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Book: Local Experiences of Connectivity and Mobility in the Ancient West-Central Mediterranean

Chapter: 7. The Business of 'Becoming': Connectivity, Trade, and Community Formation in the Northwest Mediterranean

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44209


The coastal regions of southern France and northeastern Spain are well-known for intensive connectivity with Mediterranean traders during the first millennium BC. The interaction of local communities with accompanying commodities has received much attention. What has received less attention is the interplay between connectivities with the greater Mediterranean region and local layers of identity on the (micro-) scales. What did the landscape of community identities in the region look like, and what was the social experience of individuals living in different settlements—coastal emporia, inland trading settlements, and other sites with less commercial focus? Using evidence from contact with the wider Mediterranean to illuminate local spheres of interaction, this paper explores the development of regional community identity. It argues that, despite shared characteristics across the region, the primary sense of communal identity would have been focused around settlements and their immediate environs, articulated by daily social experiences and interactions.

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