Beyond the Sea: New Light on Mediterranean Colonization

Posted in: Ancient Near East Today, ASOR
Tags: Aegean, ancient, ANET, Archaeology, ASOR, Beyond the Sea, Colonization, Cyprus, Danube, discovery, DNA, Europe, Helen Dawson, hunter-gatherer, Mediterranean, Near East, neolithic


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By: Helen Dawson

Like a sea in continuous motion, Mediterranean communities are constantly changing and adapting through time, while paradoxically maintaining their distinctive character. As an archaeologist studying the earliest human colonization of the Mediterranean islands, I am interested in understanding when, where, and how people decided to settle the islands. Who were these people and why did they risk venturing out to sea?

Archaeological discoveries on islands in the last two decades have transformed our understanding of seafaring capabilities in Mediterranean prehistory. Meanwhile, advances in genetic studies have refined our population models for this region, especially in terms of the spread of farming and a new

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