Good news, some wishes and happy holidays!

We are glad to welcome the holidays with good news!

First, a new PhD candidate joined GIAP-ICAC in December: Theoni Baniou, who will be supervised by Dr. Alexandra Livarda. Her thesis is titled: “Exploring Roman tastes: an archaeobotanical and network analysis approach to the investigation of food plant access, commerce and social identities”.

The aim of this thesis is to shed new light on how food was employed in the Roman period both to convey social identity and as an agent in the development of trade and the creation of physical landscapes of interaction. Food plants will be used as proxies of commerce, their routes of distribution within parts of the Roman Empire will be recreated and access to specific food types will be examined. 

The proposed research is based on the premise that food is a basic need for which people have to make choices and act upon on an everyday basis. These choices are determined by a number of socio-cultural, economic and environmental parameters. Examining, thus, who had access to which specific food items has a great potential to understand the complex interplay of all these parameters and offer fresh insights into past lifeways. Employment of food plants has also an advantage over other types of evidence as the place of their deposition is the place of their ultimate consumption, in contrast to amphorae for instance that they were regularly reused and could have had variable contents. This renders food plants an excellent proxy for the study of food trade that can provide direct evidence for the circulation of products. 

The project will be thus able to add significant new, fresh insights into the development of trade, urbanisation and social identities in parts of the Roman Empire, that set the seeds of modern Europe, its culinary and cultural traditions as well as its physical configuration and network of urban centres.

Welcome, Theoni, and best of luck in this adventure!

Secondly, good news for the remote sensing team! We congratulate Dr. Francesc C. Conesa for obtaining his drone license by the national aerial agency (Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea). This sums up to a total of 8 pilots in the team. Congratulations Francesc!

Dr. Francesc C. Conesa in La Palma, in a recent trip to map and document the endangered heritage in the area due to the volcanic eruption.

Finally, we wanted to end the year with some wishes, and a revision of last year’s. We are thankful that there’s much to celebrate, as we got more postdocs, a good harvest, great summer campaigns, published new papers, obtained new drone licenses, started new projects and collaborations…

Alexandra Kriti proudly standing in front of the fields after sowing the grains for our 2nd year of experimental cultivations, after a very successful 1st year.
Morning march to the survey area! We surveyed and excavated different areas of Abdera and Grevena (Greece) to develop new surveying techniques, with a strong remote-sensing involvement.
We were able to document a possible phase of occupation related to a circular structure (2500 meters above sea level) in Meranges (Catalonia).

… just to mention a few (did you miss anything? Check our news archive!). But of course, dreamers have to dream:

1. Again, to finally get rid of the pandemic and be able to freely enjoy the company of family, friends and co-workers.
2. Again, to reduce the administrative burden for researchers (anyone surprised to see this wish here again?)
3. Last year, we also wished for a renovation of ICAC’s spaces to get our new bioarchaeology and computational archaeology lab… and it seems it’s actually finally happening in early 2022! We don’t have it yet, so we wish we can start working there soon!
4. Of course, a great team is key to use this state-of-the-art facilities, which is why we also wish to get all the grants we carefully and thoroughly designed and presented, especially the FPUs for our PhDs and the MSCAs for our postdocs.
5. Last but not least, just like last year, we hope to keep creating together and giving birth to new ideas! 

May your holidays be full of warmth and cheer, and happy new year!