Archaeologies of Recent Rural Sicily and Sardinia: A Comparative Approach
Journal: Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology
Although there have been increasing amounts of archaeological work carried out in the Mediterranean on Post-Medieval periods, particularly in Greece, historical archaeology in the Anglo-American sense is so far poorly developed in Italy. For many, work on this period is seen as synonymous with the archaeology of capitalism and the growth of world systems. Such concerns require many different scales of analysis and an inter-disciplinary approach. One crucial question for archaeologists is how processes at different scales and perhaps different tempos articulate. While fieldwork typically contributes to the local and regional, the archaeological search for broader syntheses often privileges ecological conditions as determining the nature of possible responses; historians and anthropologists, for their part, have tended to emphasize the economic. Here we present two case studies from broadly ecologically similar areas, the central highlands of Sicily and Sardinia, both with rich archaeological, historical and ethnographic archives from the last two centuries. Our analysis supports work elsewhere in the Mediterranean which suggests that even under the homogenizing influences of global trade and regional ecologies, the specific sociopolitical conditions within which communities and classes articulate with wider forces are crucial in determining historical and cultural trajectories.
Author: Antoon Mientjes, Mark Pluciennik, Enrico Giannitrapani