Morgantina Studies: The Archaic Cemeteries (Volume 5) (v. 5)

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9780691040165: Morgantina Studies: The Archaic Cemeteries (Volume 5) (v. 5)
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Excavations on the slopes of the Cittadella settlement at Morgantina in eastern Sicily have revealed nearly seventy tombs dating from the late eighth to the mid-fifth century B.C. In this volume, Claire Lyons presents a full publication of these Archaic cemeteries, examining the structure of the tombs, their rich range of grave furnishings, and the evidence for funerary ritual that they preserve. Often reused for multiple inhumation and cremation burials, these tombs provide significant documentation of the critical period when immigrant Greeks interacted with the substantial indigenous community, introducing foreign objects and practices that modified the local Iron Age funerary rite.


Detailed reconstructions of all of the burial contexts are presented in an illustrated catalog of the more than 1,350 artifacts found in the tombs. The author's close typological analysis of these grave goods--Attic, Corinthian, Lakonian, East Greek, colonial, and local pottery, as well as terracottas, jewelry, and metal objects--brings new evidence to bear on questions of chronology, production, trade, and function. A particularly intriguing chapter focuses on the meaning of the objects deposited with the dead in Archaic Morgantina, extracting from them information on class, social identity, gender, age, and ethnicity, as well as evidence for the process of transculturation that gradually transformed both the native and the colonial populations. The volume also contains an appendix on the human skeletal material, prepared by Marshall J. Becker.

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About the Author:

Claire L. Lyons is Curator of Special Collections at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, Santa Monica.

Review:

[T]his volume is a welcome and important contribution, not only on the Graeco-Siculan settlement of the Cittadella at Morgantina, but on burial customs in Sicily and the Italian peninsula more generally. (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

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Claire L. Lyons
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