Sicily - Siqiliya - Sikelö: Byzantine, Islamic and Norman coexistence in Southern Italy 800 to 1300 AD.

Project: Research

Layman's description

From the end of the 9th century to ca. 1300 Sicily went through a period of political and cultural change. Byzantine, Islamic and Norman overlords ruled Sicily, while every-day life went on in the villages and urban centers. The population consisted of persons from what is today Italy, Tunisia, Greece and Turkey. I intend to study this through the archeological records revealed on the island.

The overall aim with the project is to study social and cultural interaction during the Byzantine and Islamic dominion on Sicily, with special focus on hybridity. The evidence chiefly comes from archaeology, whith settlement structure, economy, and everyday life. Also written sources of Arabic, Jewish, and Norman origin will be used.

As in other parts of Europe where people with different languages, origins, and traditions lived together, everyday life made particular demands of individuals and groups so that life would function. Large geographical differences shaped the population pattern.The population was mixed. The idea is to use the different ceramic traditions on Sicily to trace social and cultural interaction on an every-day basis.

A second aim is to reveal the contacts with the surrounding world during the Byzantine and Islamic periods through coin studies. One aim is to study the distribution in the Mediterranean area of coins minted in Sicily and the circulation of Latin and other Islamic coins on the island. The use of coins indicates points of contact and trading partners that may have affected the pattern of culture as a result of the political and economic contacts.

Islamic Sicily is interwoven with Scandinavian history, through Scandinavians in the Varangian guard of the Byzantine emperor. We have occasional mentions on runic stones from the middle of the eleventh century of men from Södermanland and Uppland having been in Langbardaland.
Effective start/end date2014/01/012017/12/31


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