The interplay of economic, climatic and cultural change investigated through isotopic analyses of bone tissue

The interplay of economic, climatic and cultural change investigated through isotopic analyses of bone tissue

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The interplay of economic, climatic and cultural change investigated through isotopic analyses of bone tissue the case of Sardinia 4000-1900 BC
Lai, Luca
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[Tampa, Fla]
University of South Florida
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ABSTRACT: With the broader aim of reconstructing long-term resource use and ecological history for better policy making in times of environmental change, this study is an attempt to decode the mutual effects of human subsistence practices, climate and socio-cultural organization in Sardinia between 4000 and 1900 BC. Was economy changing due to climate change? Was the environment changing due to economic practices? And how were economic practices and socio-cultural factors interacting? The answer is complex, and some convergence of complex systems theory, historical ecology and agency supports this. Diet, at the interface of all of these as fulfilling biological needs constrained by available resources, while being inextricably affected by ethnicity, age, class, gender roles, varies according to unceasingly changing variables. Stable isotopic analyses of human bone tissues were used to build a quantitative dataset, and then integrate this with all the other proxies.The use of bone apatite besides collagen enhanced the dietary reconstruction and the contextual production of paleoclimatic data. The application of correction methods to ensure that dietary signature is distinguished from environmental noise enhanced inter-site comparability, making it possible to outline broad trends over time. The results confirm the negligible role of seafood already documented in western Mediterranean late prehistoric groups. The long-held opinion that local Copper Age and especially Early Bronze Age societies relied more on herding than the Neolithic ones is not supported by the data: contribution of plant foods actually increased. Certainly the data do not indicate any heavier reliance on meat or milk and dairy.Considering the limited data from zooarchaology, material culture and landscape archaeology, the possible economic intensification could more likely be related to changes in power relations, gender roles and their construction through symbolically charged material culture. The two dry climatic events detected through 18O values in accordance with previous independent studies seem to have had a role in triggering change, and such change followed specific routes based on the particular historical milieu.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references.
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by Luca Lai.

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The interplay of economic, climatic and cultural change investigated through isotopic analyses of bone tissue :
b the case of Sardinia 4000-1900 BC
h [electronic resource] /
by Luca Lai.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 440 pages.
Includes vita.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: With the broader aim of reconstructing long-term resource use and ecological history for better policy making in times of environmental change, this study is an attempt to decode the mutual effects of human subsistence practices, climate and socio-cultural organization in Sardinia between 4000 and 1900 BC. Was economy changing due to climate change? Was the environment changing due to economic practices? And how were economic practices and socio-cultural factors interacting? The answer is complex, and some convergence of complex systems theory, historical ecology and agency supports this. Diet, at the interface of all of these as fulfilling biological needs constrained by available resources, while being inextricably affected by ethnicity, age, class, gender roles, varies according to unceasingly changing variables. Stable isotopic analyses of human bone tissues were used to build a quantitative dataset, and then integrate this with all the other proxies.The use of bone apatite besides collagen enhanced the dietary reconstruction and the contextual production of paleoclimatic data. The application of correction methods to ensure that dietary signature is distinguished from environmental noise enhanced inter-site comparability, making it possible to outline broad trends over time. The results confirm the negligible role of seafood already documented in western Mediterranean late prehistoric groups. The long-held opinion that local Copper Age and especially Early Bronze Age societies relied more on herding than the Neolithic ones is not supported by the data: contribution of plant foods actually increased. Certainly the data do not indicate any heavier reliance on meat or milk and dairy.Considering the limited data from zooarchaology, material culture and landscape archaeology, the possible economic intensification could more likely be related to changes in power relations, gender roles and their construction through symbolically charged material culture. The two dry climatic events detected through 18O values in accordance with previous independent studies seem to have had a role in triggering change, and such change followed specific routes based on the particular historical milieu.
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Advisor: Robert H. Tykot, Ph.D.
0 690
Dissertations, Academic
x Anthropology
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.


The Interplay of Economic, Climatic and Cultural Ch ange Investigated Through Isotopic Analyses of Bone Tissue: The Case of Sardinia 40001900 BC by Luca Lai A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Robert H. Tykot, Ph.D. Nancy M. White, Ph.D. E. Christian E. Wells, Ph.D. David J. Hollander, Ph.D. John E. Robb, Ph.D. Giuseppa Tanda, Perfezionamento Date of Approval: February 13, 2008 Keywords: Mediterranean, holistic, diet, climate, p rehistory Copyright 2008 Luca Lai


Note to Reader The original of this document contains color that i s necessary for understanding the data. The original dissertation is on file with the USF Libra ry in Tampa, Florida.


To my family, present and past, including the unknown prehistoric people whose live s I try to understand as one of the ways to understand ourselves


i Table of Contents Note to Reader .................................... ................................................... .................................... iiList of Tables .................................... ................................................... ..................................... viList of Figures.................................... ................................................... .................................... ixAbstract .......................................... ................................................... ..................................... xxiPreface ........................................... ................................................... .................................... xxiiiChapter 1. Introduction ........................... ................................................... ................................ 1Chapter 2. Background ............................. ................................................... .............................. 72.1. Geographic, Environmental and Historical Backg round ....................................... 72.2. Theoretical Background and Objectives ........ ................................................... ... 15Chapter 3. Climatic and Environmental Change in the Western Mediterranean Basin and in Sardinia ca. 4000-1900 BC .................. ................................................... ............... 253.1. Introduction ................................. ................................................... ...................... 253.2. Sources and Methods .......................... ................................................... .............. 273.3. Analysis of the Evidence by Area ............. ................................................... ........ 303.3.1. Mediterranean France ....................... ................................................... 303.3.2. Mediterranean Spain ........................ ................................................... .. 373.3.3. Mediterranean Italy ........................ ................................................... ... 433.3.4. North Africa, Sicily and Surrounding Islands ...................................... 463.3.5. Western Mediterranean Islands: Balearics and Corsica ....................... 493.4. Discussion. Trends, Events, and Their Nature ................................................... 54


ii3.4.1. Was There Any Long-Term Climate Change 40001900 BC in the Western Mediterranean? ........................ ............................................. 543.4.2. Assessing Human vs. Climatic Impact ........ ......................................... 563.4.3. Chronology and Nature of Climatic Events ... ...................................... 593.5. Conclusion. What Can Be Inferred about Environ mental Change in Sardinia .......................................... ................................................... .................... 62Chapter 4. Change in Material Culture and Social Or ganization in Sardinia 40001900 BC ........................................... ................................................... .............................. 684.1. Introduction ................................. ................................................... ...................... 684.2. Ceramic Groups and the Definition of Archaeolo gical Cultures ......................... 694.2.1. Ozieri ..................................... ................................................... ............ 694.2.2. Post-Ozieri Tradition ...................... ................................................... ... 724.2.3. Monte Claro ................................ ................................................... ....... 764.2.4. Bell Beaker ................................ ................................................... ........ 784.2.5. Bonnanaro A ................................ ................................................... ...... 804.3. Lithics, Bone, Other Items, and Trade ........ ................................................... ...... 814.4. Metal ........................................ ................................................... ......................... 894.5. Buildings and Architectural Remains .......... ................................................... ..... 944.5.1. Settlements ................................ ................................................... ........ 944.5.2. Ceremonial Sites ........................... ................................................... ..... 994.5.3. Burial Sites ............................... ................................................... ....... 1014.5.3.1. Rock-Carved Tombs ........................ ................................... 1014.5.3.2. Dolmens, Chambered Tombs, Megalithic Circl es, Cists and Pits..................................... ......................................... 1084.6. Ideology and Symbols ......................... ................................................... ............ 1124.6.1. Figurative Art: Symbolic Decoration, Petrogl yphs, Figurines ........... 1124.6.2. Menhirs, Statue-menhirs, Statue-stelae ..... ......................................... 1184.7. Burial Practices ............................. ................................................... .................. 1224.8. Concluding Remarks ........................... ................................................... ............ 130Chapter 5. Previous Data on Diet and Economy in Sar dinia ............................................. .... 1325.1. Introduction ................................. ................................................... .................... 132


