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Accueil > Recherche > Colloques & Journées d’étude > En 2020

Fishing and Greek colonisation in the Black Sea during Antiquity : a geographical and regional approach

International Congress

 Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme
5, rue du Château de l’Horloge, Aix-en-Provence
Conference room Germaine Tillon, Building C

 26 - 28 March 2020 - ANNULE

Information and registration

Alexandre Baralis (Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities. Musée du Louvre)

Myriam Sternberg (CNRS, CCJ)
msternberg[at ]

Scientific purposes

According to Polybius (IV, 38), goods exported from the Black Sea included salted fish, suggesting that fishing played an important role in the colonisation process along the Pontic shores, possibly from a very early date (Dupont 2007). However, in addition to the question of the containers used for this trade, raised by J. Lund (2005) and V. Gabrielsen (2005), there is also the issue of eventual discrepancies between sources and archaeological data. Perhaps due to the hasardous preservation of archaeological structures, or simply to a geographic imbalance in research, studies have until now revealed evidence of fish drying and salting mainly in the northern Pontic region, during a period that came after the testimony of Polybius.
Nonetheless, careful analysis of ancient sources reveals the full range of complex factors involved in fishing in a region where species were zoned and subject to seasonal migration. A dichotomy between northern and southern Black Sea coasts, in addition to the distinctive characteristics of the deltas punctuating the north and northwest shores, may have had an impact on the resources produced, as enlightened by the Franco-Romanian archaeological mission around Orgame at the settlements of the Golovita lagoon (Baralis et al. 2017). Varied local resources, such as highly migratory species, may indeed explain different fishing management strategies, which in turn would have shaped local and regional exchange networks, including those stretching over greater distances to connect Pontic colonies with the Aegean world.
Some fifteen years after the very promising symposium held at the University of Aarhus (2003), it is time to re-examine this key issue for the understanding of the colonial process in the Pontic region, particularly in light of the recent synthesis by T. Bekker-Nielsen (2016) and the latest studies carried out in the northern Black Sea region and Danube delta. The goal of this symposium is to shed light on the latest data, with a special focus on regional specificities resulting from the characteristics of species exploited within the perimeters of each site, in accordance with the aims of ichthyofaunal studies. Such research does sometimes produce results that contradict textual and epigraphic data, opening up new avenues for the analysis of local networks, where the participation of local populations has not always been taken into account (Gavriljuk 2005). In the framework of the research programme on the Greek colonisation in the Black Sea area (Musée du Louvre -Centre Camille Jullian, CNRS-Aix-Marseille University), we would like to bring together ichthyofaunal analyses, studies or reinterpretation of production structures and publication of archaeological material linked to fish exploitation and trade, all too often neglected and more often than not left unpublished. Through these various contributions, we wish to enrich the debate around fish-related trade and its potential role in Greek colonial process in the Black Sea and the Straights.


 Thursday 26th March 2020

9h – Registration of participants

9h30 - Introduction

Alexandre Baralis (Louvre Museum, Paris, France) & Myriam Sternberg (Centre Camille Jullian, Aix-Marseille University, France)
Why is there a need to reconsider data about fishing activities in the Black Sea during Antique period ?

  • I-Fish resources, past and current ecosystems in the Black Sea
    Chairman : Jean-Christophe Sourisseau (Centre Camille Jullian, Aix-Marseille University, France)

9h45 – Tonnes Bekker-Nielsen (University of Southern Denmark)
The Black Sea in the Mediterranean economy

10h10 – Violin Raykov (Institute of Oceanology, Marine Biology and Ecology, Bulgarian Academy of sciences, Varna, Bulgaria)
Challenges and opportunities for sustainable Black Sea fisheries

10h30 – Arturo Morales & Eufrasia Rosello-Izquierdo (Laboratory of Archaeozoology, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain)
Fisheries and Greek colonisation in Northern Black Sea : state of the ichtyo-archaeological evidence
10h50 – Questions
11h15 – Coffee break

  • II-The South-Western coast of the Black Sea : the Pontic Thrace
    Chairman : Jean-Christophe Sourisseau (Centre Camille Jullian, Aix-Marseille University, France)

11h30 – Nayden Prahov (National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Program Director of Balkan Heritage Foundation, Sofia, Bulgaria), Kalin Dimitrov (National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, National Center for Underwater Archaeology, Sozopol, Bulgaria), Pavel Georgiev (National Center for Underwater Archaeology, Sozopol, Bulgaria)
Ancient artificial harbour facilities along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast

11h50 – Martin Gyuzelev (University of Burgas, Bulgaria) & Atanas Orachev (University of St Clement Ohridski, Sofia, Bulgaria)
Sea-fishing and fishing tools on the Black Sea coast

12h10 – Dimitar Nedev & Teodora Bogdanova (Municipal cultural Center, Sozopol, Bulgaria)
Archaeological data on fishing and the exploitation of fishery resources in Apollonia Pontica (6th-2nd c. BC)

12h30 – Kalina Yordanova (National Museum of History, Sofia, Bulgaria) & Nayden Prahov (National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Program Director of Balkan Heritage Foundation, Sofia, Bulgaria)
The crustacean on Apollonia Pontica’s coins : a hidden marine creature, lost marine knowledge and practices

