martedì 2 luglio 2013

A settembre conferenza a Cambridge

Abstracts con la voce Sardegna

Islands in the island: cultural frontiers and regionalization in the Protohistoric Sardinia
Anna Depalmas (University of Sassari)

The most significant features of Sardinian Bronze Age civilisation are considered to be homogeneity
and uniformity both of architectural manifestations and material culture. This cultural compactness
seen in the nuragic period was not constant, since there were periods such as that of the Recent Bronze
Age where distinct facies can be easily detected, within defined geographical areas without apparent
permeability. For the later phases, and certainly for the early Iron Age, during a period of apparent
renewed cultural homogeneity, there was also an apparent process of increased regionalisation that is
more difficult to define and identifiable only on the basis of rare local production.

«And now what shall become of us without any barbarians?». Changing identities in ancient Sardinia
Alfonso Stiglitz (Independent Researcher, Cagliari)

Sardinia of the first millennium BC has been traditionally read as a land divided into two, a coastal
zone colonized and transformed by foreign powers (Phoenician and Roman) contrasted with an internal
mountain zone inhabited by the descendants of nuragic barbarian people (the Civitates barbariae of the
inscriptions), resisting all change. The boundary between the two would from this perspective be
marked by punic fortresses, and, thereafter by Roman military centres. This reading of the evidence has
made impossible the granting of a face to those groups that, even though they are recorded in the
written and epigraphic sources (Ilienses, Balares, Corsi to cite the best known) leave no archaeological
trace. The progress of excavations and, above all, the reassessment of interpretations, particularly in
the light of post colonial theory, has led to disappearance of this dualistic image, which is replaced by a
vision of a much more complex reality that also restores a concrete reality to these groups. In this way,
the barbarians disappear, given that they are a literary creation of colonial ethnography, and a clearly
social, economic and political world has appeared, no longer enshrined in the classic dualism of
plain/mountain, city/countryside, civilisation/barbarians.

Frontiers of the mind: A Ethno-anthropological approach to define a “sweat-bath culture” in Iron Age Nuragic society
Giacomo Paglietti (Dipartimento di Storia, Beni Culturali e Territorio, Università degli studi
di Cagliari) and Mariano Ucchesu (Centro Conservazione Biodiversità (CCB)
Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente, Università degli Studi di Cagliari)

The sweat house is an almost mystic locale where the senses are transformed. The warmth, the
humidity, the semi-darkness and the silence help to take the mind beyond corporal and temporal
frontiers. The practice of the sweat bath has been compared to a return to the maternal uterus. It is a
transitory frontier: in the ethnographic literature, it is connected to birth, rites of passage, preparation
for matrimony, games, hunting, war and finally death. A recent 2009 study has analysed structurally
some locales in Sardinian nuragic villages, recognised as round buildings with a basin, used between
the late Bronze Age and the first Iron Age. In this analysis, the repeated occurrence of some structural
elements were noted: a circular space with seating, a stone basin in the centre, a nearby rectangular
bath, and a hearth for heating. Until now, the archaeological data have not established securely the
function of these spaces. The present research with the aid of ethnographic comparisons has noted the
same repetition of structural elements in spaces employed for steam baths in sweat lodges (temporary
structures) or sweat houses (permanent structures). In these structures, the steam was created by the
sprinkling of cold water on red hot stones; this practice is noted in a number of pre-modern and pre-
Columbian South American populations.