iii 5.2. Biotic Remains ............................... ................................................... ................. 1355.2.1. Botanical Remains .......................... ................................................... 1355.2.2. Faunal Remains ............................. ................................................... .. 1375.3. Osteology and Paleopathology.................. ................................................... ...... 1555.4. Material Culture Evidence .................... ................................................... .......... 1645.4.1. Figurative Representations ................. ................................................ 16 45.4.2. Lithic Implements for Food Production, Proce ssing, Consumption ....................................... ................................................... 1665.4.3. Ceramic Implements for Food Processing, Stor age, and Consumption ....................................... ................................................... 1695.5. Landscape Use and Occupation ................. ................................................... ..... 1735.5.1. Broad Patterns ............................. ................................................... .... 1735.5.2. Case Studies................................ ................................................... ..... 1805.5.3. Summary of General Trends .................. ............................................ 1855.6. History and Ethnohistory ..................... ................................................... ........... 1875.7. Summary and Conclusions ...................... ................................................... ....... 189Chapter 6. Isotopic Analyses: Materials and Methods .................................................. ........ 1926.1. Introduction ................................. ................................................... .................... 1926.2. Principles and Methods ....................... ................................................... ............ 1936.2.1. Collagen 13C and 15N ................................................. ..................... 1936.2.2. Apatite and Tooth Enamel 13C ................................................. ......... 1996.2.3. Collagen 13C-Apatite 13C Spacing ......................................... ......... 2016.2.4. Apatite 18O ................................................. ....................................... 2026.3. Stable Isotopes and Diet in Western Mediterran ean Prehistory......................... 2046.4. The Project: Materials and Sampling Criteria ................................................... 2086.5. The Sampled Populations and Their Context .... ................................................ 21 56.5.1. Is Aruttas (Cabras) ........................ ................................................... ... 2176.5.2. San Benedetto (Iglesias) ................... .................................................. 2176.5.3. Montessu (Villaperuccio) ................... ................................................ 21 86.5.4. Santa Caterina di Pittinuri (Cuglieri) ..... ............................................. 2196.5.5. Cannas di Sotto (Carbonia) ................. ............................................... 221


iv6.5.6. Scaba Â’e Arriu (Siddi) ..................... ................................................... 2216.5.7. Serra Cannigas (Villagreca, Nuraminis) ..... ........................................ 2226.5.8. MindÂ’e Gureu (Gesturi) ..................... ................................................. 2 236.5.9. Via Basilicata and Via Trentino (Cagliari) ........................................ 2246.5.10. Seddas de Daga (Iglesias) ................. ................................................ 22 46.5.11. Su Stampu Â’e Giuanniccu Meli (Villaputzu) ................................... 2256.5.12. Padru Jossu (Sanluri) ..................... ................................................... 2256.5.13. Iscalitas (Soleminis) ..................... ................................................... 2276.5.14. Concali Corongiu Â’Acca (Villamassargia) ... .................................... 2286.6. Methods ...................................... ................................................... ..................... 2296.6.1. Sample Collection .......................... ................................................... 2296.6.2. Sample Preparation ......................... ................................................... 2296.6.3. Analysis by Mass Spectrometry .............. ........................................... 2316.6.4. Statistical Analysis ....................... ................................................... ... 232Chapter 7. Results ................................ ................................................... ............................... 2347.1. Preservation of Stable Isotopic Signal ....... ................................................... ..... 2347.1.1. Bone Collagen Preservation ................. .............................................. 2347.1.2. Bone Apatite Preservation .................. ................................................ 23 97.1.3. Tooth Enamel Apatite Preservation .......... .......................................... 2457.2. Stable Isotopic Values ....................... ................................................... .............. 2467.2.1. Collagen Values............................. ................................................... .. 2467.2.2. Apatite 13C and Spacing Collagen-Apatite 13C ............................... 2487.2.3. Apatite 18O ................................................. ....................................... 2517.2.4. Tooth Enamel 13C and 18O ................................................. ............. 2527.2.4.1. Bulk Results ............................. ........................................... 2527.2.4.2. Tooth Microsampling Pilot Project Results ........................ 2587.3. Faunal and Botanical Control Samples ......... ................................................... .. 2617.4. AMS Dating ................................... ................................................... ................. 264Chapter 8. Discussion ............................. ................................................... ............................ 2698.1. Transformation of Values and Corrected Results .............................................. 2698.1.1. Premise: the Aim of Value Transformation ... .................................... 269


v8.1.2. Transformation Procedure ................... ............................................... 2708.1.2.1. Transformation of Collagen 15N Values............................ 2708.1.2.2. Transformation of Collagen 13C Values ............................ 2718.1.2.2. Transformation of Apatite 18O Values .............................. 2718.1.3. Quantitative Analysis of Corrected Results ...................................... 2748.1.4. Comparison of Raw and Corrected Results .... .................................... 2778.2. Discussion of the Corrected Results .......... ................................................... ..... 2788.2.1. Variation in the Protein Component of Prehis toric Diets ................... 2788.2.2. Overall Composition of prehistoric diets.... ........................................ 2868.2.3. Dietary Variation by Age ................... ................................................ 29 18.2.4. Dietary Variation by Sex ................... ................................................. 2 938.2.5. Bone Apatite 18O: Climatic Variation ............................. .................. 2958.2.6. Note on the Chronology of Prehistoric Sardin ia 4000-1900 BC ........ 3018.2.7. A Closer Look into Sample Groups ........... ........................................ 3128.2.7.1. San Benedetto ............................ ......................................... 3128.2.7.2. Santa Caterina di Pittinuri .............. ..................................... 3148.2.7.3. Scaba Â’e Arriu ........................... .......................................... 3178.2.7.4. Padru Jossu .............................. ............................................ 3248.2.7.5. Iscalitas (Early Bronze Age) ............. .................................. 3338.3. Integration on Diet and Economy: Previous Data and Stable Isotopes ............. 3378.4. Cross-Comparison and Integration of Domains: E xplaining Change? .............. 342Chapter 9. Conclusions and Suggestions for Future R esearch ........................................... ... 3539.1. Conclusions: Main Findings of This Study ..... ................................................... 3539.2. Suggestions for Future Research and Final Rema rks ........................................ 360References Cited .................................. ................................................... ............................... 363Appendix .......................................... ................................................... .................................. 429About the Author .................................. ................................................... ..................... End Page


