Neolitic Calabria: a reconstruction of economical use of the landscape with the use of GIS
Doctoral research presented within this article reinterprets off-site Neolithic land use within southern Calabria (Italy), through synchronic and diachronic GIS approaches. It furthers the integration of the concepts of agency and taskscape within GIS research to show how one can adequately model the effects of human decision-making. Within this project, by examining the consequences of the implementation of a range of economic strategies through space and time, land use patterns of daily activity became the backdrop for an imagination of Calabrian Neolithic society on a wider spatial and temporal scale.
The key to the coffin. A study of the growing complexity of leadership during the Early Iron Age in Italy (950-700 BC)
In the beginning of the Italian Iron Age the tombs of high status male can generally be recognized by the expression of a warrior role and female status is expressed especially by objects that are related to a highly decorated wardrobe. From the first half of the ninth century onward there is a change noticeable towards more elaborate material expressions and a growing importance of secondary individual social functions. The continuance of this development into the eighth century facilitates the recognition of a new form of leadership from the contents of high status tombs; a form of leadership that involved political, military and religious power.
The necropoli of Muro Tenente. A physical anthropological research
This article presents the physical anthropological research of the indigenous South Italian settlement of Muro Tenente in the Hellenistic Age. Some 40 skeletons were excavated of which only 28 were studied. Unfortunately a large number of the skeletons were fragmented and little could be done with this material. Nevertheless a general picture of the population of Muro Tenente could be drawn. The age groups of 0 to 15 months and 7 to 17 years are missing. The adult age group was demographically compatible with contemporary sites in Southern Italy. As with other sites more women than men are found on the necropolis. The population of Muro Tenente was short, muscular and living on a mostly vegetarian diet. Adults generally suffered from degenerative arthritis, caused by hard physical labour, which manifested itself at a young age. Although there are a few individuals who were ill or underfed, there are no signs of prolonged periods of malnutrition or disease. The general health of the population must have been good.
The Roman road from Lanuvium to Antium. Improved accessibilty as a trigger local social-economic change
The article presents some of the preliminary results of the project Carta Archeologica del Comune di Nettuno, conducted by the Groningen Instituut of Archaeology (GIA). Surveys within the borders of the community of Nettuno show the presence of a subsistence based economy at least until the mid-Republican period. The construction or paving of the road from Lanuvium to Antium triggers a dramatic shift in settlement type and location and brings the social-economic integration within the Roman Empire for the area under study.
An increasing hierarchy of access on a self created stage: reception rooms in the late Roman villa Piazza Armerina
This article focuses on the Sicilian Late Roman villa at Piazza Armerina and its main reception rooms: the audience hall and the grand dining hall. In his book Roman housing, Ellis (2000) states that receptions became more formal during Late Antiquity. Although the audience hall and the grand dining hall can be compared to earlier reception rooms it can be stated that they do seem more formal, because the houses were bigger, the way to the reception room was longer and the decoration was more elaborate. This was used to create various grades of privacy and to gain greater control of the access to the rooms. At Piazza Armerina this resulted in a great differentiation in reception possibilities for various guests with different status.
Capital of the last emperors. Imperial residence in late classical Rome
This paper argues that the fifth century AD saw the city of Rome once more establish itself as the seat of imperial power. The prolonged residence of the emperors Honorius and Valentinian III, as well as the attested presence of most of the subsequent emperors, can be inferred from historical sources. In the case of Honorius and Valentinian, archaeological evidence, in the form of their palaces and mausoleum, can be used to sustain Rome’s claim to imperial residence. It was Rome, not Ravenna, that would be the imperial capital of the west during the fifth century.
TMA 36 – Sacred and Profane
Sacred and Profane: an introduction
The title of this issue of TMA, Sacred and Profane, at first sight poses a dichotomy. The two terms, which are commonly defined as ‘consecrated to a god’ and ‘not consecrated’ respectively, suggestthe existence of two separate domains: one belonging to supernatural or divine beings, the other ruled by human, secular concerns. Sanctuaries or sacred places can be seen as liminal areas where these two domains overlap and where human cult participants can come into contact with the ‘The Other World’. In the processual archaeology of the 1960s and 1970s, this categorization was relatively rigidly employed. ‘Religion’ was considered as one of several, mutually interacting ‘subsystems’ that madeup human society. In practice, however, attention focused more on demographic, economic and social subsystems, as these yielded more easily quantifiable data. Recent studies on religion and archaeology, on the other hand, tend to emphasize the intertwining of realms and the diffuse character of boundaries. Religion is often seen as a generally structuring principle, which will affect many –if not all– kinds of human behaviour, including those usually labeled as economic, social or political. Archaeological scholarship of the Aegean and neighbouring Anatolian regions, as also represented by the five articles in this TMA, takes a somewhat special position. Traditionally there has been much greater emphasis on the study of religion, cult and (especially monumental) sanctuaries. In addition, the studies here all benefit from a relative wealth of archaeological, iconographic and sometimes literary material. Yet, in their general approach to the study of the sacred and with respect to the questions asked about boundaries and functions of sanctuaries, there are striking similarities with other sub-disciplines of archaeology. These articles therefore form an important contribution to a broader, international debate on archaeology, religious ritual and sacred space.
