Harpster, Matthew

University of Birmingham – Honorary Research Fellow and Research Associate at Institute of Nautical Archaeology

Research Topic: Ancient Maritime Dynamics (AMD): Cities, Sites, and Seas

Dr. Harpster completed his PhD in 2005, has conducted research in northern Cyprus for several years, and was recently awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship to lead the MISAMS (Modeling Inhabited Spaces of the Ancient Mediterranean Sea) Project at the University of Birmingham, England. Using a unique GIS protocol, MISAMS developed and tested the methodology necessary to convert the corpus of maritime archaeological data on the Mediterranean seafloor into centennial models of maritime activity. His project at ANAMED, “Ancient Maritime Dynamics,” updates his models of activity in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean with additional data, and conducts a unique study that compares the concentrations of Aegean maritime activity to the location and histories of Constantinople, Phocaea, Smyrna, Ephesus, Miletus, Myndos, and Halicarnassus. The primary goal of this Project is to assess what characteristics or influences port cites may have on surrounding patterns of activity. Are ports the loci of activity, or are they situated on gradients between concentrations of activity? Is there a relationship between the size of the port city and its impact on the adjacent maritime movements? Or, are there no relationships at all, and these patterns of activity are instead impacted only by coastal geography?