Archaeology and economic history:
between affinities and discord
Beyond the obvious points of convergence, these two disciplines have often followed parallel or even divergent courses. As such, the first major narratives about the economy of ancient societies were constructed with the almost complete omission of archaeological data. This indifference has even been openly admitted by historians who were otherwise mindful of a holistic approach to ancient societies (M. Finley, E. Will). This context appears to have changed in the 1980s, when a number of themes common to historical and archaeological inquiries were explored: for example, research on landscape in several Mediterranean regions (Greece, Italy, North Africa). Today, the tendency towards modelling in economic history leads to the selection of material indicators on the basis of criteria (economic growth) which fit more with current economic behaviours. There is nevertheless space for multidisciplinary convergence.