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Products for grant RZ-255604-17

RZ-255604-17
An Archaeological Field Survey in the Trapani Province of Western Sicily
Emma Blake, Arizona Board of Regents

Grant details: https://apps.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=RZ-255604-17

The Archaeology of Contemporary Migrant Journeys in Western Sicily (Article)
Title: The Archaeology of Contemporary Migrant Journeys in Western Sicily
Author: Emma Blake
Author: Robert Schon
Abstract: The Sicilian Channel between Sicily and North Africa receives global attention as a major migratory route for undocumented people entering Europe clandestinely, a tragic nexus of transnational displacement and desperation. While the plight of massively overloaded and unseaworthy boats of people justifiably receives the bulk of media attention, there is a less-observed movement that occurs and has occurred for thousands of years: small boats expertly transporting handfuls of people back and forth across the Channel between Tunisia and western Sicily. This study explores the material vestiges of cross-channel migrations through assemblages identified during fieldwork by the Arizona Sicily Project along the southwest coast of Sicily in the summers of 2018 and 2019. While the exigencies of maritime crossing require distinct technologies of mobility, certain elements of migrant material culture are analogous to that found elsewhere, e.g. along the US–Mexico border zone of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Such elements include migrants’ strategic triangulation of speed, invisibility and survival in deciding what to bring and the tactical triage of gear en route. Moreover, the political and economic injustices that are catalysts for the movements are comparable, as is the criminalization of the migrants, which has done more to endanger than dissuade them. This article sheds new light on migrant choices and challenges and contributes to the archaeology of contemporary migration.
Year: 2019
Primary URL: https://doi.org/10.1558/jma.40579
Primary URL Description: The URL provided by the Journal to access the article
Access Model: Subscription only
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology
Publisher: Equinox Publishing

Punic southwest Sicily: whose hinterland? (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Punic southwest Sicily: whose hinterland?
Author: V. Moses
Author: E. Blake
Author: R. Schon
Author: R. Giglio
Author: A. Wigodner
Abstract: The Arizona Sicily Project (2018-ongoing) is an intensive pedestrian survey of the coastal zone between the Sicilian cities of Marsala and Mazara del Vallo. While this diachronic project seeks to chart the ties between North Africa and western Sicily in all periods, this paper focuses on the evidence dating to the Punic and early Roman periods, when the zone was under Carthaginian control and immediately after. This survey is the first to document systematically the Punic period in this countryside, and thus contributes to prior work at Motya and Marsala (Lilybaeum) in the Punic period. We present our methodology, data, and preliminary analysis of Punic materials and sites found in the survey zone. Drawing on this new data and the results of an earlier survey north of Marsala, this paper considers the local impact of Carthage, given its proximity across the Sicilian Channel. We interrogate the degree to which Carthage itself was transformative to rural residents in our zone, compared to its colonies on the Sicilian coast. In other words, beyond a general identification of this as a ‘Punic’ countryside, did Carthaginian influence significantly affect settlement in the territory, to a greater extent than the influence of the Punic cities present on Sicily itself?
Date: 1/4/2020
Conference Name: Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meetings

"Mapping cross-channel connections: the Arizona Sicily Project, preliminary report of the 2018 and 2019 seasons (Book Section)
Title: "Mapping cross-channel connections: the Arizona Sicily Project, preliminary report of the 2018 and 2019 seasons
Author: E. Blake
Author: R. Schon
Author: R. Giglio
Editor: C. Prescott et al.
Abstract: This paper presents the preliminary results from the first two seasons of the Arizona Sicily Project, an intensive diachronic survey in the coastal territory between the Sicilian cities of Marsala and Mazara del Vallo. The project’s primary research aim is to document the quantities of North African imports to western Sicily in all periods, in order to reconstruct North African connections to the peoples of this part of the island. Previous work in the region has demonstrated episodes of North African materials making their way across the Sicilian Channel in punctuated periods from the Palaeolithic onwards, but this project is the first to attempt to document and quantify those contacts over all periods, to understand the deep history of these relations, and how they distinguish the western third of the island from other parts of Sicily. Material evidence of contemporary migrant crossings of the Channel from Tunisia highlight the enduring character of these North African connections.
Year: 2021
Access Model: Print only.
Publisher: Oxbow Books
Book Title: Trinacria: 'An Island Outside Time'. International Archaeology in Sicily
ISBN: 9781789255911

