ABSTRACT

Understanding the interplay between spatial and cultural variables is essen-tial if we are to redefine the earliest colonisation of the islands in a mean-ingful way. Cherry’s work focused on biogeographical and cultural variables in the Mediterranean islands and highlighted some useful correlations with other island regions. His work on island colonisation has been very influential on subsequent studies (e.g., Patton 1996; Broodbank 2000), with good reason, given the accuracy and breadth of his analysis. Cherry divided his study into two Mediterranean regions, eastern and western, and initially this chapter follows this classification for ease of comparison (a line perpendicular to the heel of Italy providing an imaginary boundary). His original dataset (1981) was predominantly eastern Mediterranean (79 islands investigated in the eastern Mediterranean, 35 in the western Mediterranean). The database in the present review includes 147 islands, 65 in the western Mediterranean (Table 6.1) and 82 in the eastern Mediterranean (Table 6.2). The sample of western Mediterranean islands has increased because it incorporates data from the North African islands (Vuillemot 1954; Balout 1955; Souville 1958; Bourain et al. 1992; Rojo Guerra et al. 2010; Gibaja et al. 2012), the French islands (Brun et al. 1997), and the central Adriatic islands (Gaffney et al. 1997; 2000; Bass 1998).