Ritual differentiation of buildings at Çatalhöyük
In this paper I discuss the issue of ritual differentiation amongst the buildings at Çatalhöyük. Prompted by spectacular moulded imagery and wall paintings Mellaart interpreted many of the buildings at the site as ‘shrines’ rather than houses. However, current investigations have demonstrated that all buildings at the site were domestic units. Hodder has elaborated on this position and has suggested that all houses are homologous residential units with the same symbolism attached to them, and has negated any kind of ritual differentiation between the houses. From the sub-floor burial it appears however, that these were clustered in a few houses that were used by groups of associated households to bury their dead. Thus there is a ritual differentiation of buildings. Domestic houses can be shown to acquire more ritual status in the course of a series of rebuilding episodes, eventually serving as lineage houses in which people from a group of households were interred.
Clothes for Gods and clothes for Man in the Minoan world
It has often been noted that it is difficult to distinguish between divinities and human beings in Minoan iconography since their dress and adornment are nearly identical. The present article explores the reasons for the many similarities in their representation. While these certainly imply a special relationship between worshipper and deity, they do not necessarily point to a priestly function or some other type of consecration. Indeed, it is found that in many cases the correspondences are based on age-related characteristics, especially youthful ones. This may indicate that in the Minoan world different age groups had their own specific gods and goddesses. These probably had a function in guiding children and adolescents through the different phases of life, but they may also have served as models on which their appearance was based.
Marking sacred space in ancient Greek iconography
For ancient Greek worshippers there could be, at times, various reasons to be precise about the boundaries of a sanctuary. But apart from these rather special circumstances, would ancient Greek worshippers in general, thinking of, imagining, visualizing sanctuaries, be primarily concerned with their boundaries? This is the sort of question where iconography may be helpful. There are lots of vase paintings and reliefs depicting actions set in a sanctuary. How do the makers of these representations make this clear? What are the markers they use to indicate that the scene is set in sacred space? If we take the iconographical evidence from the vase paintings and the votive reliefs as a reflection of the views of average, largely non-intellectual, ancient worshippers, then we may observe that they did not think of sanctuaries primarily in terms of sacred space separated from the surrounding world. They were not much concerned with the boundaries of the sanctuaries. The most frequently used element to mark a space as sacred is –not surprisingly– the altar, i.e. the focus of the more important rituals performed in the sanctuary. Perhaps for them a sanctuary was more a sacred spot than a sacred space. Perhaps one could go one step further: the emphasis on the altar in so many representations of sanctuaries suggests that for the ancient worshipper a sanctuary was defined not so much by its separation from the surrounding profane human world, but rather by its direct connection to the divine world, through prayers and sacrifices at the altar.
Degrees of sacredness within the Hellenistic Agora
The agora was arguably the most important public space within the Greek polis in the Hellenistic period. It was home to many different types of activity including political meetings, philosophical discussions and of course commerce. It was also the location of important temples and altars. In this article, I discuss, with reference to three case studies –Athens, Thasos and Messene– whether the terms sacred and profane are useful for understanding the way in which space within the agora was differentiated. I argue that it is in fact better to think in terms of degrees of sacredness. There was no such thing as profane space within the agora but there were certainly some areas that weremore sacred than others.
Indigenous sanctuaries and the formation of the Hellenistic polis in inland Karia
This paper aims to interpret the role of indigenous sanctuaries in the Hellenization of inland Karia. Although coastal regions of Karia had been subject to Greek colonization from the Bronze Age on, mountainous inland Karia, with its own culture and language, remained fairly remote until the fourth century, when the Greek urban formula rapidly began to be applied in a conscious effort to politically (re)organize society according to the wider interests of the ruling powers. Towns were founded in the midst of established village federations and their sacred centers. A case study of Stratonikeia and the outlying sanctuaries at Lagina and Panamara examines how the relationship between town and indigenous cult worked. This relationship is further clarified by applying two current theoretical models. Finally, the author maintains that the inclusion of pre-existing cults in the politicized landscapes of the Hellenistic period was a critical factor of success for the urban phenomenon in Karia.