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Department of Archaeology

Thursday, 9 March, 2023 - 16:00
Event speaker: 
Prof. Susan Sherratt, University of Sheffield

The term ‘globalisation’ was first coined roughly 40 years ago, and is usually thought of as characteristic of a world economy that has only recently come into existence, in which the exigencies of free-market capitalism, particularly in the form of multi-national corporations, demand and achieve the free movement of goods and capital across national and cultural boundaries. In this sense, it conveys a particular modern ideology. Not only that, but it is an extremely polarising ideology, depending on how different groups of people perceive that it has affected, and continues to affect, them. As with many concepts borrowed by archaeologists from modern social sciences, including the economic and political sciences, it tends to bring a lot of extraneou contemporary baggage with it when applied to much earlier eras.

Without questioning too much why archaeologists, in what seems to be a perennial state of insecurity, feel the constant need to adopt entire concepts and their associated terminologies which have been developed in other disciplines and for other times and circumstances (though this can certainly be questioned), I shall attempt to pinpoint a definition of globalisation that seems generally appropriate for application to the deep past of the Mediterranean. I shall also try to explain what this means in terms applicable to that past, and outline some of the main stages of the early globalising process that can be traced in the western Old World in general and the Mediterranean in particular.

Event location: 
McDonald Seminar Room and online
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