The Early Mediterranean Village: Agency, Material Culture, and Social Change in Neolithic italy

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-07-23
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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What was daily life like in Italy between 6000 and 3500 BC? In this book, John Robb brings together the archaeological evidence on a wide range of aspects of life in Neolithic Italy and surrounding regions (Sicily and Malta). Exploring how the routines of daily life structured social relations and human experience during this period, Robb provides a detailed analysis of how people built houses, buried their dead, made and shared a distinctive cuisine, and made the pots and stone tools that archaeologists find. He also addresses questions of regional variation and long-term change, showing how the sweeping changes at the end of the Neolithic were rooted in and transformed the daily practices of earlier periods. Robb links the agency of daily life and the reproduction of social relations with long-term patterns in European prehistory.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. xiii
List of Tablesp. xix
Prefacep. xxi
Theorizing Neolithic Italyp. 1
A Sense of Loyaltyp. 1
Some Necessary Conceptsp. 4
Social Reproductionp. 4
Material Normalityp. 8
Frameworks and Orientations: Time, Space, Landscapes, and Historiesp. 9
Tools of Thought: Bodies, Habitus, Identity, and the Sensesp. 11
Fields of Action and Projects of the Selfp. 13
From the Point of View of Thingsp. 18
Making History: Creativity, Commitment, and Gulliver's Dilemmap. 20
The 1st of September, 5000 BC: A Note on Methodologyp. 22
Time Travelp. 24
Neolithic Beginningsp. 24
The World at 5000 BCp. 27
Neolithic Italy: The Rough Guidep. 28
Neolithic Peoplep. 35
Ideal Livesp. 35
Refractions of the Neolithic Bodyp. 36
Bodies Themselves: Skeletal Evidence of Social Biologyp. 36
Presencing the Living Group: Model Demographyp. 40
The Represented Bodyp. 43
The Corporeal Corpusp. 43
The Materiality of Figurinesp. 46
Gendered and Ambiguous Bodiesp. 50
Abstracting the Body: Communities of Figurine Practicep. 52
People in Deathp. 56
Neolithic Italian Burialp. 56
Burial, Status, and Identityp. 61
A Meaningful Burial Programmep. 63
Being Neolithicp. 65
The Human Careerp. 65
Gender and Its Limitsp. 67
Politics and Differencep. 70
The Road Aheadp. 73
The Inhabited Worldp. 75
Places of Life: Houses and Villagesp. 76
Houses and Householdsp. 77
The House as Embedded Technologyp. 81
Houses and Meaningp. 85
The Lifespan of Housesp. 87
From Houses to Villages: Settlement Size and Boundednessp. 90
Houses, Sites, and the Deadp. 95
Heads in Housesp. 95
Burial at the Boundaries?p. 96
Villages as Ancestral Placesp. 96
The Microgeography of Dwellingp. 98
Economy and Frequentationp. 98
The Perception of Time in the Landscapep. 102
Macrogeography: Cultural Landscapes, Regional Identities, and Translocal Actionp. 107
Cult Sites, Cosmology, and Genderp. 107
Gendered Spaces?p. 110
Natural Places and the Inhabitable Worldp. 112
People Create Spaces; Spaces Create Peoplep. 116
Daily Economy and Social Reproductionp. 119
The Archaeology of Foodways: From Calories to Cuisinep. 120
Cuisinep. 120
The Italian Neolithic Food Economyp. 122
Not on the Menup. 122
Grains and Legumes: The World of Starchesp. 129
Notes of Flavourp. 133
Animal Choicesp. 137
The Sociality of the Food Economyp. 142
The Sociality of Herdsp. 142
Eating: Rhythms and Tastesp. 144
Cookingp. 148
Culinary Prehistory: Neolithic Cuisine as Habitus and Taskscapep. 152
Material Culture and Projects of the Selfp. 159
Archaeological Classicsp. 159
Pottery and Meaningp. 161
Italian Neolithic Pottery: A Social Historyp. 161
A Bit of Historiographyp. 161
The Genealogy of Pottery Traditionsp. 163
Skill, Orientation, and the Layering of Local Knowledgep. 172
The Social Geography of Italian Neolithic Potteryp. 178
Fractal Styles and Impressionist Mapsp. 178
Creative Process and Archaeological Patterningp. 181
Difference, Situated Perception, and Local Knowledgep. 184
Foreshadowing Patterns of Social Actionp. 185
Obsidian and Flintp. 186
The Lithic Economy in Neolithic Italyp. 186
The Obsidian "Trade"p. 192
Obsidian and Cultural Practices: The Alternative Viewp. 197
Axes and Their Life-Pathsp. 204
Axe Basicsp. 204
Contexts of Axe Depositionp. 208
Axe Biographies and Agencyp. 214
A Methodological Note on Artefact Analysisp. 218
Neolithic Economy as Social Reproductionp. 219
People at the Center of a Decentered Narrativep. 219
A Quick Recapitulationp. 221
Bodiesp. 221
Placesp. 222
Foodp. 223
Artefactsp. 225
The Social Sensesp. 226
Unfinished Business: Space, Time, Projectsp. 230
Projects of the Selfp. 237
Difference and the Organization of Valuep. 239
The Commonwealth of People and Thingsp. 245
Neolithic Italy as an Ethnographic Landscapep. 250
Spatial Demographyp. 252
Travel, Trade, Warfarep. 254
Culture Areas and Differing Lifewaysp. 260
Village Farmersp. 261
Dispersed Farmersp. 264
Mixed Mountaineers and Lake Villagesp. 265
Interpreting Regional Differencesp. 267
Social Networks: The Calabrian Stentinello Worldp. 269
The Social History of Unique Places: Liparip. 275
The Great Simplification: Large-Scale Change at the End of the Neolithicp. 286
Practice and Historyp. 290
Historical Practice: Life without a Primum Mobilep. 290
Temporal Scale, Regional Analysis, and Patterns of Historyp. 291
The Late Neolithic and Copper Age in Peninsular Italy and Sicilyp. 295
Material Culture and Exchangep. 295
Settlement and Productive Economyp. 300
Burial, the Body, and Politicsp. 305
The Great Simplificationp. 311
Social Production and Intensifying Pastoralismp. 311
Place and Relatednessp. 313
Gendered Bodiesp. 315
Agency, Aesthetics, and the Organization of Value: A New Synaesthesiap. 317
Processes of Changep. 320
Always in Transitionp. 320
Re-Reading the Sequencep. 322
Causality and Spreadp. 326
Coda: Malta - The Road Less Takenp. 329
Wandering through Tribespace: The Social Foundations of Prehistoric Italyp. 334
Notesp. 343
Bibliographyp. 347
Indexp. 373
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