoming talk: Linda Gosner at the UMMAA

Project co-director Linda Gosner will give a talk about our recent fieldwork for the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology Brown Bag Series on November 20th. The lecture, “An Uncaptured Sardinia? Colonial Interaction and Resource Exploitation in the Sinis Peninsula,” will take place at noon in the School of Education building (Room 1315) on the UM campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Upcoming SAA Presentation (4/14)

The Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting is right around the corner. For those of you heading to Albuquerque for the meeting next week, be sure to check out our team’s poster presentation, “Sinis Archaeological Project: Preliminary Results of the First Season of Landscape Survey in West-Central Sardinia”! We will be presenting on Sunday, April 14th in the 8-10 am session (“New Research in the Ancient Mediterranean World”) in the “La Sala” room.

For more info, check out the SAA’s website.