Rock-cut tombs and funerary landscapes of the Late Bronze and Iron Ages in Sicily: New fieldwork at Pantalica

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Abstract

Rock-cut chamber tombs are characteristic monuments of the Bronze and Iron Ages in southern Sicily. They are found in large numbers and prominent locations at several Late Bronze Age sites, most of which were first investigated over a century ago by Paolo Orsi, but received little attention subsequently. One famous example is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pantalica, where the author recently conducted fieldwork aimed at clarifying the form, distribution and topographical relationships of the tombs, which date from about 1250–650 b.c. Although these monuments present various practical problems for research, and their contents were removed long ago, the author argues that they can be profitably studied from an architectural, contextual, and landscape perspective. A new sample of the Pantalica tombs is presented, showing a wide range of forms and associations that provides a basis for the discussion of several issues: links with domestic architecture, demography, accessibility, visibility, temporality, and perception.

Please feel free to email me at Robert.Leighton@ed.ac.uk in order to request a pdf of this item
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-203
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Keywords

  • Sicily
  • Pantalica
  • Late Bronze Age
  • Iron Age
  • rock-cut tombs
  • funerary architecture
  • landscape archaeology

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