12h50 - 13h10 - Questions/Discussion/Debate
13h10 - 14h30 – Lunch Break

  • III-The North-Western Coast of the Black Sea : The Danubian Delta and the Shore of Dobruja
    Chairman : Alexandru Avram (Le Mans University, France)

14h30 – Alexandra Bivolaru, Christophe Morhange (Cerege, IMBE, Aix-Marseille University, France), Valérie Andrieu Ponel (Mediterranean Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology, Aix-Marseille University, France) & Valentin Bottez (University of Bucharest)
Geomorphological evolution of the distal lagoons of the Danube delta and reconstruction of ancient environments

14h50 - Alexandre Baralis (Musée du Louvre, Paris, France) & Vasilica Lungu (Institute of South-Eastern European Studies, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania)
Colonising a marshy area : the settlements of the Northern chôra of Istros

15h10 - Myriam Sternberg (CNRS, Centre Camille Jullian, CNRS-Aix-Marseille Université, France)
Fishing in the Southern Danube Delta : a focus on the Caraburun-Acic Suat settlement based on archaeo-ichtyofaunic data

15h30 – Questions
15h45 – Coffee break

16h - Alexandru Nicolaie (Archaeological Museum of Callatis, Mangalia, Romania)
Watercourses of ancient times in the territories of the cities of Kallatis, Tomis and Histria

16h20 – Gabriel Mircea Talmatchi & Irina Sodoleanu (National Museum of History and Archaeology, Constanţa, Romania)
New data on fish fauna found in the Western Pontos Euxeinos, indicated by specially cast monetary signs used for exchange purposes (6th-5th c. BC)

16h40 - 17h - Questions/Discussion/Debate

 Friday 27th March 2020

  • IV-The Northern Black Sea : Bug, Dniepr, Crimea and Azov Sea
    Chairman : Tønnes Bekker-Nielsen (University of Southern Denmark)

9h10 - Dmitry Chistov (State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Fishing and fishing sinkers of the archaic Berezan settlement

9h30 – Yevheniia Yanish (I. I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, Kiev, Ukraine) & Alla Buyskikh (National Institute of Archaeology, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Kiev, Ukraine)
Fisheries in the Northern Black Sea region on the example of Olbia and synchronous settlements

9h50 – Martina Čechová (Institute of Slavonic Studies, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic)
Fishing and fish processing as resource of prestige and wealth : the case of Crimean Chersonesos in Late Antiquity/Early Middle Ages

10h10 - Alexander Butyagin (State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia) & Aleksey Kasparov (Institute for History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint-Petersburg, Russia)
The foundation of the “small cities” of the Bosphorus and fishing (based on Myrmekion investigations)

10h45 - Questions
11h – Coffee break

11h20 – Marina Vakhtina & Alexei Kasparov (Institute for History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Fishing in Porthmion, a Bosphorean town near Kerch Strait (according excavations of 2005-2013)

11h40 - Urszula Iwaszczuk (Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw, Poland), Marcin Matera (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw, Poland) & Denis Bunin (Vladimir State University, Russia)
Fishing on the border of the ancient world : natural conditions for fishing and their influence on the exploitation of local resources in Tanais

12h - Emzar Kakhidze (Shota Rustaveli State University, Batumi, Georgia)
Fishing on the Eastern Black Sea area coast in Classical Period : archaeological data found at Pichvnari

[Poster] Alik Gabeliia (Abkhazian State University)
The ecological and geographical situation in Abkhazia in the ancient era : issues related to the development of fisheries

12h20 - 12h40 - Questions/Discussion/Debate
12h40 - 14h – Lunch break

  • V-The Southern Black Sea area : the Pontos region
    Chairman : Arturo Morales (Autonomous University of Madrid)

14h – Mustafa Zengin (Central Fisheries Research Institute, Trabzon, Turkey) Historical Adventure of Bonito (Sarda sarda) in the Black Sea from Ancient Times to the Present

14h20 - Owen Doonan (California State University – Northridge, USA) & Hüseyin Vural (Archaeological Museum, Sinop, Turkey)
Evidence for incipient fishing in Black Sea mariculture from Bronze Age and Iron Age Sinope

14h40 - Claire Barat (Polytechnic University of Hauts-de-France, Valenciennes, France)
Fishing resources and Greek colonisation at Sinope

15h - Ayşe Erol (Hacı Bayram Veli University, Ankara, Turkey)
Fishing equipment obtained from Fatsa/Cıngırt Kayası excavations in the Southern Black Sea region

15h20 - Questions
15h35 – Coffee break

  • VI-Techniques, Commercial and Exchange networks
    Chairman : Arturo Morales (Autonomous University of Madrid)

15h50 – John Brendan Knight (University of Liverpool, United Kingdom)
From fishing camp to finished colony : a comparative approach to Greek settlements in the Black Sea

16h10 - Stéphane Lebreton (University of Artois, Arras, France)
Fisheries activities : an ethnographic entry

16h30 - Pierre Dupont (ArAr, Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée, Lyon, France)
Fishnet-watchers around the Pontic area and Propontis

16h50 – Stefania Gallota (University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy)
The Tax system for fishing trade in the Black sea : a new perspective

17h10 - Questions/Discussion/Debate

17h25 - Conclusion
Arturo Morales (Laboratory of Archaeozoology, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain)

 Saturday 28th March 2020

9h15 -13h – Visit to the Museum of History and the Museum of Roman Docks (Marseille)