Gary Webster [+]
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.