vi List of Tables Table 1. Chronological table of Sardinian prehistor yÂ’s cultural phases in the time span considered in this study. Calibrated radiocarbon da tes are after Tykot (1994), with a few modifications involving the hypothesized different duration of Copper Age cultures across the island. ............ ................................................... ............. 10 Table 2. Tentative reconstruction of likely climati c phases in Sardinia between the late 5th and the early 2nd millennium BC, with relative references and chrono logy of cultural phases as identified in the literature and chronologically defined by Tykot (1994) ...................................... ................................................... ........................... 63 Table 3. Prospectus of important trends in the chan ge of key elements of material culture in Sardinian prehistory, ~4000-1900 BC ............ ................................................... .......... 82 Table 4. Synthetic prospectus relative to the trend s in site type, landscape archaeology, burial and ritual in prehistoric Sardinia ~4000-190 0 BC. ............................................. 102 Table 5. Techniques, figurative art and relative cu ltural phases, as suggested by Tanda (1998). Although it may be a simplification, there seems to be a general trend from curvilinear to rectilinear and from simple to complex. ......................................... 113 Table 6. Botanical remains at Sardinian sites datin g to the Early Neolithic (EN) through the Middle Bronze Age (MBA). Data from Bakels (2002 ) with integrations from Castelletti (1980) and Celant (1998). ............. ................................................... ............ 136 Table 7. Synthetic prospectus of possible trends in agriculture and animal husbandry in prehistoric Sardinia ~4000-1900 BC, as identifiable from biotic remains and phenomena documented elsewhere in the Western Medit erranean ............................... 154 Table 8. Synthetic overview of tentatively identifi able trends in pathologies and other indirect indicators of stress or dietary patterns. ................................................... .......... 160 Table 9. Human bone samples per each site. Full inf ormation on the specific burial is here provided, while it is omitted for brevity else where. ............................................ .. 212 Table10. Faunal and botanical samples ............. ................................................... ....................... 214 Table 11. AMS 14C dating of the sites in the project with original attribution based on contextual data ................................... ................................................... ...................... 215 Table 12. On-site collaborators, site excavators, a nd site references ................................ ........... 216 Table 13. Chronology of the bone samples from Monte ssu collected for isotopic analyses (cultural attribution courtesy of Dr. R. Forresu) ................................................... ..... 219


viiTable 14. Chronology of the bone samples from Padru Jossu collected for isotopic analyses (cultural attribution based on stratigraph ic information in Ugas 1982 and German 1987). ................................ ................................................... ................. 227 Table 15. Means of bone collagen yields by group (v alues in italics belong to groups outside the time range targeted by this study). ... ................................................... ...... 235 Table 16. Statistical correlations between preserva tion indicators ................................... ........... 238 Table 17. Means of bone apatite carbonate yield by group. (values in italics belong to groups outside the time range targeted by this stud y). ............................................... 240 Table 18. Means of bone apatite and tooth enamel is otopic values, and their difference. ........... 24 3 Table 19. Difference in isotopic values in bone apa tite and enamel within same individuals. ...................................... ................................................... ......................... 253 Table 20. Tooth enamel isotopic values (with bone v alues for comparison) ............................. .. 254 Table 21. Tooth enamel microsampling 13C and 18O results. ........................................ ........... 258 Table 22. 13C in the youngest tooth enamel microsamples and in bone apatite. ........................ 261 Table 23. All the AMS radiocarbon dates of the coll ections analyzed for stable isotopes* ........ 265 Table 23 (continued). All the AMS radiocarbon dates of the collections analyzed for stable isotopes* .................................. ................................................... ...................... 266 Table 24. Means of all corrected isotopic results b y group*. ......................................... ............. 280 Table 25. Comparison of the climatic periods hypoth esized based on previous literature and climatic periods identified based on 18O from Sardinian samples. In the columns on the left: mean corrected 18O values and average annual rainfall for southern-central Sardinia, calculated with the equations in Iacumin et al. 1996, Longinelli 1984, and Bar-Matthews et al. 2003 (see text). ............................... 298 Table 26. Proposed chronological sequence for Sardi nian prehistory 4000-1900 BC, updated with the new dates including those obtained within the present dissertation project. ............................. ................................................... ..................... 312 Table 27. Comparison of 15N and the spacing 13Ccol-apa with other indicators of subsistence and diet from previous works: biotic re mains, landscape archaeology, material culture, and osteology. ..... ................................................... ..... 338 Table 28. San Benedetto, tomb II. All isotopic valu es................................................. ................ 430 Table 29. Cannas di Sotto, tomb 12. All isotopic va lues. ............................................. ............... 430 Table 30. Serra Cannigas, tombs A and B. All isotop ic values. ........................................ .......... 431 Table 31. Santa Caterina di Pittinuri. All isotopic values. .......................................... ................. 431 Table 32. MindÂ’e Gureu. All isotopic values. ...... ................................................... ..................... 431 Table 33. Scaba Â’e Arriu (A, Post-Ozieri phase). Al l isotopic values.................................. ........ 432 Table 34. Scaba Â’e Arriu (M, Monte Claro phase). Al l isotopic values. ................................ ...... 433 Table 35. Seddas de Daga (cave II). All isotopic va lues. ............................................. ............... 433 Table 36. Su Stampu Â’e Giuannicu Meli. All isotopic values. .......................................... ........... 434


viii Table 37. Sa Duchessa (Via Trentino tomb I, Via Bas ilicata tombs I and IV). All isotopic values. ........................................... ................................................... ........................... 434 Table 38. Padru Jossu A and M (Bell Beaker and Mont e Claro). All isotopic values. ................ 435 Table 39. Padru Jossu B (Early Bronze Age phase). A ll isotopic values. ............................... .... 436 Table 40. Iscalitas. All isotopic values. ......... ................................................... ........................... 437 Table 41. Concali Corongiu Acca II. All isotopic va lues. ............................................. .............. 438 Table 42. Is Aruttas. All isotopic values. ........ ................................................... .......................... 438 Table 43. Montessu. All isotopic values. .......... ................................................... ........................ 439 Table 44. All isotopic values for faunal and botani cal samples. ...................................... ............ 439 Table 44 (continued). All isotopic values for fauna l and botanical samples. .......................... .... 440


ix List of Figures Figure 1. Location of Sardinia in the Central-Weste rn Mediterranean. Map created with cartographic materials courteously provided by Prim ap Software. .................................. 8 Figure 2. Location of Sardinia with close up of the basins around the island. Map created with cartographic materials courteously provided by Primap Software........................... 8 Figure 3. Physical map of Sardinia showing main oro graphic features, coastal lagoons as of the mid-1800s, and names of some of the main his toric regions and cities mentioned in the text. Map by the author, based on cartographic material from S.A.R. Sardegna consortium, with kind permission. ................................................... .... 9 Figure 4. Flow diagrams to illustrate the relations hips among Interacting domains in explaining change according to different paradigms. The third, considering that most domains interact both ways, with either direct ion potentially being stronger in different historically specific situati ons, is the one adopted in this study. On the right, the chapters roughly correspon ding to the different domains as organized in this work. ........................ ................................................... .................... 23 Figure 5. Map showing the distribution of Mediterra nean sites mentioned in the text, which have been discussed for the reconstruction of paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic conditions in Sardinia, 4000-1900 BC. .................................................. .. 27 Figure 6. Pollen diagrams from southern France: La Trmie, Marsillargues, Capestang and Canet-St.-Nazaire. Reprinted with modifications from Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 160, G. Jalu t et al., Holocene climatic changes in the Western Mediterranean, from south-ea st France to south-east Spain, pp. 263-266, Figs. 4-7, 2000, with permissi on from Elsevier. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gray for each sequence. ..................................... 31 Figure 7. Charcoal diagram from Font Juvnal. Repri nted with modifications from Quaternary Research, vol. 50, C. Heinz and S. Thib ault, Characterization and palaeoecological significance of archaeological cha rcoal assemblages during Late and Post-glacial phases in southern France, p. 63, Fig. 2, 1998, with permission from Elsevier. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gray, with the 4th millennium in lighter gray. ...................... ................................................... ......... 33 Figure 8. Charcoal diagram from Montou. Reprinted w ith modifications from Heinz et al. 2004, p. 624, Fig. 2, in The Holocene, 2004, with kind permission from Sage Publications. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gray. ...................................... 34 Figure 9. Pollen diagram from Caada de la Cruz. Re printed with modifications from Carrin et al. 2001.b, p. 791, Fig. 7, in Journal o f Ecology, 2001, with kind


