Re-Connecting the Sea: The Rochelongue metals assemblage, maritime connectivity and cultural interactions in West Languedoc, France, seventh to sixth centuries B.C.

Author: Enrique Aragon Nunez

  • Thesis download: available for open access on 6 Aug 2023.

Aragon Nunez, Enrique, 2020 Re-Connecting the Sea: The Rochelongue metals assemblage, maritime connectivity and cultural interactions in West Languedoc, France, seventh to sixth centuries B.C., Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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Abstract

This thesis presents the first comprehensive study of the Rochelongue site (seventh–sixth century B.C.) since its discovery in 1964. This study includes a review of previous research and interpretations of the site and introduces a more systematic methodological approach to the investigation of the its metals assemblage. The aim of this thesis is to move beyond the site’s dating, characterisation and cultural ascription and instead examine its broader implication as an early contact zone where disparate cultural groups met and transacted. The Rochelongue site yielded an assemblage of mostly metallic objects of both local and foreign provenances, which allows for a thorough investigation into the connectivity in the western Mediterranean through the lens of regional and long-distance maritime trade networks. This research uses an interdisciplinary approach—geographic, material culture and network science—to assess the archaeological assemblage in order to make a more definitive and generalising interpretation of the site. Results from this multi-methods analysis reveal an inter-regional phenomenon in the Catalonia-Languedoc region that highlights the role of indigenous populations embedded in an increasingly long-distant trading context stimulated by contact via the sea with eastern maritime cultures. The Rochelongue shipwreck evidences a trans-Mediterranean network of varying intensities, which largely determine the levels of impact on the connected cultures from the Iberian Peninsula to Central Mediterranean.

Keywords: Maritime Archaeology, Underwater Archaeology, Digital Humanities, Network Analysis, Bronze Age, Iron Age, South of France, Connectivity, Cultural Interaction, Archaeometallurgy.

Subject: Archaeology thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2020
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Wendy Van Duivenvoorde