athrun, libya (photo: giulio lucarini)

athrun, libya (photo: giulio lucarini)

Research Question 1

What do internal networks of interaction reveal about changing forms and ranges of mobility and exchange, as well as intensity of connectivity and isolation (the latter critical as growing Holocene aridity from the 4th  millennium BC began to split the region into variably internally resilient habitat islands), socio-economic activity and possibly identities?

Research Question 2

Why does our information reduce so sharply from the 4th millennium BC onwards until the threshold of the colonial Iron Age? To what extent can this be attributed to aridification in the Mediterranean zone, as undoubtedly holds good for the Sahara, or is it a product of failing to look for the right kinds of material and sites, and of their relative visibility?


 Jebel akhdar, libya (photo: Giulio lucarini)

Jebel akhdar, libya (photo: Giulio lucarini)

Research Question 3

What are the reason of the very late dispersion of farming across the Mediterranean littoral? Current evidence seems to indicate internal variation in time and space across Mediterranean Africa. This includes a long-lived mosaic of foraging, pastoral and mixed ways of, often evincing a very broad multi-spectral exploitation of resources; and, from the 6th  millennium BC, confined enclaves of farming that long remained restricted to the Nile and around the Gibraltar strait. (Lucarini 2016).

Research Question 4

Was Mediterranean African pre-Phoenician maritime engagement (beyond the obvious exception of the Nile Delta) as limited as usually assumed? If so, why, and what explains apparent exceptions in time and space, notably across the strait of Gibraltar (a 6th  millennium BC southward farming transfer, and definite 3rd -2nd millennium BC trading links signaled by pottery, metalwork and ivory) and the Sicilian narrows (central Mediterranean obsidian in north Africa)?