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The Archaeology of Nuragic Sardinia

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The Archaeology of Nuragic Sardinia is a comprehensive synthesis of evidence bearing on current understandings of Sardinian prehistory from the 23rd through the 8th centuries BC. It is a study of the material traces left by those insular societies known famously for their unique megalithic 'Giants' tombs and intricate water-temples, as well as for the remarkable cyclopean edifices or nuraghi for which this singular 'civilization' takes its name. Following introductory discussions of the history of Nuragic research up to the present, as well as the island's natural setting, individual chapters are given over to detailed examinations of findings on chronology, settlement, subsistence, industries, trade, external relations and cult practices for successive chronological periods from the Early Bronze Age through the Early Iron Age. For each period, issues of interpretation are addressed with regard to what might be reasonably inferred about Nuragic social institutions, normative codes, cognitive orientations, identity formations, cultural hybridity and entanglements, and the role of indigenous and exogenous factors in cultural continuity and discontinuity. While the focus throughout is on the Sardinian record, due consideration is also paid to potentially related developments on the neighboring island of Corsica. A postscript features a glimpse of life at the great Iron Age sanctuary of Santa Vittoria di Serri as imagined by the late 'father of Sardinian archaeology' Giovanni Lilliu.

Published: Feb 4, 2016

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
List of Figures and Tables Gary Webster
Acknowledgements Gary Webster
Preface Gary Webster
Introduction Gary Webster
Early Bronze Age: twenty-third to eighteenth centuries BC Gary Webster
Middle Bronze Age: eighteenth to thirteenth centuries BC Gary Webster
Late Bronze Age: thirteenth to tenth centuries BC Gary Webster
Iron Age 1, or Geometric Period: tenth to eight centuries BC Gary Webster
End Matter
Postscript Gary Webster
References Gary Webster
Index of Sites Gary Webster


Webster has capably brought together a mass of different data to provide a convincing narrative of the Nuragic period in Sardinia. At the same time he has updated the content and moved away from the classificatory slant of the first edition to bring it more in line with recent approaches to archaeological theory, making it a unique comprehensive guide to this fascinating period. This book will serve an English-speaking world very well.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review

A meticulous overview of the totality of Nuragic cultural developments from the Early Bronze Age to Iron Age I... this book is a must for Sardinian archaeologists in that it provides a long-overdue synthesis of Nuragic archaeology in the tradition of Giovanni Lilliu, often considered the father of modern Sardinian archaeology. Perhaps the book’s most enduring contribution is that it showcases the richness of Nuragic society in a manner that is accessible to a diverse scholarly audience.
American Journal of Archaeology