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Excavation at nuraghe S'Urachi has yielded a wide range of archaeobotanical materials preserved through charring and waterlogging. This unusual evidence allows us to study the agricultural practices and diet of this community in the first millennium BC and to understand better the economic and cultural interactions between Sardinia and the wider Phoenician and Mediterranean world.
This chapter presents the main characteristics of cult activities during four succeeding phases of development of ethnoarcheological studies of ritual, including Early Bronze Age, Middle Bronze Age, Late Bronze Age (LBA), and Early Iron Age, in protohistoric central and northern Italy. The cult activities of the Early and Middle Bronze Age seem to recall the pre-religious phase of Lèvy-Bruhl, as the archaeological record has produced much evidence of rituals but none of a belief in superhuman beings. The LBA is characterised is characterised by a widespread appearance of cremation burials. The ritual importance of water is also evident from the complex of walls and altars around the Mittelstillersee, a lake in the Renon area north of Bozen. The second half of the eighth century BC saw the emergence of the first proto-urban centres and first civic-sanctuaries in many Etruscan and Latial proto-urban centres.
This chapter contrasts the remarkable scarcity of visual imagery during the Early Bronze Age (EBA) of the southern Levant with the wealth of such imagery in the Chalcolithic period. The change between these two periods is not only associated with the disappearance of visual arts, but is manifest as well in the abandonment of settlements and the formation of a smaller number of new ones, either in the same places or at other locations The chapter discusses two cases, the Judean Desert and the Golan, which coupled with the observations regarding the abrupt end of the Chalcolithic mentalité and the disappearance of visual expressions, suggest that this period ended with multiple iconoclastic events, followed by a major symbolic reformation. The violent iconoclastic events that took place during the transition from the Chalcolithic to the EBA paved the way for a new aniconic discourse adopted by the people of southern Levantine society for centuries.
This chapter traces the emergence of ritual authority in Bronze Age (BA) Cyprus against a background of increasing sectional interests and growing economic and political interaction with the wider Mediterranean world. First, it focuses on the funerary domain as an arena of social and ideological negotiation. Early Cypriot period and Middle Cypriot period burial grounds at Vounous, Lapithos and Karmi on the central north coast provide an extensive body of data from a bounded geographic region. The north coast cemeteries provide a remarkable insight into an emerging ritual iconography. Whereas, the Late Cypriot (LC) period saw a rapid institutionalisation of ritual practice and the emergence of a coercive ritual ideology. Enkomi played a major role in the negotiation of authority and compliance on Cyprus in the early stages of the LC. A clear ideological link between cult and metallurgy, however, is apparent in the iconography of the 'Ingot God', recovered from the Sanctuary of the Ingot God.
This chapter focuses on changes in Cretan ritual practices from ca. 1000 to 700 BC. The idea that Early Iron Age (EIA) Crete's history and culture developed along peculiar lines informs, perhaps even justifies, much current scholarship, including the present contribution. Clearly, the differences matter, but in order to bring them out in sharp-relief, study of the island's connections and correspondences with other regions in the wider Mediterranean world is vital. The chapter discusses how scholars see Cretan idiosyncrasies. Two major idiosyncrasies have been recognised: the relatively strong continuity of Minoan traditions, and the early and pronounced Orientalising qualities of the island's material culture. There was a change in local attitudes to vestiges of the Bronze-Age past, as best exemplified by the inception of cult activities amid the ruins of monumental. Phaistos and Knossos, had been the seat of an important Later Bronze Age palace and settlement that continued to be inhabited through the EIA and later.
The Cambridge Prehistory of the Bronze and Iron Age Mediterranean offers new insights into the material and social practices of many different Mediterranean peoples during the Bronze and Iron Ages, presenting in particular those features that both connect and distinguish them. Contributors discuss in depth a range of topics that motivate and structure Mediterranean archaeology today, including insularity and connectivity; mobility, migration, and colonization; hybridization and cultural encounters; materiality, memory, and identity; community and household; life and death; and ritual and ideology. The volume's broad coverage of different approaches and contemporary archaeological practices will help practitioners of Mediterranean archaeology to move the subject forward in new and dynamic ways. Together, the essays in this volume shed new light on the people, ideas, and materials that make up the world of Mediterranean archaeology today, beyond the borders that separate Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.