Ponchia, Simonetta & Luisa Prandi (eds.). 2023. Shaping boundaries. Ethnicity and geography in the Eastern Mediterranean area (Melammu Workshops and Monographs 8). Münster: Zaphon.
This conference volume assembles 16 contributions to “Ethnicity and Geography in the Eastern Mediterranean Area (First Millennium BC). In combination with the corresponding “Shaping Boundary” project of the University of Verona it aims to analyse a crucial period: the formation of Greek identity, the first one documented in the West, at the time of the contacts with the Near East during the first millennium BC. More in detail, the authors examined the interactions between the Syro-Mesopotamian, Levantine and Aegean worlds that took place along the coastal region extending from Bosporus to Syria and Lebanon. Special attention was paid to methodological issues and diverse approaches in the investigation of boundaries and borderlands. These can be interpreted as different kinds of geo-political, or socio-cultural lines of separation, but should also be interpreted by taking into account their fundamental functions of communication spaces, where new, mixed, or hybrid identities took shape over time. – Among other, Giovanni B. Lanfranchi examines the borders between Assyria and Northwestern Iran as Polities of Unequal Power from the 9th to the 7th century BCE. – Raija Mattila discusses Neo-Assyrian letters reporting from the border areas on guarding and protecting the border, on building and maintenance of fortresses, and on the movements on the other side of the border. – The Northwest boundaries of Achaemenid expansion (Anatolia and the North Aegean) is taken into account by Sarah P. Morris. – Luisa Prandi questions the conception of the Cimmerian Bosporus as a Boundary between Europe and Asia according to Aeschylus. – Silvia Gabrieli reconstructs the foundation myth of Tarsus between Assyrian propaganda and Hellenistic fascination.