xpermission from Blackwell Synergy. The period ca. 4 000-1900 BC is shaded in gray. ............................................. ................................................... ................................ 38 Figure 10. Pollen diagram from Villaverde compared to dry spells in North Africa. Reprinted with modifications from Carrin et al. 20 01.a, p. 647, Fig. 11, in The Holocene, 2001, with kind permission from Sage Publications. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gray. ........ ................................................... ..... 39 Figure 11. Pollen diagrams from southeastern Spain: Salinas and Cabo de Gata. Reprinted with modifications from Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 160, G. Jalut et al., Holocene climatic changes in the Western Mediterranean, from south-east France to so uth-east Spain, pp. 270271, Figs. 11-12, 2000, with permission from Elsev ier. The period ca. 40001900 BC is shaded in gray for both sequences. ..... ................................................... .... 40 Figure 12. Pollen diagrams from Catalonia (northeas tern Spain): Besos and Cubelles. Reprinted with modifications from Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 160, G. Jalut et al., Holocene climatic changes in the Western Mediterranean, from south-east France to so uth-east Spain, pp. 267268, Figs. 8-9, 2000, with permission from Elsevie r. The period ca. 40001900 BC is shaded in gray for both sequences. ..... ................................................... .... 41 Figure 13. Lake level diagram from the Iberian peni nsula. Reprinted with modifications from Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecol ogy, vol. 186, M. Magny et al., Assessment of the impact of climate a nd anthropogenic factors on Holocene Mediterranean vegetation in Europe on t he basis of palaeohydrological records, p. 50, Fig. 1, 2002, w ith permission from Elsevier. The period of interest ca. 4000-1900 cal BC is comprised between the mid-5th and the mid-3rd millennium BP, or timeslices 5 to 3. ............. ................... 42 Figure 14. Pollen diagrams from the Italian peninsu la. Right: Lago di Vico; left: Lagaccione. Graphs reprinted from Magri 1997, p. 52 2-523, Figs. 4, 6, in Dalfes et al. (eds.), 1997, with kind permission f rom Springer Science and Business Media. The period ca. 4000-1900 cal BC is shaded in gray. Note that Quercus includes both deciduous and evergreen, whic h are associated to different environmental conditions. ............... ................................................... ........... 44 Figure 15. Maps of North Africa showing lake levels between the 5th and the 3rd millennium BC. Reprinted with modifications from Jo urnal of African Earth Sciences, vol. 31, B. Damnati, Holocene lake record s in the Northern Hemisphere of Africa, p. 257-258, Figs. 2.b, 3.a an d 3.b, 2000, with permission from Elsevier. ......................... ................................................... ................ 47 Figure 16. Lake level diagram from North Africa. Re printed with modifications from Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 186, M. Magny et al., Assessment of the impact of climate and anthro pogenic factors on Holocene Mediterranean vegetation in Europe on the basis of palaeohydrological records, p. 50, Fig. 1, 2002, w ith permission from Elsevier. The period of interest ca. 4000-1900 BC i s comprised between the mid-5th and the mid-3rd millennium BP, or timeslices 5 to 3. ............. ......................... 48 Figure 17. Pollen diagram from CalaÂ’n Porter, Minor ca, Balearic Islands. Reprinted with modifications from Quaternary Research, vol. 48, EI. Yll et al., Palynological evidence for climatic change and human activity dur ing the Holocene on


xiMinorca (Balearic Islands), p. 343, Fig. 4, 1997, with permission from Elsevier. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gray. .......................................... 53 Figure 18. Hydrology and correlation with arid phas es detected through pollen analyses. Reprinted with modifications from Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 186, M. Magny et al., Assessmen t of the impact of climate and anthropogenic factors on Holocene Mediterranean vegetation in Europe on the basis of palaeohydrological records, p. 52, Fig. 2, 2002, with permission from Elsevier. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is highlighted in yellow. ........................................... ................................................... ............................ 55 Figure 19. Illustration showing the effect of fire in forests as altering competition among species. Reprinted with modifications from Carcaill et 1998, p. 392, Fig. 8, in Journal of Ecology, 1998, with kind permission fro m Blackwell Synergy. Coniphers (represented as pointy trees) are at disa dvantage compared to evergreen oak (broader trees in figure) at every fi re event. ......................................... 58 Figure 20. Sea-level change in northern Sardinia. R eprinted from Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 23, K. Lambeck et al., Sea-level chan ge along the Italian coast for the past 10,000 yr, p. 1584, Fig. 3.e, 2004, w ith permission from Elsevier. ......................................... ................................................... ............................ 65 Figure 21. General map of all sites mentioned in ch apter 4. Map by the author, based on cartographic material from S.A.R. Sardegna consorti um, with kind permission. ....................................... ................................................... ......................... 70 Figure 22. Examples of typical Ozieri decorated pot tery (~4000-3400 BC). Reprinted with modifications from Lilliu 1999, pp. 95, 113, 1 17, 119, Figs. 113, 131132, 137-138, 140, 1999, with kind permission from Carlo Delfino publisher. ........................................ ................................................... ........................... 71 Figure 23. Some examples of typical late Post-Ozier i (Filigosa-Abealzu) pottery (~34002400 BC) Reprinted with modifications from Lilliu 1 999, p. 125, Fig. 147, 1999, with kind permission from Carlo Delfino publ isher, and from Fadda 2004, no Fig. number, with kind permission from the author. ..................................... 73 Figure 24. Chart of relative frequency of ceramic t ype groups at Sardinian Early Copper Age select sites (data after Melis 2000). Note that types represented at Abealzu are mostly belonging to BC and C groups, wh ich are nevertheless labeled ‘Filigosa’ ................................ ................................................... ....................... 75 Figure 25. Some examples of typical Monte Claro pot tery from southern Sardinia (~2700-2300 BC). Reprinted with modifications from Lilliu 1999, pp. 128, 129, Figs. 151, 154, 155, 1999, with kind permissi on from Carlo Delfino publisher, and from Ferrarese Ceruti 1989, pp. 61-6 2, 65, Figs. 3-4, 6, 1989, with kind permission from Banco di Sardegna S.p.A. ................................................. 7 6 Figure 26. Some examples of typical decorated Bell Beaker pottery from Sardinia (~2500-2200 BC). Reprinted with modifications from Lilliu 1999, pp. 134, 135, Figs. 159, 163-165, 1999, with kind permissio n from Carlo Delfino publisher. ........................................ ................................................... ........................... 79 Figure 27. Some examples of typical Bonnanaro A pot tery (~2200-1900 BC). Reprinted with modifications from Ferrarese Ceruti 1989, pp. 74, Figs. 27-29, 1989, with kind permission from Banco di Sardegna S.p.A. ................................................. 8 1


