HomeWater Management in the Mediterranean during the 1st Millennium BC

Water Management in the Mediterranean during the 1st Millennium BC

La gestion des ressources hydrauliques en Méditerranée au 1er millénaire avant notre ère

IIIe symposium international HYDRΩMED

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Published on Monday, January 04, 2016 by Céline Guilleux


The aim of the meeting is to compare the different modes of adaptation of the Ancient Mediterranean populations to the environmental resources, especially their hydric resources. In a climate marked by unequal distribution of water, the ancient societies, whether Phoenician-Punic, Greek or Etruscan, responded in different ways to the various situations, let alone the hydric crises which may have affected them. The meeting will associate systemic theoretical reflections as well as case studies on ancient sites, to outline the mutations and the permanencies, the possible technological transfers from one society to another. Here, as in other fields of human activity, we shall query the existence of an ancient Mediterranean koine around the knowledge and the technical practices, around the cultural and cultural traditions. The chronology considered runs from the 8th to the 1st century BC, i.e. before the diffusion of the Roman models and techniques.



In January 2015 has been created the international research network funded by A*MIDEX, the Aix-Marseille University Foundation. This research network, which aims to gather the researches about Water management in the Mediterranean during the 1st Millennium BC, is coordinated by Prof. Sophie Bouffier, professor of Greek History and member of the Centre Camille Jullian (CCJ) of the Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l’homme (MMSH) at Aix-en-Provence (France). Until now we have organised several meetings of different aspects of this general thematic. In May-June 2016, it will be the general conference, opened to every researcher who would like to present his work or to participate to the network.

Main themes

The colloquium will take stock of research undertaken since 2015 in the network, and offers participants, four working themes, which correspond to the four axes of the HYDRΩMED program:

1. Paleoenvironmental studies

climatology and hydro-geomorphology of the Mediterranean in the first millennium BCE. Topics might include reflections on reconstructions of climatic and hydric conditions in the ancient Mediterranean from existing models and targeted case studies, or studies of the exploitation of water resources by ancient populations.

2. Ancient hydraulic projects and the exploitation of natural resources

the HYDRΩMED project is compiling an inventory of urban interventions for water control, storage, and distribution. Our goal is to reconstruct interactions among hydraulic interventions and water resources in individual sites and, furthermore, to be able to explore technological and cultural exchanges among different sites and societies (in progress, see http://arkeogis.org). Proposed papers could focus on a specific site or explore the transfer of knowledge among regions and peoples.

3. From history of science and technology to political and economic history:

The management of water, whether in the city or in the countryside is tied to civic and economic policy. We shall question strategies of water’s acquisition, distribution, and consumption by pre-Roman Mediterranean societies. What choices were made by political powers? What preferences can be seen in different cultures? To what degree do technical systems for water management reflect or line up with the organization of societies and their political regimes?

4. The cult and culture of water and of waters

building on our first colloquium in Athens in July 2015, this axis will focus in on the ways water was used in various cultural contexts, especially artisanal and therapeutic. Workshops and facilities for athletics, bathing, or healing could be the starting points for reflections on the role of water in ancient Mediterranean society.

Submission guidelines

Researchers interested in one of these topics should send a title and abstract

before January 30, 2016,

to Iván FUMADÓ ORTEGA, Centre Camille Jullian: ifumado@mmsh.univ-aix.fr or Sophie Bouffier, sbouffier@mmsh.univ-aix.fr.  

They can propose a conference or a poster which will be subject to review. A response will be given by the end of February 2016.

Scientific committee

  • BELVEDERE Oscar, Professore di Topografia antica, Università di Palermo,o.belvedere@unipa.it
  • BOUFFIER Sophie, Professeur d’histoire grecque, Aix-Marseille Université,  Aix-Marseille Université, sbouffier@mmsh.univ-aix.fr
  • BRUNET Michèle, Professeur de littérature et d’épigraphie grecque, Université Lyon 2,Michele.Brunet@univ-lyon2.fr
  • GARCIA Dominique, Professeur d’Antiquités Nationales, Aix-Marseille Université, President, Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives,dominique.garcia@inrap.fr
  • GUIOT Joël, Directeur de recherches CNRS Paleoclimatology and environmental sciences, CEREGE, guiot@cerege.fr
  • JOCKEY Philippe Jockey, Professeur d’histoire et de civilisation grecques, Aix-Marseille Université, pjockey@mmsh.univ-aix.fr
  • ROBINSON Betsey A., Associate Professor of History of Art, Classical Studies, and Anthropology, Vanderbilt University, betsey.a.robinson@Vanderbilt.Edu
  • SCHÜTT Brigitta, Professeur de géographie physique, Frei Universität Berlin,brigittta.schuett@topoi.org


  • MMSH - 5 rue Château de l'Horloge
    Aix-en-Provence, France (13094)


  • Saturday, January 30, 2016


  • aménagement hydraulique, gestion, eau


  • Sophie Bouffier
    courriel : sbouffier [at] mmsh [dot] univ-aix [dot] fr
  • Iván Fumadó Ortega
    courriel : ifumado [at] mmsh [dot] univ-aix [dot] fr

Information source

  • Iván Fumadó Ortega
    courriel : ifumado [at] mmsh [dot] univ-aix [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Water Management in the Mediterranean during the 1st Millennium BC », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, January 04, 2016, https://calenda.org/351449

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