Culture contact and exchange in Iron Age north Sardinia (900 BC-200 BC)

Hayne, Jeremy Mark (2013) Culture contact and exchange in Iron Age north Sardinia (900 BC-200 BC). PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Prehistoric Sardinia is best known for its Bronze Age Nuragic culture which lasted from the mid-2nd millennium until the early 1st millennium. The Iron Age and later prehistory of the island are often subsumed into discourses that emphasise the colonising Phoenicians (8th-6th centuries BC) and Carthaginians (6th-2nd centuries BC). In the north of the island the local communities, being neither part of the Bronze Age Nuragic culture nor of the colonized world of the south, are seen in relation to foreign communities rather than from local perspectives. This thesis uses postcolonial theoretical frameworks of island identity, consumption and materiality to examine the local/foreign interactions that take place in north Sardinia in the period between 900 – 200 BC. The main focus is to set the interrelationships between the local Sardinian communities and the Phoenician, Etruscan, Greek and Carthaginian traders and settlers who frequented the shores in a context that emphasises local and indigenous agency. At the same time this topic provides an opportunity to re-examine the scholarship that has led to north Sardinia being overlooked.
This thesis covers a long time period and the project is divided geographically between three different zones of north Sardinia (the north-west, the central-east and the Olbia area) and chronologically between the 9th- 7th centuries, the 7th – 5th centuries and the 4th-2nd centuries BC. The data set includes the archaeological material from 51 north Sardinian sites that contain evidence of local/foreign interactions during these periods. Using this data a few well excavated sites are studied in greater detail to examine and question the models of acculturation and resistance that form the traditional perspectives of scholars working in the north. For example, the presence or lack of foreign material culture on indigenous sites has often been understood from the perspective that desire for foreign goods was natural. This approach overemphasises the role that foreign communities had in contact situations and at the same time underemphasises the agency and choices of the local inhabitants. Indeed an examination of the data shows how local practices continued and that the foreign presence had a limited impact.
One of my aims in this thesis is to avoid a dualistic position which sets the local communities against foreign ones; in fact local/foreign interactions can result in the creation of ‘hybrid’ products, practices and communities and I explore how far we can see the hybridization of north Sardinian communities in the different phases of the 1st millennium through the material culture that informed their actions. A second aim is to explore what types of changes took place in north Sardinian identities through the types of objects they consumed. Some of the larger Iron Age sites were sanctuaries and thus I examine how far local communities used ritual as a way of mediating the exchanges between them and foreign people through their selection of the material culture. Thirdly, this thesis approaches the social identities of the Sardinians using a bottom-up approach to the interactions. This allows me to compare the different ways in which local communities experienced foreign contacts and culture over a broad period and the evidence illuminates the variety of ways that island identities were developed in the various regions of north Sardinia.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: Iron Age, Sardinia, postcolonialism, identities, archaeology, feasting, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Punic, cultural entanglements, hybridization
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > C Auxiliary sciences of history (General)
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Supervisor's Name: van Dommelen, Prof. Peter
Date of Award: 2013
Embargo Date: 23 March 2016
Depositing User: Dr Jeremy Hayne
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4132
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2013 08:31
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2013 08:31

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