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The self-proclaimed dual aims of this book are to bring "new 'light from the west'" of the Mediterranean and to shed "new light on the west," as the editors state on the opening page p.

Colonial Encounters in Ancient Iberia

These objectives are motivated by the fact that the Iberian Peninsula in late prehistoric, pre-Roman times remains a largely unknown quantity in the English-speaking world. The main reason for this is that the Iberian Peninsula is usually considered to lie beyond the realm of classical archaeology, despite its numerous connections and parallels with contemporary Greek, Phoenician, Carthaginian, and Etruscan worlds.

Because it is not a recognized part of the 'Classical World,' it is usually deemed to be without interest--it is indeed no coincidence that this volume has been produced in a department of anthropology. A further consideration is that the breathtaking expansion and advances of Iberian and Phoenician archaeology over the past two decades or so have been poorly reported beyond Spain and Portugal, despite the potentially significant implications that the many remarkable findings may have elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

There has been intensive fieldwork on the peninsula—Phoenician sites in Portugal have tripled in the last 30 years—but much of it is not widely available. The 11 papers contained herein represent presentations at an interdisciplinary symposium at the University of Chicago in The symposium was designed to cross traditional boundaries and provide new understanding about the peculiar conditions of Iberia. Such approaches are always welcome; it is too often forgotten that study of the ancient Mediterranean is essentially interdisciplinary.


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The first essay, by Dietler, is an excellent summary of the status of Iberia in the first millennium B. Sanmarti has provided a strong discussion of the early Phoenicians in Iberia, with emphasis on the material culture and the interdependency that soon developed between the invaders and locals. The catalyst for this transition was the Phoenician arrival. One might not have expected the Phoenicians to reach the Atlantic coast of Portugal, but Arruda demonstrates the surprisingly intensive settlement in this region, especially in the Tagus and Mondego estuaries. Even as early as the Late Bronze Age, there were eastern Mediterranean imports.

Greek contacts with Iberia probably began in the seventh century B. Rouillard summarizes the evidence, using shipwrecks as one of the major sources of information. Yet both art and writing show that there was in fact an overlap between Greek and Phoenician cultural pressures, although the groups remained small.

Colonial Encounters in Ancient Iberia: Phoenician, Greek, and Indigenous Relations

Two essays focus on specific yet crucial aspects of the cultural interactions: agriculture and shipbuilding. These processes became more intense when the Greeks arrived. Deforestation is not only connected with the spread of agriculture but with a particular industry: shipbuilding, as Treumann demonstrates. The dense forests of the peninsula saw a reduction not only in area but in species. Lumbering settlements became common, and lumbermen used the rivers to move into the interior and seek pristine forests.

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There is nothing unusual about deforestation as an element of shipbuilding—it was common almost everywhere in human history until the end of the 19th century—but it is particularly well documented in Iberia. The crucial port of Huelva, where a ninth-century B. The issue has a long and difficult history, particularly in regard to whether Tartessos is the Tarshish mentioned 28 times in the Bible.

The issue is complex, but it is demonstrated to be a reasonable although unproven hypothesis. Unfortunately, he is far too dismissive of the valuable evidence that can be gleaned from the voyage of Pytheas, and this reviewer, at least, knows of no fantasies in the Periplous of Hanno, whose account should be read with the utmost seriousness.

Michael Dietler | European Institutes for Advanced Study (EURIAS) Fellowship Programme |

There are only a few quibbles to be made about this significant volume. A fuller index not limited merely to toponyms and a common bibliography not 12 separate ones would have been useful. Forcing pre-Roman toponyms into a Roman form e.

follow site But there are outstanding maps, plans, and charts a list of them would have been nice , all of which assist in making this book an exceptionally valuable resource on the pre-Roman Iberian peninsula. Duane W.

Phoenician, Greek, and Indigenous Relations

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    More information about text formats. Plain text Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically. The essays in this book present new research on the interactions between Phoenicians, Greeks and indigenous people in the Iberian Peninsula during the first millennium BC. The book provides an overview of the main approaches and positions taken on the subject, and includes theoretical work on colonisation, archaeological case studies and philological research, as well as reappraisals of Iberian resources trade and economy, and of the nature of the polity of Tartessos.

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    • Amazon Global Store US International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions. Manufacturer warranty may not apply Learn more about Amazon Global Store. Review "Iberia was one of the major regions of the Iron Age Mediterranean, but it remains poorly known among English-language archaeologists, historians, and classicists. Alcock, Brown University --Susan E.