Landscapes, Land Use and Connectivity in Ancient Attica, ca. 700–100 BCE
In the project, we will use new methods to examine the intensity and content of agricultural land use in Attica from the Archaic to the Hellenistic period (ca. 700–100 BCE), considering how and why agricultural land use changed over time.
Through the use of new integrative methods and a combination of palaeoenvironmental and cultural data we will be able to reconstruct land use dynamics and shifts in cultivation strategies in ancient Attica. The project will further analyse and assess the possible drivers behind any visible changes, including the discursive relationship between land use and climate changes, institutional developments and connectivity. Past research on the ancient Athenian agricultural economy has largely been focused on the productive capacity of the rural hinterland (Attica), and the ability of the hinterland to feed the city and the need to import foreign grain. Such studies have primarily utilised fragmentary evidence from written sources together with agricultural yields in more recent periods to examine the agricultural economy of Attica, building on the assumption that land use strategies were more or less static. Through the novel datasets and methodologies operationalised within the project it will, however, be possible to reconstruct land use dynamics in Attica as a whole for the first time. The project will thus contribute substantially to our understanding of the ancient Athenian agricultural economy.
Project director: Anton Bonnier