xiiFigure 28. Barchart of relative frequencies of lith ic materials at Sardinian sites dating from the initial Late Neolithic to the Late Copper Age. Data after Lilliu (1988), with integrations from individual contribut ions in Castelli et al. 2004, arranged in a north-south order rather than by time period. The north of Sardinia is more rich in chert sources, whereas the only obsidian source is in the center-west. .................................. ................................................... ....................... 83 Figure 29. Barchart showing the relative frequency of different metals in the phases examined (raw data are after Usai L. 2005b), with n umber of artifacts on top of each column. In the last two phases, artifacts d efined as copper, bronzecopper and bronze are grouped together, since no an alyses have established real proportions. Note the importance of silver in the first phases and its decrease and disappearance by the Early Bronze Age, and the use of lead especially in the Monte Claro phase ............... ................................................... .......... 90 Figure 30. Barchart showing the frequencies of meta l artifacts by cultural phase in Sardinian prehistory, calculated as absolute number of items recorded (Usai L. 2005b) divided by time of duration of the phase, ac cording to the current chronology (Tykot 1994). This is the index on the y axis, wheres absolute number of artifacts is on top of each column. It ap pears that metallurgy did not have a constant, progressive intensification as pre vious literature assumes, but a first increase in the Post-Ozieri contexts, and a second peak in the Bell Beaker contexts. The contexts with Monte Claro and Bonnanaro A pottery represent instead a recession in metal use ........ ................................................... ......... 92 Figure 31. Barchart showing the number of different types of metal artifacts by cultural phase in Sardinian prehistory (raw data after Usai L. 2005b). Pins and awls seem to reflect a different clothing repertoire inv olving woven wool items and pins, as opposed to leather and linen accompanied b y silver jewels as in the indigenous tradition. ............................. ................................................... ..................... 93 Figure 32. Barchart showing the relative frequencie s of different types of metal artifacts by cultural phase grouped in broad categories. Raw data after Usai L. (2005b). Absolute number of artifacts is on top of each colu mn. The groups are arbitrary to some degree, but they are working appr oximations, considered useful in order to visualize long-term trends. Blad es are labeled as ‘war and sacrifice’ items rather than utilitarian, since mos t tools were still made of stone. ‘Utilitarian’ includes pins and awls, and ‘a dornment’ all items with no obvious function as manual tools. Social, symbolic and practical meanings are of course attached to all types in different ways, and impossible to isolate ................. 94 Figure 33. Barchart showing the density of sites by cultural phase. Raw data after Lilliu (1988), calculated as the total number of known sit es divided by the time of duration of the phase, according to the current chr onology (Tykot 1994). This index (on axis y) represents a working approximatio n, considered useful as a proxy for population density and/or population nucl eation: in fact, it includes burials, open-air sites, cave sites. Consistent bia s is due to the different decoration on pottery, which makes certain styles i nherently easier to identify. See text for discussion. .......................... ................................................... .................... 95 Figure 34. Barchart showing the relative proportion of burials vs. dwelling sites, by cultural phase. Raw data as in Lilliu (1988). No co mparable data on the first phase were available. In reality, a number of cave sites of the last two phases


xiii commonly assumed to be burials may have been also u sed as dwellings. Nevertheless, the emphasis on tombs in the Bell Bea ker and Bonnanaro A phases is evident. ................................ ................................................... ....................... 96 Figure 35. Examples of Neolithic-Copper Age rock-ca rved tombs (domus de janas) from central-southern Sardinia: top left: Scaba 'e Arriu ; top right: San Benedetto, tomb II; bottom left: Santa Caterina di Pittinuri; bottom right: Cannas di Sotto, tomb 12 (only partially excavated). Skeletal remain s of several individuals from these tombs were analyzed for stable isotopes (see chapters 6-8). Black ovals indicate the position of crania within the to mbs. Images are elaborated by Luca Lai based on the original maps: respectivel y Usai 1998: 51, with permission from the Soprintendenza Archeologica per la Sardegna, formerly per le Provincie di Cagliari e Oristano; Atzeni 200 1a: 27, with permission from the author; Cocco and Usai 1988: 19, with perm ission from Scorpione publishers; Santoni and Usai 1995: 72, with permiss ion from S'Alvure publishers. ....................................... ................................................... ........................ 104 Figure 36. Example of plans of rock-carved tombs of Monte Claro period: left, Via Basilicata, Cagliari; right: Padru Jossu, possibly a pit rather than underground room. Skeletal remains from both burials have been analyzed for stable isotopes (see chapters 6-8). Images are elaborated by the author based on the original maps: respectively Atzeni 1967, p. 161, Fi g. 3, with kind permission of the Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostori a, and Ugas 1998: p. 261, Fig. 1, with kind permission of the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy. ..................... 106 Figure 37. Barchart of relative frequencies of lith ic materials used for dolmen building in prehistoric Sardinia. Data after Moravetti (1997: 2 5) and Cicilloni (1994: 5354). The percentages largely reflect the geology of the areas where dolmenic structures are located with higher frequency. ..... ................................................... ..... 108 Figure 38. Radial chart showing prevalence of orien tation in dolmenic tombs documented in Sardinia. Data from Cicilloni (1994: 71). ...... ................................................... ..... 110 Figure 39. Examples of Sardinian prehistoric figuri nes of the three most frequent and standardized types: from left to right, Middle Neol ithic (5th millennium BC), Late Neolithic (early to mid-4th millennium BC), early Copper Age (late 4th to mid-3rd millennium BC). Reprinted with modifications from Lilliu 1999, pp. 24, 38, and 57, Figs. 31, 57 and 67 1999, with kin d permission from Carlo Delfino publisher. ................................ ................................................... .................... 117 Figure 40. Menhirs in prehistoric Sardinia. Left: f requency of single, double menhirs, and groups of three and more (above). Right: frequency of raw lithic materials employed. Data after Lilliu (1988: 96-97). ........ ................................................... ..... 120 Figure 41. Map showing sites dating ca. 4000 to 190 0 BC mentioned in the text where faunal and/or botanical remains have been analyzed and at least some results published. Map by the author, based on cartographic material from S.A.R. Sardegna consortium, with kind permission. ........ ................................................... .. 138 Figure 42. Relative proportions of remains of domes ticates recovered at Filiestru Cave (data after Levine 1983). Number of identified spec imens (NISP); .......................... 140 Figure 43. Relative proportions of remains of domes ticates recovered at Filiestru Cave (data after Levine 1983). Minimum number of individ uals (MNI) ........................... 140


