Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft
Settlement patterns, trade and mobility in Byzantine and Islamic Sicily

The aim of this project is to address some issues about mobility, material culture and settlement patterns in Byzantine and Islamic Sicily (6th-11th c. AD). Sicily due to its geopolitical centrality in the Mediterranean represents a proper palimpsest for understanding the dynamics of connectivity and interconnection between different political regimes, cultures and religions. In recent years, archaeological research has enormously increased the knowledge on Early Medieval Sicily through a new season of new excavations and new studies on material culture. This project aims to compare written and archaeological sources for analysing various phenomena of mobility of people and goods in the general framework of changes in settlement patterns during the Byzantine and Islamic periods. The scope is to develop new insights on the impact of the integration of Sicily in Byzantine and Islamic systems and to critically frame what transformations took place in terms of mobility of new human and social groups, which vectors of economic connectivity are readable through the data on material culture (mainely pottery) and what changes characterized the settlement dynamics especially in the countryside. The analysis of these issues will be interesting for further comparisons with the other large islands of the Mediterranean such as Sardinia, Crete, Cyprus and also with the same transition between the Byzantines and the Arab that occurred in other areas of
Central and Eastern Mediterranean (e.g. Maghreb, Egypt, Levant).

For more information about Angelo Castrorao Barba, please click here.