L’Arizona Sicily Project: risultati di ricognizione nel retroterra di Marsala (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: L’Arizona Sicily Project: risultati di ricognizione nel retroterra di Marsala
Author: E. Blake
Author: R. Schon
Abstract: Oggi presenteremo i risultati preliminari del nostro progetto di ricognizione archeologica nella zona costiera delimitata partendo dal sud di Marsala fino alla periferia nord di Mazara del Vallo e delimitata a est dalla Strado Statale 115 (come evidenziato nella slide). Questo comprensorio naturale e antropico si estende per circa 44 km2. La ricognizione di tale settore tenta di rispondere a determinati problemi storici e di insediamento sul lungo periodo nella provincia di Trapani, soprattutto considerando l’impatto economico e culturale del canale di Sicilia sugli abitanti rurali della zona.
Date: 9/29/2021
Conference Name: Elymos 2.0: Convegno internazionale di studi sulla Sicilia e sull’area Elima

Excavations at Segesta, Sicily (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Excavations at Segesta, Sicily
Author: R. Schon
Author: E. Blake
Abstract: Presentation of impetus for and research design of excavations at Segesta, an ancient city in western Sicily, Italy.
Date: 5/18/22
Conference Name: Central Mediterranean Prehistory Seminar, UC London, UK

Contemporary migrations to Sicily (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Contemporary migrations to Sicily
Author: E. Blake
Abstract: Presentation of contemporary migrant assemblages in southwestern Sicily
Date: 2/21/2020
Conference Name: Memory, Movement, Materiality: Journeys of Forced and Undocumented Migration. University of Pennsylvania

“Bottles, blue jeans, and a boat: material traces of migration in western Sicily (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: “Bottles, blue jeans, and a boat: material traces of migration in western Sicily
Author: R. Giglio
Author: E. Blake
Author: R. Schon
Abstract: The Sicilian Channel receives global attention as a major migratory route for undocumented people entering Europe clandestinely, a tragic nexus of transnational displacement and desperation. While the plight of massively overloaded and unseaworthy boats of people justifiably receives the media attention, there is a less documented movement that occurs and has occurred for thousands of years: small boats expertly transporting handfuls of people back and forth across the Channel between Tunisia and western Sicily. Material traces of these border crossings share some features with the migrant material culture strewn along the border zone of the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. These include migrants’ strategic triangulation of speed, invisibility and survival in deciding what to bring and the tactical triage of gear en route. Further, the political and economic injustices that are catalysts for the movements are comparable, as is the criminalization of the migrants which has done more to endanger than dissuade them. However the exigencies of sea crossing require a distinct set of material culture and technologies of mobility, shedding new light on migrant choices and challenges. This paper explores the material vestiges of these cross-Channel migrations through assemblages identified during fieldwork along the southwest coast of Sicily in Summer 2018.
Date: 4/14/2019
Conference Name: Society for American Archaeology Annual Meetings, Albuquerque NM

Mapping cross-channel connections: the Arizona Sicily Project (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Mapping cross-channel connections: the Arizona Sicily Project
Author: R. Giglio
Author: E. Blake
Author: R. Schon
Abstract: The Arizona Sicily Project is an intensive pedestrian survey in the coastal territory between the Sicilian cities of Marsala and Mazara del Vallo. The project, which began in 2018, focuses on a key feature of this territory: its proximity to North Africa. This zone is the closest point on the island to North Africa, separated from Tunisia by 145 km of water. The project’s primary research aim is to document the quantities of North African imports to western Sicily in all periods, in order to reconstruct North African connections to the peoples of this part of the island. Previous work in the region has demonstrated high numbers of North African artifacts in western Sicily in punctuated periods from the Paleolithic onwards, but this project is the first to attempt to document and quantify those contacts over all periods, to understand the deep history of these relations, and how they distinguish the western third of the island from other parts of Sicily. The Arizona Sicily Project is conducted in collaboration with the Soprintendenza dei Beni Culturali di Trapani.
Date: 4/8/19
Conference Name: Archeologia in Sicilia. 2-day conference, Swedish Institute in Rome

