Ceramics uncovered in 3000-year-old buying and selling community

Ceramics uncovered in 3000-year-old trading network

The tiny island of Tavolara off the coast of Sardinia might have been a buying and selling place within the Early Iron Age (ninth to eighth centuries BCE) the place the unique inhabitants of Sardinia, the Nuragic folks, exchanged items with folks from the central Italian mainland—members of the Villanova tradition. Archaeometric analyses of 3000-year-old pottery from the archaeological website of Spalmatore di Terra on Tavolara reveal that it comes from varied manufacturing websites within the area of Etruria (in the present day’s Tuscany and Lazio). 

Ceramics uncovered in 3000-year-old trading network
The island Tavolara, northeast of Sardinia – within the early Iron Age, islanders
and mainlanders met right here to change items [Credit: Silvia Amicone]

The outcomes shed new gentle on cultural connections between the Nuragic folks and the proto-Etruscans (often known as Villanovans) in the course of the ninth century BCE, as reported by the archaeometric investigation lead by Dr. Silvia Amicone of the Competence Middle Archaeometry—Baden-Wuerttemberg (CCA-BW) on the College of Tübingen. The outcomes have been printed within the Journal of Archaeological Science: Experiences.

The world of in the present day’s Tuscany and Lazio was a part of the heartland of the so-called Villanova tradition in the course of the ninth and eighth century BCE, the place the later Etruscan tradition developed. The Villanovans managed the wealthy copper and iron mines of Tuscany and had been achieved metalworkers. The time period “Nuragic” refers to an intensive shared tradition that developed on Sardinia over the Bronze Age (from 1600 BCE) and continued no less than by means of the Early Iron Age. Most visibly, the societies of the Nuragic tradition shared a particular sort of architectural building—megalithic stone towers referred to as nuraghi, of which about eight thousand nonetheless kind landmarks all through Sardinia.

Ceramics uncovered in 3000-year-old trading network
Cordoned ollae from Etruria (left) cordoned olla from Tavolara (proper)
[Credit: left by Pacciarelli, 2000; right by E. Grixoni]

The connections between Nuragic folks and proto-Etruscans are properly documented by metallic and ceramic objects which originated in Sardinia and which have usually been present in Villanovan graves. In distinction, the presence of Villanovan artifacts on Sardinia is much less frequent and diversified, often taking the type of metallic objects similar to brooches. Total, the archaeological proof thus far uncovered signifies that Northern Etruria, in the present day’s Tuscany, was the privileged space of connections between proto-Etruscan and Sardinian civilizations.


The ceramics of Tavolara, a small island off Sardinia, had been recovered in the course of the excavations run in 2011 and 2013 by the Italian researcher Dr. Paola Mancini, and had been acknowledged by Dr. Francesco Di Gennaro to be the primary documented proof of proto-Etruscan ceramics on Sardinia.

Ceramics uncovered in 3000-year-old trading network
Tavolara island [Credit: Paoloa Mancini]

The archaeometric evaluation was carried out on the CCA-BW of the College of Tübingen by Dr. Silvia Amicone, Dr. Christoph Berthold and Dr. Kyle Freund (Far Western Anthropological Analysis Group, Indian River State Faculty, U.S.). Ceramic sherds had been analyzed petrographically and chemically to research origin and composition of the fabric and the manufacturing approach. Outcomes not solely confirmed the non-local provenance of those supplies, but in addition revealed that they arrive from a wide range of manufacturing facilities protecting the whole central Tyrrhenian coast, thus suggesting sturdy connections with the whole area of Etruria that features Tuscany and Northern Lazio.

“A correct settlement might have been made between the Nuragic folks and the Villanovan folks, in order that Tavolara may very well be one of many locations the place the 2 teams met to change completely different varieties of products,” the authors say. It could be that different locations on Sardinia acted as a website for the change of products between Villanovan and Nuragic folks; but that is the primary one in every of this type found in Sardinia. Future analysis on the island of Tavolara and on the archaeological supplies discovered at Spalmatore di Terra will make clear its place inside the broader Iron Age trans-marine community of interplay within the central Mediterranean.

Supply: College of Tübingen [September 30, 2020]

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