xivFigure 44. Stone tools and potsherds divided by vol ume of soil as an indicator of the intensity of human activity and/or time, and bone f ragments divided by volume of soil as an indicator of animal presence/c onsumption in the cave. Data after Trump (1983) and Levine (1983). ........ ................................................... .. 141 Figure 45. Absolute number of identified specimens of domesticated species divided by volume of soil (data after Trump 1983, Levine 1983) ............................................... 14 2 Figure 46. Barchart with relative proportions of fa unal remains at all Sardinian sites dating from the Ealy Neolithic through the pre-Nura gic Middle Bronze Age (see text for multiple sources). Since published da ta on Padru Jossu are preliminary and relative to groups of skeletal elem ents in association with no definite NISP, it is not strictly comparable with t he rest, but only provides a rough quantitative approximation. ................. ................................................... ......... 144 Figure 47. Barchart with relative proportions of fa unal remains at Sardinian burial sites at least partially included in the Late Neolithic-Earl y Bronze Age timespan (see text for sources). Absolute number of specimens is on top of each column. Since published data on Padru Jossu are preliminary and relative to groups of skeletal elements in association with no definite N ISP, it is not strictly comparable with Via Besta and su Crucifissu Mannu. It only provides a quantitative approximation. ....................... ................................................... .............. 145 Figure 48. Barchart with relative proportions of fa unal remains at Sardinian open-air settlements dating from the Late Neolithic through the pre-Nuragic Middle Bronze Age (see text for sources). Absolute number of specimens is on top of each column. ...................................... ................................................... ..................... 145 Figure 49. Barcharts showing relative proportions o f domesticates (NISP): at various sites in Sardinia from the Early Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age (all sources in text); absolute number of specimens is on top of ea ch column. Since published data on Padru Jossu (in brackets) are preliminary a nd relative to groups of skeletal elements in association with no definite N ISP, they are not strictly comparable with the rest. They only provide a quant itative approximation. ............. 147 Figure 50. Barchart with relative proportions of fa unal remains at Sardinian cave sites dating from the Neolithic through the Middle Bronze Age (see text for sources). Absolute number of specimens is on top of each column. .......................... 148 Figure 51. Barchart with relative proportions of do mesticates (NISP) at Sardinian burial sites at least partially including the Late Neolith ic-Early Bronze Age timespan (see text for sources). Absolute number of specimen s is on top of each column. Since published data on Padru Jossu (in bra ckets) are preliminary and relative to groups of skeletal elements in associat ion with no definite NISP, it is not strictly comparable with Via Besta and su Cr ucifissu Mannu. It only provides a quantitative approximation. ............ ................................................... ....... 149 Figure 52. Barchart with relative proportions of do mesticates (NISP) at Sardinian openair settlements dating to the Late Neolithic and Co pper Age, with two Middle Bronze Age sites for comparison (see text for sourc es). Absolute number of specimens is on top of each column. ............... ................................................... ........ 150


xvFigure 53. Barcharts showing relative proportions o f domesticates (NISP) at various sites in peninsular Italy, from the Early Neolithic to th e Copper Age (percentages after Wilkens 1992). Absolute number of specimens i s on top of each column. ....... 151 Figure 54. Barcharts showing relative proportions o f domesticates (NISP) at various sites in Sicily, from the Early Neolithic to the Early Br onze Age (data after Leighton 1999). Absolute number of specimens is on top of each column. .............. 152 Figure 55. Barcharts showing relative proportions o f domesticates (NISP) at various sites in Spain from the Neolithic to the Early-Late Bronz e Age (data after Chapman 1990). Absolute number of specimens is on top of ea ch column. .............................. 153 Figure 56. Map showing the location of sites mentio ned in the text, for which some kind of quantitative osteological information has been p ublished. Map by the author, based on cartographic material from S.A.R. Sardegna consortium, with kind permission. .................................. ................................................... .................... 156 Figure 57. Barchart showing sexual dimorphism in st ature in Sardinian human remains dating from the Middle Neolithic (distinguished by the blue color for being earlier than the studied period) to the Early Bronz e Age (data sources in text). Absolute number of elements/individuals the index r efers to are on top of each column, males on right and females on left of each pair. See text for explanation of the index. ......................... ................................................... ................ 162 Figure 58. Barchart showing relative proportion of dolicomorphous vs. brachymorphous crania occurring at Sardinian sites between the Mid dle Neolithic through the Early Bronze Age (data sources in text). Classifica tion is reported according to the sources (see in German 1995: 207-220), which a re not methodologically homogeneous and therefore not strictly comparable. ................................................. 1 63 Figure 59. Barchart illustrating the trends in the elevation of archaeological sites in different cultural phases within the Post-Ozieri tr adition (data from Melis 2000x). The proportion of lowland sites declines, a nd inversely the proportion of highland sites increases. ...................... ................................................... ................ 176 Figure 60. Barchart illustrating the trends in the distance of archaeological sites from freshwater springs in different cultural phases wit hin the Post-Ozieri tradition (data from Melis 2000e). There is a decrease in the proportion of sites further than 2 km from freshwater springs, and an increase particularly evident in the proportion of sites within 400 to 1000 m from sprin gs, a comfortable walking distance. However, the problem of correlation with altitude has not been addressed. ........................................ ................................................... ........................ 177 Figure 61. Standard reference values for collagen 13C and 15N plotted as x and y; values are broadly applicable to prehistoric Western Europ e. Values for C4 plants, such as millet, which was not important until the e nd of the Bronze Age and possibly only later, correspond roughly to those of marine crustaceans and molluscs. Illustration by the author. ............. ................................................... ........... 198 Figure 62. Map of the central Mediterranean showing the location of Sardinia and the prehistoric sites that have been analyzed for 15N and 13C in the area. Sites considered range from the Paleolithic to the Early Iron Age. .................................... 206


xviFigure 63. Map showing the location of sites where the analyzed skeletal remains were excavated. Map by the author, based on cartographic material from S.A.R. Sardegna consortium, with kind permission. ........ ................................................... .. 211 Figure 64. Tooth enamel growth pattern, showing the increment by layers. The original drawing pertains to animal teeth, but human teeth a re similar in the process; therefore only the growth timing has been erased. R eprinted with modifications from Kohn and Cerling 2002, p.464, Fi g. 4, in Kohn et al. (eds.), 2002, with kind permission from the Minera logical Society of America. .......................................... ................................................... ........................ 213 Figure 65. Box-and-whisker plot of collagen % yield by group. Reference percentage in fresh bone is ~20%. Gray area and italics indicate later samples or samples of uncertain date, analyzed as part of this project bu t not included in the dietary reconstruction of the subject period. Blue squares indicate outliers. ......................... 235 Figure 66. Scatterplot of C% vs. N% in human sample s: a close-up of the values between N% = 10 and 30 and C% = 20 and 50, showing the syst ematic instrumental error of the elemental analyzer that increased N% i n several samples, causing C:N ratios to drop with no relationship with the is otopic values. .............................. 236 Figure 67. Box-and-whisker plot of bone carbonate y ield as weighed after bath in acetic acid/ acetate buffered solution for the different g roups. Reference percentage in fresh bone is 65-70%. In italics are different c ontexts from Montessu and Is Aruttas, which are either uncertain or out of the c hronological range of this study. ............................................ ................................................... ........................... 239 Figure 68. Scatterplots and best-fit lines of seve ral parameters pertaining to bone apatite preservation: a) collagen yield vs. carbonate % wei ght lost in the bleach bath; b) carbonate % weight lost in the bleach bath vs. a patite 13C; c) carbonate % weight lost in the acetic acid/ acetate buffered so lution bath vs. apatite 13C; d) carbonate % weight after the bleach bath vs. apatit e 13C. ........................................ 241 Figure 69. Scatterplots of 13C and 18O of faunal specimens from the two sites of Santa Caterina di Pittinuri and Scaba ‘e Arriu (phase A). Values reflect the different positions of different species according to their d ifferent physiology, which implies the original biogenic signal is preserved. ................................................... ... 244 Figure 70. Box-and-whisker plot of tooth enamel car bonate yield as weighed after bath in buffered acetic acid/acetate solution for the diffe rent groups. Reference percentage in fresh bone is >96%. In italics Is Aru ttas, which is out of the chronological range of this study. ................ ................................................... ........... 246 Figure 71. Scatterplot of all collagen 13C and 15N values of all groups. One outlier from Seddas de Daga has been left out to allow better vi sibility of the main cloud of datapoints. Points are color-coded as follows: oran ge, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) C opper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, lat er sites. .................................. 247 Figure 72. Biplot of all collagen 13C and 15N values with the best-fit line. .................. ............ 247 Figure 73. Biplots and best-fit lines of apatite 13C vs. spacing 13Ccol-apa, and collagen 13C vs. 13Ccol-apa. The distributions and the best-fit lines show tha t most of the variation in 13Ccol-apa derives from 13Capa rather than 13Ccol. ............................. 249


