The global Mediterranean

A material–cultural perspective

Authored by: Miguel John Versluys

The Routledge Handbook of Archaeology and Globalization

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415841306
eBook ISBN: 9781315449005
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315449005.ch41

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Abstract

Initially, it might seem odd to encounter the Mediterranean as a separate section of the global overview provided by this book, amongst geographical units like Asia, Africa and Europe. Seeing that the Mediterranean in fact belongs to all three units, the distinction is indeed unusual. However, it is not without reason that Jean Cocteau famously characterized the Mediterranean as a ‘liquid continent’. Moreover, it has always been much more than a geographical expression alone. A variety of recent publications shows how useful and apparently logical it is to write histories of the Mediterranean (Norwich 2006; Abulafia 2011; Broodbank 2013; Horden and Kinoshita 2014 have now provided a Companion to Mediterranean history), as do recent politics aiming at a future for the Mediterranean – the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) was created in Marseille in 2008. In an unsettling and confronting way, the current refugee crisis once again underlines the importance of the Mediterranean for Asia, Africa and Europe alike.

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