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Title: Minima Thapsiana. Riflessioni sulla cronologia dell'abitato di Thapsos
Authors: Alberti, Gianmarco
Keywords: Bayesian statistical decision theory
Bronze age -- Italy -- Sicily
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria
Citation: Alberti, G. (2007). Minima Thapsiana: riflessioni sulla cronologia dell'abitato di Thapsos. Rivista di Scienze Preistoriche, 57, 363-376.
Abstract: This paper is faced with the problem of the relative and absolute chronology of the first two phases of Thapsos’ residential quarter. It is well known that the phasing put forward by the excavator (G. Voza) is in contrast with the traditional Sicilian cultural sequence outlined by L. Bernabò Brea. In Bernabò Brea’s view, the Thapsos period (Middle Bronze Age), spanning from XIV BC down to the first quarter of XIII BC, was followed by the Pantalica North period (Late Bronze Age) from about middle XIII BC onward. Voza, on the basis of his excavations at the Thapsos’peninsula between the 70’s and 80’s of the past century, isolated three different phases: the first two belonging to the Thapsos period, the third to the Final Bronze Age. The first, characterized by round huts with annexes, was dated to the XIV BC, while the second, with its rectangular complexes, was ascribed to the XIII-XII BC. In this view, Thapsos’ second phase was contemporary to the Pantalica North culture. It becomes clear that the topic of the chronology of Thapsos’ residential quarter is of utmost relevance in the frame of the cultural sequence in eastern Sicily. This paper is aimed to ascertain if and how the chronology of the ceramic items from Thapsos’ residential quarter could shed a new light on the problem of Voza’s phasing. The author attempts to take into account distribution, provenance and possible chrono- logy of both imported (Maltese-Borg in-Nadur) and local wares (the latter bearing Mycenaean-inspired decorative motives), in order to critically review the absolute and relative dating of the structures. He proposes a chronology that is alternative, but no always incompatible, to that previously put forward. The author proposes: a) to lower down to the early XIII BC (parallel to the early MIC IIIB) the chronology of the later use of Thapsos’ northern quarter with round huts (Voza phase I); b) the items from the Complex B are not consistent with a date later that the early XIII BC; the possible provenance of these items from a use-level of the structure leads to believe that this Complex was build during the XIV BC, claiming, therefore, a dating earlier than the traditional one as well as a period of coexistence between round huts and complex structures; c) in lack of any good chronological hint, the Complex A is dated on the grounds of its typological consistence with the Complex B; d) only for the Complex C it can be assumed a period of re-use during the Final Bronze Age. Finally, these remarks are related to other data. On the one hand, it is stressed the synchronism between the construction of the Complexes and the social stratification in act in the Thapsos’ society during the same period; on the other hand, it is stressed the existence at Cannatello (Middle Bronze Age settlement) of a situation similar to that of Thapsos, as far as the coexistence of round and rectangular structures during the XIV BC is concerned.
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