AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: TRAFFICKING IN GREEK BOYS: RECASTING THE MASTER-SLAVE RELATIONSHIP IN IRON AGE STUDIES
Author: WILLIAM MEYER (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)   
Date/Time: Thu., 2:00 PM
Co-Author(s): WILLIAM MEYER (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) 
Abstract: Iron Age scholars have identified the slave trade as one tie that bound Hallstatt chiefdoms in Temperate Europe to the burgeoning states of the Mediterranean. A unidirectional flow is thought to have brought slaves into the Mediterranean basin from “barbarian” lands to the north and west. When return-traffic in humans has been discussed, it has been a feminine traffic of women carried into Hallstatt areas either as defiled war captives or as high-profile political wives. Male slaves of Mediterranean origin are markedly absent in accounts of the Hallstatt political economy, despite their well-established presence throughout Classical Greece and Italy. Further, architectural features in the Hallstatt zone and adjacent regions suggest the influence of Classical design, perhaps even a Greek and/or Italian input into the Hallstatt labor force. The social relations of these features’ production have been discussed only in broad strokes, however, and the possibility of Mediterranean slaves working for Hallstatt masters has rarely been mentioned. In this paper, I submit that the failure to consider the human traffic in Mediterranean men (in addition to women) is symptomatic of a deeply rooted bias in the archaeology of Europe; one that has resulted in the repeated, unconsidered casting of Hallstatt people as subordinate in their dealings with their Mediterranean contemporaries. With the development of “molecular archaeological” techniques (e.g., stable isotope analyses, aDNA), we now possess the means by which to show that Iron Age human movements — and the power relations they engendered — were likely far more complex than previously assumed.

Program Number: 2-0800
Session Title: MOTION CHECK: ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSIGHTS ON THE CIRCULATION OF SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Thu., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): DAVID PETERSON, ALAN GREENE (University of Chicago) 
Chair(s): SARAH GRAFF (University of Chicago)  
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