C 5. Beyond Identity in the Hellenistic East

For better or worse, the notion of identity and its related concept of ethnicity have been pivotal concepts in the archaeology of the Hellenistic age during the last decade. The tension between Hellenizing and local cultures has been taken as fundamental conceit around which much of these ancient societies were organized at both small and large scales. Scholars have seen in this approach a useful way of accessing the dynamic which developed in the regions impacted by Alexander’s campaigns and, more fundamentally, in areas shaped by exposure to material goods and intellectual influences from the post-Classical Mediterranean. The archaeology of these areas has been profoundly influenced by this duality and interpretations have often leaned heavily on the idea of a fruitful tension between these forces and seen it reflected in the material remains of the period.

In this session, we will consider the theoretical and practical implications of this approach and the ways that it has shaped Hellenistic archaeology in recent years. Through a series of case studies from across the range of the Classically-influenced East, we hope to make connections between these widely varying regions and to offer a program for the future practice of the archaeology of this period.


  1. Andreas Kropp (University of Nottingham)

Limits of Hellenisation: Pre-Roman basalt temples in the Hauran

  1. Jennifer Gates-Foster (University of Texas at Austin)

Consuming Culture: The Case of Hellenistic Nubia

  1. Marc Waelkens (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Jeroen Poblome, Kim Vyncke

Indigenous versus Greek Identity in Hellenistic Pisidia: Myth or reality?

  1. Nadine Boksmati (Directorate General of Antiquities, Lebanon)

Hellenistic Beirut: A Negotiated Urban Identity

  1. Rachel Mairs (University of Oxford)

An ‘Identity Crisis’? Identity and Its Discontents in Hellenistic Studies