Camel caravan

Camel caravan
Mosaic from Deir al-Adas, Syria, 8th century (photo: J.C.Meyer)
The research project Mechanisms of cross-cultural interaction: Networks in the Roman Near East (2013-2017) investigates the resilient everyday ties, such as trade, religion and power, connecting people within and across fluctuating imperial borders in the Near East in the Roman Period. The project is funded under the Research Council of Norway's SAMKUL initiative, and hosted by the Department of archaeology, history, cultural studies and religion, University of Bergen, Norway.

This blog is no longer updated, for any queries, please contact project leader Eivind Heldaas Seland

Publications and talks


*Eivind Heldaas Seland (2016) The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: A Network Approach. Asian Review of World Histories 4: 191-205.

Meyer, Jørgen Christian, Nils Anfinset and Eivind Heldaas Seland (eds) (2016) Palmyrena: City, Hinterland and Caravan Trade between Orient and Occident: Proceedings of the Conference held in Athens, December 1-3, 2012. Oxford: Archaeopress. ISBN 9781784912796. E-ISBN 9781784912802.

*Eivind Heldaas Seland (2015) Writ in water, lines in sand: Ancient trade routes, models and comparative evidence. Cogent Arts & Humanities, 2015, 2: 1110272 (9 Nov 2015). doi: 10.1080/23311983.2015.1110272

Eivind Heldaas Seland (2015) Palmyrene Long-Distance Trade: Land, River, and Maritime Routes in the First Three Centuries CE. Pages 101-31 in Walter, M.N. and J.P. Ito-Adler (eds) 2015. The Silk Road: Interwoven History.  Cambridge MA, Cambridge Institutes Press.

*Eivind Heldaas Seland (2014) Early Christianity in East Africa and Red Sea/Indian Ocean Commerce. African Archaeological Review 31: 637-647. doi:10.1007/s10437-014-9172-5

Eivind Heldaas Seland (2014) Caravans, Smugglers and Trading Fairs: Organizing Textile Trade on the Syrian Frontier. Pages 83-90 in Kerstin Droß-Krüpe (ed.), Textile Trade and Distribution in Antiquity. Harrassowitz Verlag.  

Eivind Heldaas Seland (2014) The  organisation of the Palmyrene caravan trade. Ancient West and East 13pp. 197-211. doi:10.2143/AWE.13.0.3038738

Håkon Teigen (2014). Kellis – Dualistenes oaseby, Replikk 37.

*Eivind Heldaas Seland (2014). The Archaeology of Trade in the Western Indian Ocean 300BCE–700CE. Journal of Archaeological Research 22: 367-402. doi10.1007/s10814-014-9075-7

*Eivind Heldaas Seland (2013). Networks and social cohesion in ancient Indian Ocean trade: geography, ethnicity, religion. Journal of Global History, 8: 373-390. doi:10.1017/S1740022813000338.

*In line with Research Council of Norway and University of Bergen policy, this article is published with open access and is available for free from the publishers website.

Media (selected)

"Livet i Oldtidens Palmyra" Kulturhuset, NRK P2 March 31 2015 (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

"Researchers have feared and expected continued destruction in Palmyra". Sciencenordic Sep 3 2015 (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

"Palmyra-mysteriet". Ekko, NRK P2 July 20 2015. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

"Dette er den virkelige verdenshistorien som har inspirert Game of Thrones". Aftenposten April 14 2015 (Eivind Heldaas Seland) 

"Kampen om Den syriske ørken". Aftenposten April 13 2015 (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

"Gamle stammer hjelper ISIS-militsen"Bergens Tidende July 20 2014 (Magnus Halsnes and Eivind Heldaas Seland).

Talks / panels


April 21: Life in Palmyra, Life for Palmyra Conference in Memory of Khaled al As‘ad (1934–2015) Warsaw Apr. 21–22. Paper: "Firmus of Alexandria and the trade of Palmyra" (Eivind  Heldaas Seland)

April 18: Exchange of Goods and Ideas. University of Warsaw. Paper: "Commodities and circuits in ancient Indian Ocean exchange: a network approach".  (Eivind  Heldaas Seland)

April 15: Entangled Worlds. Austrian Academy of Sciences. Vienna. Paper: "Pastoralism, subsistence and territorial control in Roman period Palmyra: a hydrological approach". (Eivind Heldaas Seland

Jan 18: Biographies of Place. Aarhus Jan.18-20. Paper: "Climate in history, history in climate: some preliminary perspectives".


