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Title: The maritime world of the early Bronze Age Levant through space and time
Author: El Safadi, Crystal
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 7250
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis focuses on the maritime signature of the Early Bronze Age (EBA) period on the Levantine coast. It assumes the sea as the common denominator that bridges the southern, central and northern coastal Levantine sub regions. Maritime activities and their subsequent role in EBA developments are rarely acknowledged in EBA scholarship. This thesis aims to rectify this imbalance by investigating how maritime space was lived and exploited during the EBA on the Levantine coast. It does so by establishing a theoretical framework that bridges land and sea, and is flexible to adapt to variable spatial and temporal scales. The theoretical framework at the basis of this thesis is a relational and lived space and time that is heterogeneous and of manifolds. Space and time in this research are a mode of engagement with the archaeological record, manifesting practically through the methodology of thirding-as-othering with mapping, in other words, mediation with mapping. The methodology unfolds in three intertwined and connected themes of mapping land, mapping maritime activities and mapping the sea. Each one of these themes reveals folds and manifestations of the lived maritime space and time during the EBA on the coastal Levant. Mapping land interrogates the distribution of EBA coastal sites, in space and time, to show the recursive relationship between people and space through various space-time analyses. Mapping maritime activities consolidates a database of EBA maritime-related material culture and potential indicators for maritime activities. This database establishes the extant of available data and what can be derived from it. Mapping maritime activities incorporates the material record to reflect on the distribution of activities in space and time along the coastal Levant and the potential maritime connections. Mapping the sea draws on the rhythms and performance of sailing during the EBA to mediate via mapping the space and time of sailing. It proposes a model for conceiving of the maritime space-time of seafaring, distorting space according to time in such a way that Cartesian representations lose ground and space takes on new forms. Through the methodology employed in this thesis and the threefold themes of mapping land, mapping maritime activities and mapping the sea, the many folds and rhythms of the lived maritime space of the EBA coastal Levant emerge. This thesis demonstrates that the geo-political divisions of the Levant (southern, central and northern) are rigid boundaries that do not reflect EBA coastal sites interaction and distribution when rhythms of movements are accounted for. Furthermore, this thesis proves the existence of a maritime baseline of human engagement with the sea during the EBA through various activities of fishing, gathering shells, usage of coastal rocks, etc. These maritime activities form bundles across space and time that partake in interactions and developments taking place during the EBA. The potential indicators for maritime activities along with the space-time models of seafaring indicate the presence of a facilitated network of interconnectivity that bridges internally the whole of the Levantine littoral, and externally binds it with Egypt, Cyprus and Anatolia. Hence, the maritime signature of the EBA Levant transpires, not only through the various folds of the lived space and time, but also through its influence on complexity and urbanisation during the EBA. This thesis ultimately re-institutes the role of maritime space in EBA narratives.
Supervisor: Sturt, Fraser ; Blue, Lucy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available