Artemios Oikonomou (University of Nottingham), The prosperity of Thesprotia, Greece. Evidence through the interdisciplinary study of glass.
Thesprotia, one of the most remote regions in Greece, was inhabited from as early as the Palaeolithic period. The particular geomorphological terrain, with the mountainous and fragmented landscape, has been determinant in the formation of economic and social institutions throughout antiquity developing Thesprotia gradually developed into an important node of trade.
During the second half of 4th c. BC the cities of Elea, Gitana and Dymokastro were founded within a few years from one another. Built at geographically crucial locations that ensured the control of the valleys or the riverside crossings and sea routes, they evolved gradually into political, economic and administrative centers for the surrounding areas. The roman conquest in 167 BC brings the decline of the whole region and most of the cities were abandoned after the raid of the Romans.
In the present study an assemblage of glass objects coming from the three major Hellenistic cities of Thesprotia is investigated using innovative and state of the art analytical techniques. The main aim of this study is to improve our knowledge on the technology of the glass and the provenance of the material, thus providing valuable information on the position of the Hellenistic cities of Thesprotia in the commercial networks of this period. Through this knowledge, the socioeconomic interactions of the Thesprotians with the Greek world will be shown, identifying the prosperity of the region during the Hellenistic period.