xviiFigure 74. Scatterplot of all collagen 15N and apatite 13C values of all groups. Three outliers, from Is Aruttas, Su Stampu Â’e Giuannicu M eli and Scaba Â’e Arriu (phase A) have been left out to allow better visibi lity of the main cloud of datapoints. Points are color-coded as follows: oran ge, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) C opper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, lat er sites. .................................. 249 Figure 75. Scatterplot of all collagen 15N and 13Ccol-apa values of all groups, clearly symmetrical and virtually equivalent to the chart w here apatite 13Cis plotted instead of 13Ccol-apa. Three outliers, from Is Aruttas, Su Stampu Â’e Giu annicu Meli and Scaba Â’e Arriu (phase A) have been left ou t to allow better visibility of the main cloud of datapoints. Points are color-c oded as follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; e mpty symbols, later sites. ....... 250 Figure 76. Scatterplot of all bone apatite 18O and 13C values of all groups. Three outliers, two from Is Aruttas, one from Su Stampu Â’ e Giuannicu Meli, have been left out to allow better visibility of the mai n cloud of datapoints. Points are color-coded as follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, B ell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, later sites. ........... ................................................... ...... 251 Figure 77. Scatterplot of all tooth enamel apatite 18O and 13C values of all groups. Points are color-coded as follows: orange, Late Neo lithic; red, Post-Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; g reen, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, later sites. ..... ................................................... .. 255 Figure 78. Charts with all tooth enamel 13C and 18O values of the microsamples of the four third molars from Padru Jossu, phase B. ...... ................................................... ... 259 Figure 79. Scatterplot of all 13C and 15N values of flesh specimens of aquatic fauna. All species are marine, although the molluscs, Mugil an d Anguilla also live in brackish waters. .................................. ................................................... ..................... 262 Figure 80. Scatterplot of all 13C and 15N values of flesh specimens of aquatic fauna, bone collagen of terrestrial fauna, and edible tiss ue of plants (berries, fruits, grains). .......................................... ................................................... ........................... 263 Figure 81. Probability plot of all radiocarbon date s of the studied sites between the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. ................... ................................................... ......... 267 Figure 82. Comparison of biplots with best-fit line s for collagen 13C vs. 15N, raw and corrected. The plot of corrected values shows that the linear relationship due to geography/microclimate has been removed. ....... ................................................... 274 Figure 83. Comparison of biplots with best-fit line s for collagen 13C vs. 18O, raw and corrected. The corrected 13C values do not have any strong correlation with 18O, indicating that diet, not climate change, is res ponsible for the remaining variation. ........................................ ................................................... ......................... 275 Figure 84. Comparison of biplots with best-fit line s for collagen 15N vs. 18O, raw and corrected. The corrected 15N values do not have any strong relationship with 18O, indicating that diet, not climatic variation, is responsible for the remaining variation. .............................. ................................................... .................. 275


xviii Figure 85. Comparison of the biplots with best-fit lines of collagen 15N, raw and corrected, vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa. The raw 15N values do not have a significant or strong linear relationship with the spacing, as would be expected according to current knowledge as both reflect the degree of carnivory in the diet. When corrected, their relationship becomes st rong and significant, and the model accounts for almost one fourth of variati on. This confirms the effectiveness of the data transformation to get clo ser to the dietary variation of the examined human groups. ........................ ................................................... ........... 276 Figure 86. Scatterplots of the means and standard d eviation of collagen 15N vs. 13C, raw on the left and corrected on the right. The linear correlation visible in the raw values is shown by correction to be an effect of mi croclimatic variation, not of dietary variation. ................................ ................................................... ..................... 277 Figure 87. Scatterplot of corrected collagen 15N vs. corrected collagen 13C. This graph represents mostly real dietary values, and can be u sed to assess variation in protein source between groups. Points are color-cod ed as follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; e mpty symbols, later sites. ....... 279 Figure 88. Scatterplot of of the means corrected co llagen 15N vs. corrected collagen 13C. This graph represents mostly real dietary values and can be used to assess variation in protein source between groups. Points are color-coded as follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri C opper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, later sites. ....................... ................................................... ............... 281 Figure 89. Plot of the means and standard deviation of corrected collagen 15N in the different phases of Scaba Â’e Arriu and Padru Jossu. Points are color-coded as follows: red, early (Post-Ozieri) Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age. ...................................... 285 Figure 90. Scatterplot of the means of corrected co llagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa. The chart contains all the dietary information nece ssary to an overall assessment of diet. Points are color-coded as follo ws: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Cla ro) Copper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols later sites. ........................... 287 Figure 91. Scatterplot of the means and standard de viation of corrected collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa. The chart contains the dietary information necess ary to assess diet after control for synchronous climatic variation across sites for collagen 15N. The spacing reflects whole diet variation. Point s are colorcoded as follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post -Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, later sites.................... ................................................... ........... 288 Figure 92. Plot of the means and standard deviation of the spacing 13Ccol-apa in the different phases of Scaba Â’e Arriu and Padru Jossu. Points are color-coded as follows: red, early (Post-Ozieri) Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age. ...................................... 290 Figure 93. Barcharts of the variation in 15N and in the spacing 13Ccol-apa by age, expressed as the difference between the mean of all adults and the mean of all senile/mature values. Values lower than zero indica te higher 15N and smaller


