Fieldwork in Abdera (Greece): unraveling colonisation in the Mediterranean

In the scorching weeks of July, a dedicated team of researchers from GIAP (ICAC-CERCA) embarked on a new fieldwork campaign. Set in the ancient Greek colony of Abdera, nestled within the historical region of Xanthi, Thrace, Greece, the team is conducting a comprehensive archaeological, archeomorphological, and geoarchaeological survey to unravel landscapes of the ancient greek colonization in the Mediterranean.

A thriving Greek colony 

Alluvial geomorphological survey

Abdera, once a thriving Greek colony, stands as a living testament to the richness of this civilisation. The GIAP studies in Abdera, alongside other areas like the Empordà (Catalonia), provide a unique opportunity for researchers to understand the patterns of ancient colonisation and the subsequent transformations that shaped the mediterranean landscapes. 

Expanding our research 

This year’s expedition takes on added importance as it marks the beginning of Isabel Mattuzzi’s doctoral thesis. Titled “Landscapes of Greek colonization: an integrated archaeological approach of the compared territorial and landscape dynamics around the Ionian colonies of Abdera and Emporion (Thrace, Greece, and Catalonia, Spain),” the thesis is overseen by Dr. Arnau Garcia-Molsosa, Dr. Alfredo Mayoral and Dr. Konstantina Kallintzi (Ephorate for Antiquities of Xanthi). This PhD has been awarded generous funding from FI AGAUR-Generalitat de Catalunya. 

Learn more about Isabel and her thesis:

A collaborative effort 

The ICAC team comprises Dr. Arnau Garcia-Molsosa, Dr. Alfredo Mayoral, Dr. Hèctor A. Orengo, Dr. Josep M. Palet, the PhD candidate Isabel Mattuzzi, and Dr. Merkouris Georgiadis. This ambitious endeavor forms part of the TranScapes project (see below). This collaborative work is carried under the framework of the Archaeological project of Abdera and Xanthi (APAX), initiated in 2015 by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Xanthi, in partnership with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the ICAC and the ISEM UMR 5554 UM-CNRS. TranScapes project aims to undertake a comparative analysis of Roman and Greek colonisation processes in both the eastern and western Mediterranean regions.

Members of GIAP (ICAC) with collaborators from the Ephorate of Antiquities of Xanthi at the Museum of Abdera

Stay tuned for more updates on this archaeological journey, as we uncover the hidden secrets of Abdera and piece together the intricate puzzle of ancient Greek and Roman history! 


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