Description : With one of the richest archaeological records and most complicated histories in the Mediterranean, Sardinia provides an important laboratory for studying the interaction of indigenous societies and outside forces in a partly isolated geographical context. Stephen L. Dyson and Robert J. Rowland, Jr. use both material culture and written documents to reconstruct the social and economic processes of an island society that showed both cultural creativity and continuity but responded to invasions from the Phoenicians through the Romans to the Aragonese. This first accessible reconstruction of island archaeology provides a balanced picture of the sweep of Sardinian history.
Description : The Nuragic 'civilization' of Bronze and Iron Age Sardinia, known for its monumental stone towers, sacred wells and peculiar bronze votive figurines, has long fascinated travellers and archaeologists. Yet only recently have scholars outside the island recognized the potential significance of these unique island societies in the development of broader ancient Mediterranean cultural patterns. One reason has been the relative inaccessibility of recent reference works on the Nuragic evidence. The present Prehistory attempts to remedy the need for a complete and up-to-date synthesis of all extant evidence on Nuragic settlement, technology, economy, trade and ritual. This original interpretation of archaeological, historical and iconographic data constitutes the first modern study of the origins and development of these societies to appear in English.
Description : This collection of essays is the first English-language, multidisciplinary analysis of medieval and modern Sardinia, offering fresh perspectives from archaeology and other fields. This volume is an ideal introduction for a new comer to the field, as well as the advanced scholar.
Description : Over the past decade, evidence has been mounting that our ancestors developed skills to sail across large bodies of water early in prehistory. In this fascinating volume, Alan Simmons summarizes and synthesizes the evidence for prehistoric seafaring and island habitation worldwide, then focuses on the Mediterranean. Recent work in Melos, Crete, and elsewhere-- as well as Simmons’ own work in Cyprus-- demonstrate that long-distance sailing is a common Paleolithic phenomenon. His comprehensive presentation of the key evidence and findings will be of interest to both those interested in prehistory and those interested in ancient seafaring.
Description : Material Connections eschews outdated theory, tainted by colonialist attitudes, and develops a new cultural and historical understanding of how factors such as mobility, materiality, conflict and co-presence impacted on the formation of identity in the ancient Mediterranean. Fighting against ‘hyper-specialisation’ within the subject area, it explores the multiple ways that material culture was used to establish, maintain and alter identities, especially during periods of transition, culture encounter and change. A new perspective is adopted, one that perceives the use of material culture by prehistoric and historic Mediterranean peoples in formulating and changing their identities. It considers how objects and social identities are entangled in various cultural encounters and interconnections. The movement of people as well as objects has always stood at the heart of attempts to understand the courses and process of human history. The Mediterranean offers a wealth of such information and Material Connections, expanding on this base, offers a dynamic, new subject of enquiry – the social identify of prehistoric and historic Mediterranean people – and considers how migration, colonial encounters, and connectivity or insularity influence social identities. The volume includes a series of innovative, closely related case studies that examine the contacts amongst various Mediterranean islands – Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Crete, Cyprus, the Balearics – and the nearby shores of Italy, Greece, North Africa, Spain and the Levant to explore the social and cultural impact of migratory, colonial and exchange encounters. Material Connections forges a new path in understanding the material culture of the Mediterranean and will be essential for those wishing to develop their understanding of material culture and identity in the Mediterranean.
Description : This book contains case histories intended to show how societies and landscapes interact. The range of interest stretches from the small groups of the earliest Neolithic, through Bronze and Iron Age civilizations, to modern nation states. The coexistence is, of its very nature reciprocal, resulting in changes in both society and landscape. In some instances the adaptations may be judged successful in terms of human needs, but failure is common and even the successful cases are ephemeral when judged in the light of history. Comparisons and contrasts between the various cases can be made at various scales from global through inter-regional, to regional and smaller scales. At the global scale, all societies deal with major problems of climate change, sea-level rise, and with ubiquitous problems such as soil erosion and landscape degradation. Inter-regional differences bring out significant detail with one region suffering from drought when another suffers from widespread flooding. For example, desertification in North Africa and the Near East contrasts with the temperate countries of southern Europe where the landscape-effects of deforestation are more obvious. And China and Japan offer an interesting comparison from the standpoint of geological hazards to society - large, unpredictable and massively erosive rivers in the former case, volcanoes and accompanying earthquakes in the latter. Within the North African region localized climatic changes led to abandonment of some desertified areas with successful adjustments in others, with the ultimate evolution into the formative civilization of Egypt, the "Gift of the Nile". At a smaller scale it is instructive to compare the city-states of the Medieval and early Renaissance times that developed in the watershed of a single river, the Arno in Tuscany, and how Pisa, Siena and Florence developed and reached their golden periods at different times depending on their location with regard to proximity to the sea, to the main trunk of the river, or in the adjacent hills. Also noteworthy is the role of technology in opening up opportunities for a society. Consider the Netherlands and how its history has been formed by the technical problem of a populous society dealing with too much water, as an inexorably rising sea threatens their landscape; or the case of communities in Colorado trying to deal with too little water for farmers and domestic users, by bringing their supply over a mountain chain. These and others cases included in the book, provide evidence of the successes, near misses and outright failures that mark our ongoing relationship with landscape throughout the history of Homo sapiens. The hope is that compilations such as this will lead to a better understanding of the issue and provide us with knowledge valuable in planning a sustainable modus vivendi between humanity and landscape for as long as possible. Audience: The book will interest geomorphologists, geologists, geographers, archaeologists, anthropologists, ecologists, environmentalists, historians and others in the academic world. Practically, planners and managers interested in landscape/environmental conditions will find interest in these pages, and more generally the increasingly large body of opinion in the general public, with concerns about Planet Earth, will find much to inform their opinions. Extra material: The color plate section is available at http://extras.springer.com
Description : Corbeddu cave on the island of Sardinia contains Late Pleistocene sediments containing numerous fossils of a common species of deer. Evidence of human activities was also found which is unusual as a Late Pleistocene island fauna is not supposed to be asscoaited with humans, as they were supposed, until recently to have colonized islands not earlier than the Holocene. Analysis of the assemblages, presented in this study, provided detailed information about the microstratigraphy of the site, which has been reconstructed by using a newly developed computer program. The combination of all taphonomic information makes it possible to reconstruct the nature of the site formation processes and Hofmeijer argues that the assemblages cannot have been formed by natural processes alone. Indeed the Corbeddu cave differs from mainland assemblages to such an extent that the study suggests that the bones were a by product of feeding but were also used as tools.
Description : Balanced between the Aegean and West Mediterranean worlds, Sardinia offers a perfect laboratory for the investigation of interaction between societies from the Palaeolithic to Roman period. This work has, however, been hampered in the past by incompatible chronologies, so the 46 papers in this volume (originated at an international congress held at Tufts University in 1995) form an important stepping stone for future research. Twelve papers in Italian take a stylistic approach, using architecture, sculpture and (for the Chalcolithic). The English-language papers discuss radiocarbon dating, dendrochronology, obsidian and other scientific approaches to dating. As the title of the book suggests, Aegean chronologies benefit as much as the West Mediterranean from the results presented here.
Description : The Mediterranean Context of Early Greek History reveals the role of the complex interaction of Mediterranean seafaring and maritime connections in the development of the ancient Greek city-states. Offers fascinating insights into the origins of urbanization in the ancient Mediterranean, including the Greek city-state Based on the most recent research on the ancient Mediterranean Features a novel approach to theories of civilization change - foregoing the traditional isolationists model of development in favor of a maritime based network Argues for cultural interactions set in motion by exchange and trade by sea