Incised ceramic and the production of locality


In the course of the migration movements of the Greeks and Phoenicians in the 8th and 7th century BC Sicily developed into a central node of varied intercultural contacts and encounters. The emergence of increasingly dense zones of transcultural interaction within the hinterland especially since the 6th century BC had an impact on the indigenous self-perception within the settlement on Monte Iato (Western Sicily). Within these zones the local communities were challenged to strike a balance between new influences from outside and continuation of a local feeling of belonging and this on various social levels and in different social situations. One way to cope with this situation was to establish special places of self-localisation through a retrospective construction of a pre-Greek or pre-colonial past. Within this process of indigeneity production or the production of locality, the local incised pottery took over a central position as a reference to local tradition and rootedness. Thus, this type of pottery appears as a symbol of a seemingly traditional world of ancestors in ritual contexts of the early 5th century BC, a time in which this pottery style had already been replaced by the younger matt-painted ceramic. In these contexts also incised pottery appears picking up traditional styles of the 8th and 7th century BC, but correspond to the ceramic production of the 6th and 5th centuries BC in terms of their manufacturing technique and thus deliberately imitating old traditions. Within the framework of the project, this phenomenon of the conscious use of old pieces and new retro-productions is to be investigated, using chaîne opératoire-Analysis as well as experimental archaeology. An analysis of the various production and consumption processes of the incised pottery can reveal their functionalization in the production of locality as indigenous self-localisation.


Principal Investigator:

MMag. Dr. Birgit Öhlinger


ATRIUM - Zentrum für Alte Kulturen - Langer Weg 11

University/Research Institution:

Institut für Archäologien
Fachbereich Klassische und Provinzialrömische Archäologie
Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck

funded by Tiroler Wissenschaftsfond

Project collaborations:

Prof. Erich Kistler (University of Innsbruck)

Dr. Andrea Roppa (University of Padova)

Prof. Lara Maritan and Dr. Marta Tenconi (Department of Geosciences, University of Padova)

Mag. Dr. Ulrike Töchterle (restoration laboratory, University of Innsbruck)

ffurther information: see application 2018


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