Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Vol 21, No 1 (2008)

Greek Traders in Native Contexts in Iron Age Southeastern Italy: From Interaction to Marginality

Edward Herring
Issued Date: 8 Aug 2008


This paper examines the evidence for Greek traders residing at native sites in southeastern Italy between the eighth and sixth centuries BC. Trade is now seen as one of the key motivations behind the Greek ‘colonization’ of southern Italy. Contact between Greek and native communities was vital to the social and cultural development of both. Although trade need not require cohabitation, scholars have arguedthat there is evidence for resident Greek traders at various native sites. In total, four sites are examined in detail. Two sites are close to later ‘colonies’: Torre Saturo near Taras, and Incoronata near Metapontum. The other two sites are the Adriatic port of Brindisi and the inland site of Cavallino, near modern Lecce. Generally, the evidence for resident foreign traders is quite elusive. However, it is possible to argue that, over time, attitudes towards foreign traders changed,making cohabitation less common.

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DOI: 10.1558/jmea.v21i1.111


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