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Rural Landscapes of the Punic World

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Phoenician and Punic archaeology have long been overlooked by Mediterranean archaeologists, whose attention has mostly been focused on Greek and Roman cultures. Moreover, obscured by a strong urban bias, the rural landscapes of the Punic world have only begun to be investigated over the last two decades.

This book offers the first comprehensive overview of rural settlement in the Punic world by bringing together and comparing evidence from across the western Mediterranean. A substantial part of the volume is taken up by a detailed discussion of the literary and archaeological evidence for Punic rural settlement in Sardinia, Sicily, Ibiza, Andalusia and North Africa. It also explores the multiple connections between rural settlement, agrarian organisation and regional colonial situations to offer new insights in Carthaginian colonialism and local Punic rural settlement, and their role in the wider Mediterranean context.

By publishing this evidence and new interpretations in English, this book intends to draw attention to Punic archaeology in general and to these rural studies in particular, and to situate them in the wider Mediterranean context of both classical antiquity and Mediterranean archaeology.

Published: Dec 1, 2008


Section Chapter Authors
Contents Peter van Dommelen
List of Contributors Peter van Dommelen
List of Figures and Tables Peter van Dommelen
Preface Peter van Dommelen
Defining the Punic World and its Rural Contexts Peter van Dommelen
Rereading Punic Agriculture: Representation, Analogy and Ideology in the Classical Sources Véronique Krings
Ibiza: the Making of New Landscapes Carlos Gómez Bellard
The Iberian Peninsula: Landscapes of Tradition José Luis López Castro
North Africa: Rural Settlement and Agricultural Production Elizabeth Fentress, Roald F. Docter
Sicily and Malta: between Sea and Countryside Antonella Spanò Giammellaro†, Francesca Spatafora, Peter van Dommelen
Sardinia: Diverging Landscapes Peter van Dommelen, Stefano Finocchi
Agrarian Landscapes and Rural Communities Peter van Dommelen
Conclusions: Rural Landscapes of the Punic World Peter van Dommelen
End Matter
Bibliography Peter van Dommelen
Index Peter van Dommelen

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“This volume contributes not only to our understanding of the Punic world it but also enriches the facts concerning the Western Mediterranean, without taking into account the fact that the method represents a potential model for other regions, Phoenicia, for example. Its principle advantage is an original approach from all types of sources. Because it isn’t simple a compilation of prior research, existing sources and a summary of searches or surveys, the collective work brings a major and quality contribution to our best understanding of ancient rural life, Punic in particular.”
English translation of review in French by Élodie Guillon, Université de Toulouse, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

“If we assess the information contained in this volume, our opinions must be highly positive, as the relevant and necessary aims set by the editors have been broadly achieved. Readers will find new, interesting and well documented information within a coherent structure. It is, without doubt, an obligatory reference book for anyone who wants to approach the Punic strategy for agricultural production from an international perspective.”
Teresa Chapa Brunet, Complutense University, Madrid, European Journal of Archaeology

“This is a book that scholars and students alike have been eagerly awaiting. P. van Dommelen and C. Gómez Bellard should be congratulated on putting together a work of scholarship that will outlive its time.”
Journal of Roman Archaeology

“This is an excellent book, which deserves to be read not only by those with an interest in survey and rural archaeology, but also by anyone with an interest in the western Mediterranean between the 6th and 1st centuries BC, whether historian or archaeologist. Van Dommelen and Gómez Bellard, together with their collaborators, have synthesized a vast range of archaeological fieldwork undertaken across much of the western Mediterranean in the last century; furthermore, in doing so they have developed a sophisticated (and potentially provocative) set of arguments regarding the label ‘Punic’ and some key aspects of Carthaginian hegemony in the western Mediterranean; and they have managed that semi-mythical feat of producing an edited volume that is truly coherent and consistently easy to read.”