November 13: "Here there and Everywhere: Textile trade in the Periplus Maris Erythraei", Textile trade and distribution in antiquity II, University of Kassel (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

October 20: "Minerals and the Red Sea/Indian Ocean trade in the pre-Islamic period", Gemstones in the first Millennium, Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz, Oct. 20-22. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

September 25: "Nettverkstilnærminger til arkeologi og historie: muligheter og utfordringer". Arkeologisk Forskningsseminar, Bergen Museum. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

July 14: "The world of the Periplus". Guest lecture, University of Konstanz (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

June 24: "Rome and the Not‐so‐ friendly King: the Social Networks of Local Rulers in the Roman Near East" 25th International Sunbelt Social Network Conference (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

May 30: "People, Plants, and Ports: A Network Analysis of the Periplus Maris Erythraei". Asian Association of World Historians 3rd Congress. Nanyang University, Singapore. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

April 29: "Social network approaches to ancient history". Seminar Social Networks in Ancient and Medieval History. University of Oslo. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

February 6 "Hva skal vi med eldre historie". Public lecture, Faglig-pedagogisk dag 2015, University of Bergen. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

January 26-27 "Palmyre, cité romaine – or, linking up, the western networks of Palmyra". Conference  Palmyra and the Mediterranean, Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)


December 4: "The world of the Periplus". Guest lecture, SFB Visions of Community, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

November 25: "The Iconography of Caravan Trade". Workshop Positions and professions in Palmyra, Aarhus University Nov. 25. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

November 22: "The Manichaeans of Ancient Kellis: A Network Approach to Ascetics and Lay-people in the Church Structure." Panel lecture at the ASOR Annual Meeting, San Diego. (Håkon Teigen)

November 22: "Sinews of Empire: Networks in the Near East". Panel at the ASOR annual meeting,  San Diego. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

November 13: "Manichaean Holy Men between Church and Laity", seminar talk. The Social in the Past, Workshop at Centre for Advanced Study, Norwegian Academy of Sciences (Håkon Teigen)

November 11-14: The Social in the Past, Workshop at Centre for Advanced Study, Norwegian Academy of Sciences. In cooperation with Local Dynamics of Globalisation in the pre-modern Levant. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

November 06: "Trade and markets in premodern economies: Are we asking the right questions? Plenary address to Det Norske Arkeologmøtet. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

November 05: "Gode forskningsspørsmål". Lærerseminar, Holberg Prize School Project. (Eivind Heldaas Seland)

October 10: "Manikeer-koden". Public lecture. Idehistorisk lunsjseminar, Oslo (Håkon F. Teigen)

October 08: "Akademika-samtalen: Makt og Mani". Public dialogue. The Norwegian Student Society, Oslo (Håkon F. Teigen and Hanne Linn Skogvang)

October 18: "A Manichaean Network". Historical Networks Conference 2014, Ghent (Håkon F. Teigen)

July 14: “Palmyra and the trade-route to the Euphrates”. Hatra, Palmyra, Edessa:Contacts and Cultural Exchange between Cities in the Fertile Crescent before Islam, fortieth ARAM conference, Oxford  (with Jørgen Christian Meyer).

May 13: "Globalhistorie: Hva, hvordan, hvorfor?" Public lecture. Litteraturhuset, Bergen, (Eivind Heldaas Seland).

Apr. 26: "Tracing trade routes as networks: From Palmyra to the Euphrates in the first three centuries CE". Connected Past 2014, Sciences Po, Paris (Eivind Heldaas Seland in cooperation with Jørgen Christian Meyer).
Apr. 13: Rome and the not-so-friendly king: The social networks of local rulers in the Roman Near East" Classical Association Annual Conference, Nottingham (Eivind Heldaas Seland).

Feb. 21: "Informal networks in the Roman Near East: the sinews of empire?". Antike Wirtschaft und ihre kulturelle prägung, Phillips Universität Marburg, Feb. 21 (Eivind Heldaas Seland).

Jan. 26: "En manikeisk menighet i den egyptiske ørken". Public lecture. Egyptologisk søndag ved Universitetsmuseet, Bergen (Håkon F. Teigen).

Nov. 23: "Sinews of Empire: Networks in the Roman Near East". Panel at the ASOR annual meeting,  Baltimore, with Kerstin Droß-Krüpe, Taco Terpstra, Leonardo Gregoratti.

Nov. 10: "From the desert to the seas: Network building in the Indian Ocean – the case of Palmyra", conference Proto-Globalisation in the Indian Ocean World, Oxford (Eivind Heldaas Seland).

Nov. 4: "The Manichean Bios". Workshop Literary and Artistic Representations of Religious Overachievers in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Bergen (Håkon Teigen)

Oct. 28: "Fjernhandel i førmoderne tid: organisatoriske utfordringer og løsninger". Public lecture, Bryggens Museum, (Eivind Heldaas Seland).

Oct. 19: "Writ in water, lines in sand: Models of ancient connectivity and comparative evidence", A Thousand Worlds: Network Models in Archaeology, Durham Oct. 18-19 (Eivind Heldaas Seland).

May 24: "Client-king? Me? The Social Networks of Local Rulers in the Roman Near East", International Network for Social Network Analysis annual meeting / Sunbelt Conference, Hamburg (Eivind Heldaas Seland).

May 15: "Globalhistorie: Hva, Hvorfor, Hvordan". Public lecture, Stip-HF, University of Bergen (Eivind Heldaas Seland).

April 9:  "Caravans, smugglers and trading fairs: organizing textile trade on the Syrian border", conference Textile trade and distribution in antiquity, Philipps-Universität Marburg (Eivind Heldaas Seland).

February 1: "Tid for globalhistorie?" Public lecture, faglig-pedagogisk dag, University of Bergen (Eivind Heldaas Seland).

March 19: "Networks in the Roman Near East", project presentation. Workshop, Local Dynamics of Globalization in the Pre-Modern Levant, University of Oslo, Faculty of Theology. (Eivind Heldaas Seland).

No comments: