I am back from a very interesting and well-organised summerschool that was held in Romania, in the Danubian Delta. The venue was well chosen, as the topic focused on deltas in Antiquity. So we learned a lot about the evolution, perception and human appropriation of ancient deltas. Besides the Danube which was the subject of several talks, especially on the last day, the Nile, the Indus, the Ganges, as well as other rivers emptying in the Mediterranean Sea were discussed.
The papers focused on two main themes: the first could be summarised as the interaction between the human settlements and the natural environment of the delta, its transformation (through human influence or not), and the human responses to the changes in the structure of the delta. The second theme dealt with the human perceptions of a delta, the way the concept came into usage and the modern research methods which help researchers to see the several layers of the geomorphological evolution of the deltas. This gives a much larger perspective in which the ancient descriptions of the delta-environments (such as the one from Strabo and other ancient geographers) can be put alongside with the modern ones in a time span going from the prehistoric millenniums to the present day.
You may find the programme
A further highlight were the many excursions that accompanied the conference. We could visit the archaeological museums of Constanta and Tulcea as well as the sites of Histria, Enisala, Orgame and Halmyris.
Many thanks to the organisers and the participants for this fabulous week!