Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Vol 14, No 2 (2001)

Domestic Architecture and Settlement Planning in Early and Middle Bronze Age Sicily: Thoughts on Innovation and Social Process

Owen Doonan
Issued Date: 21 Mar 2007

Abstract


Significant advances in settlement archaeology in Bronze Age Sicily in recent years have provided greater opportunities to explore social dynamics in local communities. The full publication of several important residential and sacred sites, including La Muculufa, Monte Grande, Capo Graziano and I Faraglioni, Ustica enable close study of material assemblages within their architectural contexts. The relationship between social behavior and domestic architecture in Bronze Age Sicily is analyzed, focusing on the structuring of social interaction at multiple levels of social distance. Recent work has also demonstrated increasing contacts between Sicilian and east Mediterranean communities during the second millennium BC. Innovations, including widespread use of formally defined exterior household spaces, careful planning of shared public places, and imposing defensive structures, emerged in response to frame new kinds of interactions with outsiders and between community members. These new architectural forms developed unevenly, reflecting a variety of processes specific to local conditions. At Thapsos, new architectural forms appeared in the context of intensive contact with the Aegean world; at other sites such as I Faraglioni, Punta Milazzese and Mursia (Pantelleria) innovative architectural forms formalized traditional uses of domestic space in response to dynamic local conditions.

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DOI: 10.1558/jmea.v14i2.159

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