Traditions in profile: A chronological sequence of western Sicilian ceramics (7th--6th c. BC)
Cooper, Jeanette Marilyn
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In this thesis, I offer a secure ceramic sequence of indigenous ceramics in western Sicily during the 7 th -6 th c. BC. This is the first sequence of its kind to be published for this region from a secure stratigraphic context. Thus, it represents a valuable contribution to the study of indigenous societies in western Sicily during the Greek Archaic period (c. 8 th -6 th c. BC). The data for this study were gathered from trench OX79-80 of Zone E at Monte Polizzo in the Trapani region of Sicily. Monte Polizzo is an inland indigenous hilltop settlement, situated between two coastal Greek settlements, 35 km north of Selinus and 80 km south of Himera. The geographical placement of Monte Polizzo and the chronological period in which it is active (c. 7 th -5 th c. BC) makes this site a valuable case study for the examination of indigenous responses to Greek colonial activities. Trench OX79-80 of Zone E of this site represents a midden active from the mid-7 th to the mid-6 th c. It was rich in finds and exhibited a clearly defined depositional history in which to date and analyze the archaeological remains. A secure stratigraphic ceramic sequence of indigenous ceramics in western Sicily for the 7 th -6 th c. BC has never been published prior to this thesis. Excavations at other sites have not been able to supply such a sequence for various reasons: some are exclusively from tomb contexts; some have been disturbed by clandestine or other modern activities; some predate or postdate this period; some were not excavated using strict stratigraphic methodology. Ceramics represent our greatest body of archaeological remains from the ancient world. For this reason, it is important to use them not only for dating purposes, but also as an interpretive tool. Such analyses also need to be combined with literary evidence and theoretical considerations. Since at least the 1990's, Mediterranean archaeologists have contributed much to the study of postcolonial theory. Analysis of the artifacts in this deposit, in light of postcolonial scholarship, has provided important insight into the cultural activities of the Elymian people. In addition to providing a secure ceramic sequence form the 7-6 th c. BC, I have proposed interpretations for these finds. The remains from Zone E at Monte Polizzo may shed light on some of the cultural and political dynamics of the Elymian inhabitants of this site.