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Rural hinterlands of the Black Sea during the fourth century BCE: expansion, intensification and new connections
Anatolian Studies  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-02-17, DOI: 10.1017/s0066154619000152
Jane Rempel, Owen Doonan

This paper takes a holistic approach to the data for rural hinterlands in the Black Sea region in the fourth century BCE to reveal pan-Black Sea patterning, importantly including the southern coast and the territory of ancient Sinope. During a period of dynamic mobility and prosperity, the rural hinterlands of Greek settlements around the Black Sea expanded in ways that demonstrate significant regional commonalities in terms of increased settlement, intensified agricultural infrastructure, new connections via road and path networks and the inclusion of dependent territories beyond the traditional chora. Decisions to expand rural territory and intensify agricultural production were taken at the local level, but this patterning demonstrates that such developments were also a response to the dynamics of Black Sea economic and political networks. The associated increased density of occupation and connectivity in these rural hinterlands made them key facilitators of social networks, creating stronger ties between Greek settlements and other local communities, and ultimately enmeshing a more diverse group of people within Black Sea networks.