Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Byzantine ports : Central Greece as a link between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea
Author: Ginalis, Alkiviadis
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 8311
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis presents a first archaeological introduction to the study of Byzantine ports, harbours and other coastal installations in the region of Thessaly. Thessaly not only constitutes an ideal region to gain equal information for the Early- to the Late Byzantine periods, but also to compare independent regional and imperial central building activities. However, in particular Thessaly’s maritime connectivity has never been studied in detail before. As such, a first step into a terra incognita, the thesis is divided into two main sections: In order to conceptualize the study of harbour sites, the thesis first sets up a framework for the definition, understanding and interpretation of the physical features of harbours and their function and purpose. Taking into account influencing environmental conditions, such as natural, economic, social and political components, this helps to determine an accurate hierarchical model and to illustrate the interrelationship between different types and forms of harbour sites. Subsequently, comprehensive archaeological investigations around the island of Skiathos and other harbour sites in Thessaly, executed in 2012 and 2013, are set against this theoretical groundwork. In contrast to the common approach of regional studies, where a first general overview is followed by individual detailed case-studies, the opposite methodology is undertaken in order to achieve a systematic study of the Thessalian harbours and the complexity of their network system. Consequently, the collection of data starts from the analysis of a distinct area of a region and continues with the broader regional picture of primary ports, secondary harbours and staple markets. Functioning as an important junction of the Aegean shipping lanes and being involved in regional as well as supra-regional trade and port networks, focus is therefore primarily dedicated to the island of Skiathos. A joint survey project in cooperation with the Greek Ephorate for Underwater Antiquities (EEA), the 13th Greek Ephorate for Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the 7th Greek Ephorate for Byzantine Antiquities was initiated by the author in 2012. A number of sites, including harbour installations and other coastal infrastructures, have been detected, documented and subsequently verified by geophysical prospections, using a Sub-bottom profiler and Side-Scan Sonar, in 2013. These have allowed to draw a clear historical picture of architectural developments, port networks and changes in the socio-economic connectivity of the area. Followed by a close investigation of further harbour sites throughout the entire region of Thessaly during two field seasons between 2012 and 2013, the detailed picture gained from the Skiathos survey project is brought to a wider context. This comparison finally allows an overall picture of the history and architectural developments of harbour structures and associated coastal sites, as well as general conclusions concerning the hierarchy and port network in the region during the Early to Late Byzantine periods. This has allowed a comprehensive understanding of the growth, use and decline of various ports, harbours and staple markets within Thessaly and has important repercussions for our understanding of wider social and economic changes that were occurring during these periods, such as the rise of the church as a powerful economic institution or the increasing activities of private entrepreneurs. In this way the submerged maritime heritage of Thessaly has provided a rich new resource with which to understand the cultural dynamics of the region as it emerged from its peripheral location to comprising major ports within the Roman maritime network and to stand out of the heart of the commercial route ways to and from Constantinople, as well as being part of the emergent networks of the western maritime states at the end of the period, such as Venice.
Supervisor: Mango, Marlia; Robinson, Damian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Architecture ; Archeology ; Greek archeology ; Maritime archaeology ; Materials studies (archaeology) ; Roman archeology ; Settlement ; Economic and Social History ; History of technology ; History of the ancient world ; Late antiquity and the Middle Ages ; Ceramics ; Port ; harbour ; Byzantine ; Roman ; central Greece ; Thessaly ; Skiathos ; shipwreck ; coastal archaeology ; survey ; harbour architecture ; Villa maritima