DIALOGUES IN ARCHAEOLOGY – VOLOS | 2019
ThalassoGeographies: Sea Routes, Flows, Networks
As a meditative institution, based on interdisciplinary interaction, the Archaeological Dialogues of 2019 focus on the notion of ‘ThalassoGeographies’, aiming at promoting the aspects of human relations with the sea, inspired from the social realities of Volos, the city-port that will accommodate them.
In an era, when the social dialogue is revolving around economy, productivity, financial and value crisis and the concentration/decentralization in/from the city, the Archaeological Dialogues suggest a shift of interest towards the sea and its special relationship with humans, their life paths and actions in terms of human geography.
The sea can either separate or connect. Both the islands and the cities-ports along the Mediterranean coastline will be diachronically examined as mosaics of human communities, as narratives of human practices, thoughts, expressions, and experiences, as constantly flowing passages.
The sea is not simply an indifferent stock-background for the city’s life and economy, but its soil’s continuation in a liquid form. Thus various questions arise: How does ‘blue economy’ interact with land economy? How do land networks interrelate with aquatic and digital networks of movements and temporary residence? How do land antiquities engage with underwater antiquities and what is their relationship with local communities?
Cities of ‘medium-scale’, such as coastal cities, are porous and maintain an organic relationship with their boundaries, the countryside and the sea. Thus urban culture and economy are dependent on local stock and resources. Agricultural production, fishing, tourism, ancient sites and monuments, sea and outdoor activities are versions of the urban economy and urban daily life. Cities with sharing economies tend to acquire a tourist character throughout the year. The boundaries between a touristic and productive stay, the city and countryside experience are fluid.
Volos, the seaport of the Thessalian plain, lying at the transition from southern to northern Greece, and from central Greece to the east and vice versa, not only combines, but also highlights the various aspects of sea routes and networks, as they unfolded over time. By no means, however, sessions or papers should be restricted to the Volos area. It is simply the basis for the long term study of aquatic networks and movements, as well as of the Mediterranean ports of call in which Greeks were involved.