Titolo:  The Su Carroppu rockshelter within the process of neolithization of Sardinia
Data di pubblicazione:  2014
Abstract:  Similarly to the greater part of the Tyrrhenian area, the process of neolithization in Sardinia presents a rupture compared to the scarce and uncertain evidence available to date for the Mesolithic period. In addition, a clear gap in the absolute chronology of the two periods indicates discontinuity between Mesolithic and Early Neolithic (EN) groups with regard to the different stages of territorialization of the island, to the settlement strategies, to the knowledge and exploitation of raw materials, and to the entire typological and technological organization of the lithic production. Thus, according to current research, the Early Neolithic in Sardinia is clearly the result of a rapid colonization process of unsettled territories, carried out by seafaring human groups. The gradient suggested by the radiocarbon dates for the spread of the Impressed Ware across the Central-northern Tyrrhenian Sea, coupled with the typo-technological analysis of the pottery, allows to outline a north-south oriented main route of the demic flow that generated the first permanent settlement on the island. The temporal progression of the establishment of the new economic system based on food production, and the absolute chronology of the Early Neolithic cultural sequence as well, were little defined and based on a very small number of sites. Furthermore, these contexts have been excavated at different times and consequently lack homogeneity with regard to the methods of analysis. In the last decade the re-examination of the main issues on the Early and Middle Neolithic, carried out within several research projects focusing on newly discovered sites and according to the systematic assessment of ancient assemblages, led us to propose a critical revision of the traditional picture and to realign the local cultural evolution with the one in the adjacent mainland regions. According to this new point of view, it is possible to understand many of the innovative features by correlating them with increasing interactions across the Mediterranean Sea. These have been generated by pulling factors that in time appear to be less and less related neither to affinity nor to common cultural traditions; on the contrary they clearly depend more and more on the establishment and the reinforcing of complex exchange networks, which are displayed by the important circulation of specific raw materials. The Su Carroppu rock shelter is located in the Palaeozoic massif of the Sulcis region, less than 13 km as the crow flies from the south-western coast of the island. It may be considered as paradigmatic of the abovementioned revision process of neolithisation in Sardinia. Being the first Early Neolithic site to be unequivocally recognized already at the end of the 1960s, Su Carroppu has been considered for a long time as representative of the early stages of the Impressed Ware spreading into the Tyrrhenian basin, to the extent that it became eponymous of the corresponding facies. Based on the first interpretation of the assemblages coming from this site and, later on those from the excavations at Filiestru Cave at the end of the 1970s, pioneer studies on Sardinian late prehistory brought forward a schematic sequence of the EN which was effective until now. This paper presents a full re-examination of the Su Carroppu assemblage, mainly focusing on the preliminary results from the new excavations in progress since 2009. They provide new data for the debate on the nature of the rock shelter, which hosted a long term dwelling site that started already in the Mesolithic, since it yielded the oldest direct evidence of Holocene human presence in Sardinia. A new set of radiocarbon dates concurs to replace in its correct chronological position the only unaltered stratigraphic layer excavated so far, which has to be referred to the full development of the EN Cardial phase. Furthermore, new data allow us to put forward a more reliable reading of the already published assemblage, by both suggesting a whole redefinition of its technological and typological characteristics, and discussing on some artefacts like geometrics, usually considered to be the most diagnostic type of this phase. Provenance studies applied to some preferred markers of interaction and exchange, like the well documented obsidian and jasper, help us to outline some of the socioeconomic features of the first EN settlement at Su Carroppu, compared to the wider regional and interregional background. These remarks are finally discussed in the light of the results of both the functional studies of the artefacts and the characterization of the faunal remains.
Handle:  http://hdl.handle.net/11584/54308
ISBN:  978-2-87772-574-3
Tipologia: 2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)

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