HomeFishing and Greek colonisation in the Black Sea during Antiquity

HomeFishing and Greek colonisation in the Black Sea during Antiquity

Fishing and Greek colonisation in the Black Sea during Antiquity

Pêche et ressources halieutiques en mer Noire dans l’Antiquité

A geographical and regional approach

Pour une approche géographique et régionale

*  *  *

Published on Friday, October 25, 2019


Ce colloque international sur l’exploitation des ressources halieutiques en mer Noire, par le biais de l’archéologie, de l’épigraphie, des sources anciennes ou des sciences du vivant se tiendra à la Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l'homme (Aix-en-Provence, France) les 26-27 mars 2020.


Scientific objectives

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  hazardous  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 Goloviţa 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,  includingthose 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  localnetworks, 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  materiallinked 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.

All  researchers  working  in  connection  with  the  exploitation  of  the  fishery  resources of the Black Sea, through archaeological and epigraphical data, ancient sources and life sciences, are invited to submit a proposal by choosing one of the four sessions.  We  will  host  papers  on  archaeology and history  of  techniques  (field  data,  material  relating  to  fishing  activities,  port  facilities,  conservation  structures,  etc.), archaeozoology  (archaeoichtyology,  archaeoconchyliology),  environmental  history  (long-lived   evolution   of   Black   Sea   fish   stocks,   changes   in   biodiversity,   coastal   geomorphological evolution) and social history (anthropological, economic, political or  cultural  interactions in  relation  to  the  issue  of  the  Black  Sea’s  ancient  fishery  resources  exploitation  and  the  local  eating  habits).  Approaches  from  life  sciences  (marine biology,   ichthyology)   and   social   sciences   such   as   archaeology   and   geography will be particularly encouraged.

Schedule and submission guidelines

The  call  for  papers  will  be  open  from 10th  October  to 15th  December  2019.

Candidates have to send the application form, choosing one of the sessions.

Each paper proposal should include a title, full name and affiliation of the author(s), as well as a summary (maximum 400 words). Participants may not propose more than two communications. English is the official language.A chair and a discussant will lead the sessions.

The deadline for submission is  the 15th December 2019.


  • Centre Camille Jullian (UMR 7299), CNRS-Aix-Marseille University, France
  • Musée du Louvre, Département des Antiquités Grecques, Etrusques et Romaines, Paris, France
  • Institute of South-Eastern European Studies, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania National Institute of Archaeology and Museum,
  • Bulgarian Academy of Science, Sofia, Bulgaria

Scientific Committee

  • Alexandru  Avram  (Le  Mans  University,  France /   Institute  of  archaeology  “Vasile Pârvan”, Bucharest, Romania)
  • Alexandre Baralis (Musée du Louvre, Paris, France)
  • Tonnes Bekker-Nielsen (University of South Denmark) 
  • Owen Doonan (California State University – Northridge, USA)
  • Vasilica  Lungu  (Institute  of  South-Eastern  European  Studies,  Romanian  Academy,  Bucharest, Romania)
  • Arturo   Morales   (Laboratory   of   archaeolozoology, Department   of   biology, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain)
  • Myriam Sternberg (Centre Camille Jullian, CNRS-Aix-Marseille University, France)ORGANIZING COMMITTE
  • Alexandre Baralis (Musée du Louvre, Paris, France),  
  • Myriam Sternberg (Centre Camille Jullian, CNRS-Aix-Marseille University, France)
  • Tatiana André (Aix-Marseille University, France)
  • Lucas Bonjour (Aix-Marseille University, France)



  • Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l'homme, 5 rue du château de l'horloge
    Aix-en-Provence, France (13)


  • Sunday, December 15, 2019


  • pêche, ressource halieutique, mer Noire, Antiquité, archéozoologie, paléoenvironnement


  • Alexandre Baralis
    courriel : Alexandre [dot] Baralis [at] louvre [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Blandine Nouvel
    courriel : nouvel [at] mmsh [dot] univ-aix [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Fishing and Greek colonisation in the Black Sea during Antiquity », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, October 25, 2019, https://doi.org/10.58079/13pn

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