Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 4 articles

Commentary

21 February 2024

Review

15 April 2024

Human Mobility in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean during Hellenistic and Roman Times: The Potential and Limitations of Bioarchaeological Research

This paper offers a review of bioarchaeological research on human mobility during the Hellenistic and Roman period in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean. This period was marked by significant connectivity amidst the establishment of major political entities. The paper begins with an overview of bioarchaeological methods used to study past mobility, including biodistance, isotopic and ancient DNA analyses. It then examines published studies that have utilized these methods to explore mobility during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The paper concludes by critically assessing the current research limitations and proposing directions for future studies. These suggestions emphasize the importance of conducting additional research to investigate human mobility in neglected areas, as well as at different temporal and spatial scales. Integrating mobility data with other sources of evidence, such as historical accounts, paleoenvironmental data and osteobiographic information is another important future direction of research. Finally, relevant research should be more theoretically informed and its contemporary implications should be effectively communicated within and beyond the academic community. An enhancement of our understanding of the nature and impact of mobility is crucial in today’s society, where misconceptions linking immigration to the decline of the Roman Empire can perpetuate biases against contemporary mobility. 

Comment

19 April 2024

Article

22 April 2024

Paleo-Asian Cultural Phenomena of Ancient Beringia: Population Convergence and Solution of Ethnic Self-Identification

Authors offer for a discussion the materials from studies of archaic culture elements that include body modifications in ethnic groups in the context of population genetic data from native peoples of the Far North. The authors consider materials from the territory of ancient Beringia which include a part of Chukotka and Kamchatka in Russia, Alaska in the USA and several island groups in between. The working hypothesis of the study involves the identification of common and specific features of body modifications in ethnic groups having similar population genesis. This allows to clarify the specifics of the regional contacts. Body modifications (tattoos, piercings, etc.) are considered as a way of a person’s self-identification and a form of his group membership (in this case—ethnic group). The study used ethnographic, archaeological, paleo-history, folklore materials and up-to-date data that include genetic research of contemporary ethnic groups inhabiting the territory of ancient Beringia and maintaining their traditional way of life. The methodology base of the research is based on formalized approach and cross-cultural analysis evidence of the similarity/difference of the population in combination with the method of comparative analysis of DNA data and information about their genetic structure.

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