NEAF Public Lecture: Centring the Centre Sardinia in the Bronze Age Mediterranean
Dr Emily Holt
Centring the Centre: Sardinia in the Bronze Age Mediterranean
Despite its position in the centre of the Mediterranean, the island of Sardinia has often been regarded as a “periphery” during the Bronze Age. Bronze Age Sardinia was home to the sophisticated Nuragic culture, whose people built thousands of monumental corbel-vaulted towers throughout the island long before tholos tombs appeared in the Aegean. Even so, Bronze Age Sardinia is frequently considered tangential to the vibrant exchange that characterized the east. Nuragic elites do not appear to have prioritized the same kinds of durable luxury goods that interested East Mediterranean elites, making long-distance exchange less archaeologically obvious. However, the increasing application of archaeological science in Mediterranean archaeology is providing new evidence of contact. Recent research in isotope and trace element analysis and ceramic petrography is building on previous work to show that the Nuragic culture maintained strong long-distance networks, while the Nuragic culture’s less hierarchical organization may have added to its resilience during the environmental crisis at end of the Bronze Age.
Dr. Emily Holt is an environmental archaeologist and zooarchaeological specialist. She began working in Sardinia as co-director of Progetto Pran’e Siddi (2009–2011), a small Italo-American excavation. Dr. Holt then began directing the Pran’e Siddi Landscape Project (2013–present), which is using site-based and off-site survey to investigate how climate change during the Sardinian Bronze Age was culturally interpreted to support growing social inequality. Dr. Holt is currently a Marie Sklodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow at Cardiff University, where her project is using isotope analysis to understand Nuragic mobility and resource use. She plans to renew excavations on the Siddi Plateau in the summer of 2022.
Hosted by the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF)
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