Universiteit Leiden

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Dean's Lecture

Towards a deep global history of maritime connectivity: perspectives from the Mediterranean and beyond

  • Cyprian Broodbank (Cambridge)
Date
Thursday 21 April 2016
Time

Ours is a predominantly blue planet, yet our early global histories of human connections are tinted in far too terrestrially green and brown.

Over the last few centuries, maritime travel forged the worldwide networks that created our globalised present, and text-based historians have pushed that process back further into the past in arenas such as the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and parts of the Atlantic. Yet archaeology reveals a deeper-time, millennia-long history of the origins and expansion of our maritime planet, beginning in the nurturing, small inner seas around Eurasia and the Americas but also expanding across the Pacific and Indian Ocean long before any written testimony.

This lecture opens with a global overview, starting with the present and the prospect of an ice-melt redrawn future, before moving comparatively into deep time and then using the Mediterranean, one of the nurseries of global seafaring, to explore how exceptionally rich an archaeological picture we can draw of the practices and inventions that created the first Middle Sea of antiquity.

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