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Institut für Archäologie Prähistorische Archäologie

Through the Pillars or Elsewhere – Can archaeological evidence confirm a Mediterranean Presence in northern Europe before 323 BCE?

von Greg Wear

Mappa di Eratostene


Abstract: The expedition associated with the name of Pytheas the Massaliote Greek may have been one of the first enterprises out of the Mediterranean to north-western Europe, the British Isles, perhaps even as far as the Shetlands or Faroe Isles, venturing up the Atlantic coast, a few hundred years before the Roman conquests. Ancient sources however indicate at least two other historically 'accredited' personae that may have travelled to north-western Europe even earlier. There may be more, unnamed – and on which the ancient sources are (as yet) silent.
This paper will assess the plausibility and extent of northern/southern European intercultural interaction from the Mycenaean Bronze age until the end of the Classical Greek period based on the analysis of primary (ancient) & secondary (modern) textual source material as well as the spread of archaeological artefacts across Europe, with specific emphasis on sea and river routes. The final product will include a detailed catalogue based on assorted 'master' maps with (pre)historical archaeological material.

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