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Over the last few centuries, maritime travel has driven the trans-oceanic connections that created our globalised present. Text-based historians have pushed that process back further into the past in arenas such as the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and north Atlantic.
But archaeology, charged with astonishing new finds, now reveals a deeper time, millennia-long, and the largely untold history of the origins and expansion of our maritime planet. This began in the nurturing, small inner seas around Eurasia but expanded across the Pacific and Indian Ocean long before any written testimony. Before that, our hominin ancestors largely experienced the sea as a dividing realm, one implicated in the emergence of Neanderthals and us, in Western Eurasia and Africa respectively, and that shaped the ultimate encounters between these two human species.
Join Cyprian Broodbank of the University of Cambridge as he provides a maritime deep history of our planet. Cyprian opens with a global perspective, starting with the present and the prospect of an ice-melt redrawn future, before plunging into deep time. He uses the Mediterranean, one of the nurseries of global seafaring, to explore how rich an archaeological picture we can draw of the practices and inventions that made us maritime long before the Classical world.
Cyprian Broodbank is Disney Professor of Archaeology and Director of the McDonald Institute at the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and in 2015 was elected to the Fellowship of the British Academy.
His research interests focus on archaeology as deep global history, and more specifically on comparative approaches to the archaeology and history of the Mediterranean and surrounding regions (with a fieldwork concentration on the early Aegean, where he co-directs the Kythera Island Project). He is also interested in the archaeology of islands and maritime connectivity from a global perspective.
Cyprian is the author of The Making of the Middle Sea (2013), an archaeological best seller and winner of the Wolfson History Prize in 2014. His first book, An Island Archaeology of the Early Cyclades, won the Runciman Award and James R. Wiseman Prize of the Archaeological Institute of America.
The book will be available to buy from the Waterstones' stall at this event.