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Joanita Vroom investigates Byzantines and Ottomans with Aspasia grant

The Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) has awarded Professor Joanita Vroom with the Aspasia grant of €200,000. She will use this grant to develop a new line in research and education focusing on the long-term dynamics of material culture in the eastern Mediterranean and adjacent Near East (600-1900 AD).

Pottery and foodways

The objective is to address for the first time the long-term dynamics of material culture (pottery) and related cultural behaviour (foodways) across the 1300 years of interactions between the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires with each other, as well as with the Medieval ‘West’ and the Arab-Islamic ‘East’. These empires succeeded each other (during a dramatic transition) as main political and cultural power in the region, and their respective rise and decline were closely interwoven. However, the relations between changing artefacts and changing social practices in both empires are hardly understood in archaeology.

Ottoman ceramics

Archaeology of daily life

The project addresses this problem with a new approach to the archaeology of daily life. Its results will illuminate changes (and continuities) across time and space in communities usually invisible to the historical record. The complexities of inter- and trans-cultural contacts between these communities will be unravelled by an interdisciplinary study of long-term changes in pottery (the most mobile material product of the past and an indicator of broader patterns of interaction) and foodways (an important marker of social practices).

ERC and international masterclasses

The Aspasia grant will fund the writing of a research proposal in order to apply for an ERC grant, international masterclasses, as well as research assistants.

About the Aspasia grant

Aspasia provides grants to help more female scientists progress to associate and full professorships. See the NWO website for more information.

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