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CALL. 24.03.2020: [PANEL 3] "Hellenistic" North Africa? (2021 AIA/SCS) - Chicago (IL, USA)




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Hilton Chicago (Chicago, IL, USA)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Katelin McCullough (UNC Chapel Hill); J. Andrew Dufton (Edinburgh). The Archaeology of the Maghrib Interest Group



The term Hellenistic is a weighty one, used interchangeably to refer to a chronological period (roughly the last three centuries BCE), a geographical sphere (the lands conquered by Alexander and ruled by his successors), and a socio-cultural distinction (a body of artistic, architectural, and linguistic references shared across the Mediterranean). Yet as our deliberately provocative title suggests, what this term means for the history and archaeology of North Africa — or if its use is even justified — is still up for debate. North Africa has a long and varied history of interaction with the Hellenistic World, ranging from the direct historical connections of the cities of Cyrenaica under Ptolemaic rule, to the armed conflicts between Greeks and Carthaginians in Sicily, to the use of Hellenistic models of elite representation within the Numidian kingdoms. Following from the collected works within Prag and Quinn’s 2013 edited volume, The Hellenistic West: Rethinking the Ancient Mediterranean, our use of the term Hellenistic must be questioned and the differences and similarities in the adoption, adaptation, and appropriation of ‘Hellenistic’ culture explored in deeper detail.

This session offers a space for discussion about the future of research on Hellenistic materials in a North African context. Submitted papers may consider how we move beyond temporal or hegemonic cultural designations (Hellenistic/Numidian/Punic) to offer more specific insights into the archaeology of the region, or interrogate the use of the term Hellenistic in questions of religion, regional identity, urbanism, or visual culture. Taken collectively, the session aims to critically examine the developments of the second half of the first millennium BCE while avoiding the forced binaries and simplistic cultural labels that have too frequently plagued the study of interactions between North Africa and the wider Mediterranean world.

If you are interested in presenting, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to We ask that abstracts be submitted by Monday, March 24, 2020, in order to allow the organizers time to submit the colloquia by the AIA’s last deadline. Presenters must have or obtain a membership in the Archaeological Institute of America, although a waiver is available for one-time presenters. For any questions, Please contact Stephen Collins-Elliott (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) and Andy Dufton (University of Edinburgh) at

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