Adam DiBattista: Rutgers Institute for High School Teachers
Friday, March 29, 2019, 09:00am - 02:30pm
Interconnections in the Ancient World
March 29, 2019, 9am-2:30pm
Adam DiBattista, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA
Modern views of the ancient world often divide cultures into singular categories like the Egyptians or the Greeks, ignoring the role played by interaction and exchange in shaping these cultures. This distorts our view of the ancient world and reinforces outdated ideas about “cultural evolution.” This seminar examines how the highly interconnected world of the Late Bronze Age Aegean and Near East (ca. 1500-1100 BCE) fostered an environment of experimentation and internationalism. We will examine how the subsequent breakdown of Bronze Age society (ca. 1200-1000 BCE) led to widespread destruction and instability. However, it also created new opportunities for the creation of cultural identities in subsequent periods. We will then trace the legacy of Bronze Age internationalism into the Early Iron Age and so-called Orientalizing periods of Ancient Greece (1100-600 BCE). Here we see how the intellectual and material world of Homer was shaped by foreign individuals like Phoenician merchants and Anatolian kings. This seminar will complicate more monolithic views of the ancient world which has ramifications for the entire notion of the Western intellectual tradition.