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The shores of the Mediterranean-Black Sea basin were home to some of the earliest urban communities and some of the earliest literate cultures. Their complex history and rich archaeological heritage have been studied by generations of scholars, to a degree of detail comparable to no other macro-region of our planet.
Its waters, too, have been the object of intense and systematic investigation, motivated not only by scientific curiosity but also by increasing concern for the well-being of their marine life. Yet until recently, there have been few attempts at integrating the results of different scientific approaches in order to write the ecohistory of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
In The Inland Seas, eighteen scholars from eleven different countries and representing a wide range of scientific disciplines address the question of how humans have interacted with the Mediterranean-Black Sea ecosystem from the dawn of prehistory until the twentieth century; how they have exploited its resources; what consequences this has had for life in the sea – and what, based on past experience, the future may hold in store.
Tønnes Bekker-Nielsen is Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Southern Denmark. His felds of research include the historical geography of the ancient world, the history of the Black Sea region and Roman historiography.
Ruthy Gertwagen is Senior Lecturer in Byzantine and Modern Hellenic Studies at the University of Haifa, Israel. Her research includes Mediterranean maritime history and underwater archaeology in the Byzantine, Medieval and Early Modern periods.