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Products for grant RZ-255604-17

An Archaeological Field Survey in the Trapani Province of Western Sicily
Emma Blake, University of Arizona

Grant details:

The Archaeology of Contemporary Migrant Journeys in Western Sicily (Article)
Title: The Archaeology of Contemporary Migrant Journeys in Western Sicily
Author: Emma Blake
Author: Robert Schon
Abstract: The Sicilian Channel between Sicily and North Africa receives global attention as a major migratory route for undocumented people entering Europe clandestinely, a tragic nexus of transnational displacement and desperation. While the plight of massively overloaded and unseaworthy boats of people justifiably receives the bulk of media attention, there is a less-observed movement that occurs and has occurred for thousands of years: small boats expertly transporting handfuls of people back and forth across the Channel between Tunisia and western Sicily. This study explores the material vestiges of cross-channel migrations through assemblages identified during fieldwork by the Arizona Sicily Project along the southwest coast of Sicily in the summers of 2018 and 2019. While the exigencies of maritime crossing require distinct technologies of mobility, certain elements of migrant material culture are analogous to that found elsewhere, e.g. along the US–Mexico border zone of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Such elements include migrants’ strategic triangulation of speed, invisibility and survival in deciding what to bring and the tactical triage of gear en route. Moreover, the political and economic injustices that are catalysts for the movements are comparable, as is the criminalization of the migrants, which has done more to endanger than dissuade them. This article sheds new light on migrant choices and challenges and contributes to the archaeology of contemporary migration.
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: The URL provided by the Journal to access the article
Access Model: Subscription only
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology
Publisher: Equinox Publishing

Punic southwest Sicily: whose hinterland? (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Punic southwest Sicily: whose hinterland?
Author: V. Moses
Author: E. Blake
Author: R. Schon
Author: R. Giglio
Author: A. Wigodner
Abstract: The Arizona Sicily Project (2018-ongoing) is an intensive pedestrian survey of the coastal zone between the Sicilian cities of Marsala and Mazara del Vallo. While this diachronic project seeks to chart the ties between North Africa and western Sicily in all periods, this paper focuses on the evidence dating to the Punic and early Roman periods, when the zone was under Carthaginian control and immediately after. This survey is the first to document systematically the Punic period in this countryside, and thus contributes to prior work at Motya and Marsala (Lilybaeum) in the Punic period. We present our methodology, data, and preliminary analysis of Punic materials and sites found in the survey zone. Drawing on this new data and the results of an earlier survey north of Marsala, this paper considers the local impact of Carthage, given its proximity across the Sicilian Channel. We interrogate the degree to which Carthage itself was transformative to rural residents in our zone, compared to its colonies on the Sicilian coast. In other words, beyond a general identification of this as a ‘Punic’ countryside, did Carthaginian influence significantly affect settlement in the territory, to a greater extent than the influence of the Punic cities present on Sicily itself?
Date: 1/4/2020
Conference Name: Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meetings