Arizona-Sicily Project: Preliminary Results. (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Arizona-Sicily Project: Preliminary Results.
Author: E. Blake
Author: R. Schon
Abstract: This paper presents the results from the first season of the Arizona Sicily Project, an intensive diachronic survey in the coastal territory between the Sicilian cities of Marsala and Mazara del Vallo. The project’s primary research aim is to document the quantities of North African imports to western Sicily in all periods, in order to reconstruct North African connections to the peoples of this part of the island. Previous work in the region has demonstrated high numbers of North African artifacts making their way across the Sicilian Channel in punctuated periods from the Paleolithic onwards, but this project is the first to attempt to document and quantify those contacts over all periods, to understand the deep history of these relations, and how they distinguish the western third of the island from other parts of Sicily. The ample evidence of African imports in the Punic and Roman periods seems at first glance to reflect the political circumstances of the time, but given the evidence of imports before and after, the environment (for example the narrowness of the Channel and features of its currents) and shared local communities of practice (fishing grounds) may serve to explain these continuous contacts better than short term top-down political transformations.
Date: 9/7/2018
Primary URL: https://www.e-a-a.org/EAA2018/Programme.aspx?WebsiteKey=35414e88-a032-42d3-9e9b-d34ff524c79a&hkey=9ba73740-1809-47c0-bd96-13055196e087&Program_ContentCollectionOrganizerCommon=3#Program_ContentCollectionOrganizerCommon
Conference Name: European Association of Archaeology Annual Meetings, Barcelona, Spain

Remapping the Social Landscape of Western Sicily (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Remapping the Social Landscape of Western Sicily
Author: E. Blake
Abstract: To add.
Date: 6/29/2018
Conference Name: The Political Logic of Mediterranean Landscapes’ colloquium, BSR/Notre Dame, Rome Italy

“Remapping the Social Landscape of Southwest Sicily: The Arizona Sicily Project, 2018 season. (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: “Remapping the Social Landscape of Southwest Sicily: The Arizona Sicily Project, 2018 season.
Author: S. Uzzle
Author: E. Blake
Author: R. Schon
Author: R. Giglio
Author: V. Moses
Author: A. Wigodner
Abstract: Western Sicily has followed a distinct cultural trajectory from the rest of the island, evident archaeologically from the Neolithic through modern times. Driv-ing this region’s historical detachment are its close ties to its near neighbors in the Sicilian channel, Tunisia and Pantelleria. The Arizona Sicily Project is an intensive diachronic archaeological field survey of southwestern Sicily that seeks to chart long-term settlement and land use in this understudied corner of the island, with the eventual aim of reconstructing the nature and evolution of cross-channel con-nectivity from antiquity to the present day. This poster presents the theoretical background, methods, and results from the survey’s first season, in the summer of 2018. The survey zone consists of a 44 km2 strip between the cities of Marsala and Mazara del Vallo. In this season of fieldwork, we focused on the southern 20% of the zone. Our team identified three clusters dating to the Hellenistic and Roman periods, dispersed medieval and early modern artifacts, and even contemporary migrant material culture. More broadly speaking, scant artifacts from antiquity in the coastal zone and more abundant finds further inland are in surprising contrast to artifact distributions a few kilometers north, where our previous work records a distinct decline in artifact numbers inland compared to an intensively used coastal plain. Archival research indicates that this southern region of the survey, prior to land reclamation projects of the early 20th century, experienced fluctuating marshy conditions. Future work will determine if this pattern continues elsewhere in our survey zone.
Date: 1/5/2019
Conference Name: Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meetings, San Diego, CA

