Dr Pamela Armstrong (Oxford)
This paper elucidates a history of the Mediterranean coastal site of Torone in the medieval period, when it was part of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The primary body of evidence was revealed by excavations at the site from 1976–1990. Although the finds were mainly domestic ceramics, coins and tobacco pipes are also taken into account, as are the few directly-related textual references. The two well-built castles identified during the excavations are examined for their potential roles in the political history of their time. Torone was occupied throughout the period of Latin rule (1204-1261) of Constantinople, and then again in the first half of the seventeenth century. The intention is to demonstrate how material culture can be used as a basis for furthering understanding of other medieval sites in the east Mediterranean. Torone is presented with an emphasis on the wider spatial location of the site within the Thraco-Macedonian and north Aegean areas to demonstrate, mainly through ceramics, the political and cultural unity in the Byzantine and Ottoman eras, in contrast to the disparate political systems of recent history across the region.
Dr Pamela Armstrong is Director of the Oxford Byzantine Ceramic Project and member of the sub-faculty of Archaeology at Oxford.