Workshop – Shedding Light on the Matter: Ideascapes and Material Worlds in the Land of Thales

On 22nd and 23rd of March 2018 scholars from 5 countries met at the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge to discuss ideascapes and material culture from Ionia during the Greek Archaic period. Under review was the current state of knowledge and the potential for new avenues of interdisciplinary research, which could draw from ancient philosophy and history, classical archaeology and landscape studies (esp. geomorphology).

Through a diverse programme of presentations and discussions, the participants grappled with the boundaries of the ancient landscape of ‘Ionia’ and the exceptional nature (or not) of the ‘Ionian Enlightenment’. It is clear that neither can be firmly defined and that it is time to move beyond our long-inherited disciplinary and geographical containers. Instead we should investigate the way different cities and their overlapping and cross-cutting networks were socially, economically and culturally entwined, and what role these connections played in the production of contemporary ideas and the transmission of cultural knowledge chronologically and spatially.


For detailed information on the programme and for the extended abstract visit: