Steidl, Catherine

Dartmouth College

Mediterranean Communities in the First Millennium BCE: New Approaches to Identity and Interaction

Dr. Steidl completed her PhD at Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute in 2018. Her research interests include ancient identity, cross-cultural interaction, and the role of daily practices and experiences in articulating both. Her current work examines ancient identity around the Mediterranean through the lens of communities and interaction. The questions driving her ongoing research include: Are the dynamics of community interaction in the 1st millennium BCE Mediterranean consistent across regions and periods, or are the mechanisms of community articulation variable between contexts? More specifically, does the development of Pan-Hellenic ethnicity affect the articulation of communities after the 5th century BCE? How might a settlement’s landscape setting (e.g., coastal vs. inland) affect the articulation of different communities?
Her project at ANAMED focuses specifically on Ionia in western Anatolia, expanding on prior work on the early first millennium BCE that proposed a new narrative for the development of a communal identity in the region and revealed the importance of continuity at cult sites for the identity of communities centered there. She is specifically investigating the effects of political and social pressures from Lydia and Persia (7th–5th c.) on the formation of a communal identity encompassing (and defining) the region as a whole.