CANCELLED: Dangerous Liaisons: Sea and Desert in Antiquity

18 March 2020, 4.30 PM - 4 March 2020, 5.30 PM

G10, 43 Woodland Road



A talk by Professor Gil Gambash, University of Haifa

Significant stretches of the Mediterranean coastline lie in proximity to arid or semi-arid micro-regions, particularly, though not exclusively, along the shores of Africa and the Levant. The intense connectivity produced during antiquity by Mediterranean networks generated the circulation of knowledge, influence, and wealth, as well as the mobility of motivated groups. Together, they could potentially play a significant part in nurturing the growth of desert cultures and economies, so long as the latter chose to ‘plug into the web’ through coastal portals. In this lecture, I shall examine aspects of ecology, economy, and culture in the late-antique Southern Levant, seeking to offer an initial evaluation of the dependency of local routine on Mediterranean networks, and the extent to which local resilience was determined by regional factors.

Gil Gambash is a classical historian of the Mediterranean, and co-founder and director of the Haifa Center for Mediterranean History. For 2020, he is a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the Institute of Classical Studies (London), working on ecological perspectives of Mediterranean societies. His current project focuses on arid areas and their interaction with the maritime sphere to explain primary production modes, consumption habits, and economic dependencies. The launching point of the project is the southern Levantine Negev and its dominant wine industry, which relied on carefully devised runoff farming.

This lecture is hosted by the Department of Anthropology & Archaeology in collaboration with The Cabot Institute for the Environment and Migration Mobilities Bristol.

Contact information

Tamar Hodos at

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