The present paper deals with questions of cultural interaction in Campania, a border region in southern Italy, where people belonging to different cultural traditions came into contact from the last quarter of the First Early Iron Age century onwards. Because the archaeological evidence for 'Italic' inhabitants of this region is still largely confined to necropoleis, while little of the settlement themselves has been brought to light so far, this paper will primarily draw on evidence from burials. Such evidence, as is well-known, is ritual and never neutral: it implies a high degree of intentionality and hence, if carefully interpreted, can be a valuable source of information on ideologies and social representation. My discourse on the complex panorama of Campania will focus on a comparison between communities that structured or restructured themselves by opening to different elements, communities that interacted, competed and faced contradictions, on the one hand, and, on the other, communities who build their identity in contrastive terms, through conservatism, social control, uniformity, persistence and prohibitions. I will be focusing mainly on the archaeological evidence for the phases between the Early Iron Age (IX -VIII century) and the Orientalizing period (last quarter of the VIII-first quarter of the VI century BC), with special emphasis on the dynamics of cultural interaction between peoples confronting one another in the area (groups of indigenous tradition; Etruscan groups; Greek colonies of Pithekoussai and Cumae . Notably, I intend to: 1. compare and contrast the different communities of ancient Campania and their archaeological representation; 2. look at processes of identity building fueled by cultural interaction and dynamism or, conversely, by conservative attitudes and forms of every-day silent resistance (Cuozzo 2003). Although this complex cultural landscape is well documented by archaeological as well as literary and epigraphic testimonies, an in-depth examination of the material evidence indicates that the different Campanian cultural manifestations were composite and multidimensional in character, and the labels traditionally used for each one are problematic and polyvalent. In fact, many communities of ancient Campania for most of their history can be characterized as culturally mixed; they are ‘frontier’ contexts of interaction and ‘hybridization’ or ‘cultures métisses’ ).

Ancient Campania: cultural interaction, political borders and geographical boundaries

CUOZZO, Mariassunta
2007

Abstract

The present paper deals with questions of cultural interaction in Campania, a border region in southern Italy, where people belonging to different cultural traditions came into contact from the last quarter of the First Early Iron Age century onwards. Because the archaeological evidence for 'Italic' inhabitants of this region is still largely confined to necropoleis, while little of the settlement themselves has been brought to light so far, this paper will primarily draw on evidence from burials. Such evidence, as is well-known, is ritual and never neutral: it implies a high degree of intentionality and hence, if carefully interpreted, can be a valuable source of information on ideologies and social representation. My discourse on the complex panorama of Campania will focus on a comparison between communities that structured or restructured themselves by opening to different elements, communities that interacted, competed and faced contradictions, on the one hand, and, on the other, communities who build their identity in contrastive terms, through conservatism, social control, uniformity, persistence and prohibitions. I will be focusing mainly on the archaeological evidence for the phases between the Early Iron Age (IX -VIII century) and the Orientalizing period (last quarter of the VIII-first quarter of the VI century BC), with special emphasis on the dynamics of cultural interaction between peoples confronting one another in the area (groups of indigenous tradition; Etruscan groups; Greek colonies of Pithekoussai and Cumae . Notably, I intend to: 1. compare and contrast the different communities of ancient Campania and their archaeological representation; 2. look at processes of identity building fueled by cultural interaction and dynamism or, conversely, by conservative attitudes and forms of every-day silent resistance (Cuozzo 2003). Although this complex cultural landscape is well documented by archaeological as well as literary and epigraphic testimonies, an in-depth examination of the material evidence indicates that the different Campanian cultural manifestations were composite and multidimensional in character, and the labels traditionally used for each one are problematic and polyvalent. In fact, many communities of ancient Campania for most of their history can be characterized as culturally mixed; they are ‘frontier’ contexts of interaction and ‘hybridization’ or ‘cultures métisses’ ).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11695/11047
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