The Stuff of Journeys: The Archaeology of Contemporary Undocumented Migrants in Western Sicily (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: The Stuff of Journeys: The Archaeology of Contemporary Undocumented Migrants in Western Sicily
Abstract: The Sicilian Channel between Sicily and North Africa receives global attention as a major migratory route for undocumented people entering Europe clandestinely, a tragic nexus of transnational displacement and desperation. While the plight of massively overloaded and unseaworthy boats of people justifiably receives the bulk of media attention, there is a less-observed movement that occurs and has occurred for thousands of years: small boats expertly transporting handfuls of people back and forth across the Channel between Tunisia and western Sicily. This study explores the material vestiges of cross-channel migrations through assemblages identified during fieldwork by the Arizona Sicily Project along the southwest coast of Sicily in the summers of 2018 and 2019. While the exigencies of maritime crossing require distinct technologies of mobility, certain elements of migrant material culture are analogous to that found elsewhere, e.g. along the US–Mexico border zone of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Such elements include migrants’ strategic triangulation of speed, invisibility and survival in deciding what to bring and the tactical triage of gear en route. Moreover, the political and economic injustices that are catalysts for the movements are comparable, as is the criminalization of the migrants, which has done more to endanger than dissuade them. This article sheds new light on migrant choices and challenges and contributes to the archaeology of contemporary migration.
Author: E. Blake
Date: 9/26/2019
Location: Archaeological Institute of America Local Chapter, Tucson, AZ

Boat, Capo Feto, Sicily. (Blog Post)
Title: Boat, Capo Feto, Sicily.
Author: R. Schon
Author: E. Blake
Abstract: This boat made its final journey in Spring 2018. The boat has no name or indication of country of origin, but Tunisian water bottles tucked under the hull on the landward side give us a clue. This plexiglass boat bears no resemblance to the small wooden fishing boats used by locals, thus we suspect that it served to transport undocumented migrants across the Sicilian Channel from Tunisia to Sicily. The boat is smaller than those unseaworthy wrecks shown in the news, highlighting the differences in the forms that forced migration can take, even in the same part of the world. Clothing and personal items from landing sites nearby allow us to infer that this boat would have been used by a small group, probably young men, probably Tunisian nationals, who by making the crossing were repeating a behavior with a deep, millennia-long history. After getting off the boat the travelers on that last voyage would have, if lucky, dispersed into the Sicilian countryside either on foot or by car. The boat therefore represents the maritime portion of a longer journey, perhaps one it made many times before being abandoned. From its burnt out state and missing engine, it has undergone changes since landing on this quiet shore in western Sicily. Who destroyed it, the travelers or locals? We cannot know. This boat nonetheless tells of small-scale voyages in both directions that together form an enduring shared history that national borders cannot suppress.
Date: 6/20/2021
Primary URL: https://web.sas.upenn.edu/migration/2021/06/10/boat-capo-feto-sicily-june-2018/
Primary URL Description: Website consisting of photo essays of objects that tell stories of contemporary migration.
Blog Title: Materiality of Migration: Recording journeys of forced and undocumented migration through objects, vessels, buildings, and landscapes.
Website: Materiality of Migration

Arizona Sicily Project: Gli scavi a Segesta 2022 (Article)
Title: Arizona Sicily Project: Gli scavi a Segesta 2022
Author: R. Schon
Author: E. Blake
Abstract: Abbiamo intrapreso degli scavi nel Parco Archeologico di Segesta dal 6 al 30 giugno di 2022, il primo anno di un progetto pluriennale con l'obiettivo di saperne di più sulla vita privata nella famosa città, particolarmente nel periodo arcaico. Il nostro saggio era alle pendici del M. Barbaro, c. 350m a sud-ovest del teatro, dove delle mura antiche visibile, molti materiali di superficie oltre a precedenti scavi, indicavano una zona ricca di attività antropica. Cerchiamo di comprendere la vita privata all'ombra della monumentale architettura pubblica che domina le vedute popolari di questa antica città.
Year: 2023
Primary URL: https://en.lerma.it/catalogo/collana/215
Primary URL Description: Journal website. Article will appear later this year.
Access Model: Subscription only
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Elymos: Quaderni del Parco archeologico di Segesta
Publisher: L'Erma di Bretschneider


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