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Jane Hjarl Petersen

Research profile
I am a classical archaeologist (MA in May 2003) with the thesis “Archaic Graves, ca 550-480 BC, of Taranto and Olbia – A Comparative Study”. My main research interests are Greek culture as practised in the colonies, the interaction between Greek colonists and local populations, the archaeology of burial as well as ethnicity and gender problematics in archaeology.
I am involved in the Black Sea Centres publication project of the sector NGS in Olbia, Ukraine, where I am responsible for the Black Glazed pottery in corporation with Søren Handberg.
Prior to my employment with the Danish Research Foundation’s Centre for Black Sea Studies I was engaged in excavations at the temple site of Timpone della Motta near Francavilla Marittima in Southern Italy.    
Since May 2007 I have been employed at the Black Sea Centre as Research Assistant and Academic Secretary.  
On the 28th of September 2007 I defended my PhD. dissertation:
Cultural Interactions and Social Strategies on the Pontic Shores. Burial Customs in the Northern Black Sea Area ca. 550-270 BC
The project Cultural Interactions and Social Strategies on the Pontic Shores. Burial Customs in the Northern Black Sea Area ca. 550-270 BC was initiated immediately after my Masters graduation in Greek Archaeology. Prior to my employment at the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Black Sea Studies I had worked with similar themes in my Master thesis on Archaic burial customs from Olbia and Taranto. The conclusions of this work led me to seek further knowledge about the mortuary evidence from the Black Sea region and elaborate on - as well as rethink - some of the main questions and problematics.  
The current project takes its point of departure in the burial data from four coastal localities in the northern region of the Black Sea. Through detailed analysis the mortuary practices are sought decoded and interpreted within a framework which is mainly based on concepts of cultural interaction rather than cultural polarisation. This means that the dogma of ‘The Greeks and the Others’ is challenged and alternative perceptions of the interactions of the people in Black Sea region form the basis of the study. The burials are primarily analysed within the tradition of western burial archaeology with emphasis on burials as indirect reflections of social strategies. 
Further, the Black Sea region is set into a comparative perspective through an outlook on burial customs and mortuary practices in the colonial milieus of contemporary Southern Italy. 
The geographical area of the northern Black Sea has been chosen as a primary focal point for the research mainly due to the large bodies of material which derive from the localities here. The intensive and long research history of this particular region has also resulted in a great number of specialist studies offering excellent potential for debate and discussion.  
The four case study localities, Olbia, Kerkinitis, Panskoe I and Nymphaion have been chosen for a number of reasons. Firstly, all localities offered published or otherwise available burial data which could meet the criteria required for the analyses and for the registration in the project’s database. Secondly, the localities are situated within a well-defined geographical area of the Black Sea which strengthens the basis for internal comparisons between the localities.
Further, the localities each represented an individual social aspect which would give a broad introduction to the practice of burial customs at different levels of social development within the Black Sea settlements: the first major power factor of the Black Sea region and one of the leading cities through history (Olbia); the small settlement under political and social influence from larger cities (Kerkinitis); the remote rural settlement (Panskoe I); and the well established city which was faced with the dominance from an upcoming regional power (Nymphaion). The aim of this aspect in the selection was thus to examine if and how the burial data reflected the different socio-political circumstances of the localities.                

The chronological time frame ca. 550-270 BC takes its beginning around the middle of the 6th century BC when most settlements were established and burial data is available in larger quantities, at least from some of the localities. The lower limit of ca. 270 BC is provided by the dramatic changes which left especially the northern part of the Black Sea region in a significant crisis possibly furthered by drastic climate changes and instability among the nomads of the steppe regions.     



Selected publications 

2010a: Petersen, J.H. Cultural Interactions and Social Strategies on the Pontic Shores. Burial Customs in the Northern Black Sea Area ca. 550-270 BC. Black Sea Studies 12, Aarhus. 

2010b: Petersen, J.H. Constructing Identities in Multicultural Milieus. The Formation of Orphism in the Black Sea Region and Southern Italy in the late 6th and early 5th Centuries BC. In: Proceedings from the International Symposium Communicating Identity in Italic Iron Age Communities, 23-24 October 2008, Copenhagen. Oxford (Forthcoming 2010).

2010: Handberg, S. & J.H. Petersen. Da Black-glossed Pottery. In: Lejpunskaja, N.A. et al. (eds) 2010. The Lower City of Olbia (Sector NGS) in the 6th Century BC to the 4th Century AD. Black Sea Studies 13, Aarhus, 185-196, 204-260.

2009: Petersen, J.H. Kurgan burials from Nymphaion - a new approach. In: Guldager Bilde, P. & J. Hjarl Petersen (eds), Meeting of Cultures in the Black Sea Region. Between Conflict and Coexistence. BSS 8, Aarhus 2009, 215-235.

2009: Guldager Bilde, P. & J. Hjarl Petersen (eds), Meeting of Cultures in the Black Sea Region. Between Conflict and Coexistence. BSS 8, Aarhus 2009.

2006: Petersen, J.H. & S. Handberg. Campanian pottery in the Black Sea region in the late Hellenistic period. Paper from the conference "Ceramics in Context", Københavns Universitet, 3.-5. November, 2006.

2006: Petersen, J.H. Grækere eller barbarer? Kurganbegravelser fra 5. og 4. årh. fra Nymphaion ved Sortehavet. Foredrag ved DSOM, Københavns Universitet, Marts 2006.
2004: Petersen, J.H. Greek or Native? A case study of burial customs in the northern and western Black Sea Region- Olbia and Apollonia Pontika.
2003: Petersen, J.H. og J. Kindberg Jacobsen, Resultater fra udgravningskampagne 2002, Timpone della Motta, Syditalien. Agora, Fagblad for Klassisk arkæologi og klassisk filologi, vol. 1, 2003, 41-56.
2002: Petersen, J.H. og J. Kindberg Jacobsen, An International Puzzle of Archaic Greek Potsherds. TMA, Tijdschrift voor mediterrane archeologie, vol. 27, 2002, 30-36.

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