chapter  3
20 Pages

Landscapes of Circulation in Northwest Argentina: The Workings of Obsidian and Ceramics during the First Millenium AD

This chapter discusses trade studies that have a long history in archaeology, but recent years have witnessed diminishing interest in the topic, with contemporary concerns over meaning and practice coming to dominate archaeological discourse. It highlights three themes of contemporary interest brought out by the Erfelek story that directly affect how archaeologists deal with trade in the past. The first two illustrate how recognizing the social dimensions of interaction enables us to develop a richer understanding of archaeology of Sinop, and the third shows how those insights may be applied to a more fragmentary prehistoric case in order to explore dynamics that would elude more traditional approaches. Erfelek is a small administrative center in the forested midlands of Sinop, a promontory at the midpoint of the southern Black Sea coast in Turkey. Cultural interaction and influence across the maritime space of the Black Sea is one of the long-term defining features of the region and its cultural identity.