xixspacing in senile/mature individuals. The numbers n ext to each barchart are the observations of adults:senile/mature. ......... ................................................... ....... 292 Figure 94. Charts of the variation in 15N and in the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex, expressed as the difference between the mean of all malesÂ’ an d the mean of all femalesÂ’ values. Values lower than zero indicate higher 15N and smaller spacing in male individuals, and vice versa. The numbers next to each barchart are the observations of females:males. .................... ................................................... ........... 294 Figure 95. Plot of corrected apatite 18O vs. radiocarbon years cal BC, as an indication of climate change in southern-central Sardinia between ~4000 and ~1900 BC. ............ 295 Figure 96. Plot of corrected apatite 18O vs. radiocarbon years cal BC, as an indication of climate change in southern-central Sardinia between ~4000 and ~1900 BC. Female values only. ............................... ................................................... .................. 296 Figure 97. Comparison of the possible reconstructed rainfall change in southern-central Sardinia as calculated from corrected 18O, based on values measured on males (blue) females (red), and the average of all individuals (dashed line). ............ 299 Figure 98. Map of Sardinia showing the location of sites for which radiocarbon dates are available for the period 4000-1900 BC. Map by the a uthor, based on cartographic material from S.A.R. Sardegna consorti um, with kind permission. ....................................... ................................................... ....................... 303 Figure 99. Plotted radiocarbon dates available for Sardinian prehistory 4000-1900 BC, including previous determinations and those present ed in this dissertation............... 304 Figure 100. San Benedetto (Late Neolithic) Scatterp lot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups. ........................... ................................................... 313 Figure 101. San Benedetto (Late Neolithic). Scatter plot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups. ................................... ................................................... ................... 314 Figure 102. Santa Caterina di Pittinuri (Early Copp er Age). Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups, with the inclusion of fauna l values. ........................................... ................................................... ......................... 315 Figure 103. Santa Caterina di Pittinuri (Early Copp er Age). Scatterplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups, with the inclusion of faun al values. ............................ 316 Figure 104. Scaba Â’e Arriu A (Early Copper Age). Sc atterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups, with the inclusion of fauna l values. ........ 317 Figure 105. Scaba Â’e Arriu A (Early Copper Age). Sc atterplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups, with the inclusion of faunal va lues. ......................................... 320 Figure 106. Scaba Â’e Arriu M (Monte Claro, Late Cop per Age). Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups. ........................... .................. 321 Figure 107. Scaba Â’e Arriu M (Monte Claro, Late Cop per Age). Scatterplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups............................ ............................................. 322 Figure 108. Scaba Â’e Arriu, comparison of the two p hases Post-Ozieri and Monte Claro. Scatterplots of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa and apatite 13C vs. 18O.................................................. ................................................... ...................... 323


xxFigure 109. Padru Jossu A (Late Copper to Early Bro nze Age). Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by age and sex groups. ........................... .................. 325 Figure 110. Padru Jossu A (Late Copper to Early Bro nze Age). Scatterplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups. .......................... ................................................... ... 326 Figure 111. Padru Jossu A (Late Copper to Early Bro nze Age). Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa and of apatite 13C vs. 18O by pathology. ............... 327 Figure 112. Padru Jossu B (Early Bronze Age). Scatt erplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups. ........................... ...................................... 328 Figure 113. Padru Jossu B (Early Bronze Age). Scatt erplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups. ................................... ................................................... ................... 329 Figure 114. Padru Jossu. Scatterplots of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa and of apatite 13C vs. 18O in the two main phases (A and B). ............... ........................... 332 Figure 115. Iscalitas. Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups. ........................................... ................................................... ........................ 334 Figure 116. Iscalitas. Scatterplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups. ...................... 335 Figure 117. Iscalitas. Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa with indication of the grave goods associated with speci fic remains. Only adults are shown. ........................................ ................................................... ...................... 336


xxi The Interplay of Economic, Climatic and Cultural Ch ange Investigated through Isotopic Analyses of Bone Tissue: The Case of Sardinia 40001900 BC Luca Lai ABSTRACT With the broader aim of reconstructing long-term re source use and ecological history for better policy making in times of environmental change, this study is an attempt to decode the mutual effects of human subsistence practices, climate and socio-cultural organization in Sardinia between 4000 and 1900 BC. Was economy chan ging due to climate change? Was the environment changing due to economic practices? And how were economic practices and socio-cultural factors interacting? The answer is c omplex, and some convergence of complex systems theory, historical ecology and agency suppo rts this. Diet, at the interface of all of these as fulfilling biological needs constrained by available resources, while being inextricably affected by ethnicity, age, class, gen der roles, varies according to unceasingly changing variables. Stable isotopic analyses of human bone tissues were used to build a quantitative dataset, and then integrate this with all the other proxies. The use of bone apatite besides collagen enhanced the dietary reconstruction and th e contextual production of paleoclimatic data. The application of correction methods to ensu re that dietary signature is distinguished from environmental noise enhanced inter-site compar ability, making it possible to outline broad trends over time. The results confirm the negligible role of seafood already documented in western Mediterranean late prehistoric groups. The long-hel d opinion that local Copper Age and especially Early Bronze Age societies relied more o n herding than the Neolithic ones is not


xxiisupported by the data: contribution of plant foods actually increased. Certainly the data do not indicate any heavier reliance on meat or milk a nd dairy. Considering the limited data from zooarchaology, material culture and landscape archaeology, the possible economic intensification could more likely be related to cha nges in power relations, gender roles and their construction through symbolically charged mat erial culture. The two dry climatic events detected through 18O values in accordance with previous independent st udies seem to have had a role in triggering change, and such change fo llowed specific routes based on the particular historical milieu.


xxiii Preface The journey that brought me to this work has begun several years ago, when random readings and cartoons sparked my interest in archae ology. The road has not been straight, however. After studying classical literature and an cient history while cultivating my interest in pre-columbian complex societies, I got progressi vely interested in the prehistory of my own homeland, Sardinia. After studying English and contacting Dr. Tykot to explore options and possibilities, in the Fall of 2001 a new option was open by the fellowship provided by the Assessorato alla Pubblica Istruzione etc. of the Au tonomous Region of Sardinia. Everything was at that point ready to start my PhD. My first e xpression of gratitude therefore goes to the Sardinian Region for providing the financial means to further my education at the University of South Florida, and to Sig. Massimo Lallai, in ch arge of the pertinent office, for his assistance, never only professional but always cour teous. Among the many who contributed to the completion of my research project is Dr. Tykot, who introduced me to the amazing world of th e stable isotopes. He, and the rest of the dissertation advisory committee, greatly contribute d with their advice, guidance and presence: Dr. Nancy White, Dr. Christian Wells, Dr. John Robb, Dr. Giuseppa Tanda and Dr. David Hollander. In Sardinia, this project would not have been possi ble without the collaboration of Dott.ssa Ornella Fonzo, who insured access to colle ctions, gave me assistance in sampling, and provided the faunal control samples. For the os teological information pertaining to the individuals sampled and their on-site assistance, I am grateful to Dott.ssa Elena Usai, Dr. Jessica Beckett, and especially Dott.ssa Rosalba Fl oris, for their openness to collaboration, the time dedicated to my project, and the knowledge and resources they shared. Among the archaeologists, my thanks to Dott. Remo F orresu, Dott. Luciano Alba, Prof. Enrico Atzeni, who guided my search for poten tial samples, shared information on the contexts they were familiar with, and gave me some of their time to allow my access to the


xxivskeletal collections. A special acknowledgment is f or Dr.ssa Maria Rosaria Manunza, who shared the information necessary to maximize the kn owledge of the burial at Iscalitas with a great spirit of collaboration. I acknowledge the rapidity and openness in granting the necessary authorizations for sample removal to the direction and staff of the So printendenza Archeologica per le Provincie di Cagliari e Oristano: Dott.ssa Donatell a Mureddu for instructing and processing the requests; Dott. Vincenzo Santoni, then superint endent, for granting the authorization; Dott. Carlo Tronchetti and Dott. Paolo Bernardini f or authorizations to access the museums they direct (respectively, Museo Archeologico Nazio nale in Cagliari and Museo Villa Sulcis in Carbonia). I would like to thank Sig. Ubaldo Bad as, then director of the Museo del Territorio in Villanovaforru, where several collect ions were stored, for making the facilities available for the project; Sig.ra Cynthia Ventimigl ia for her patient assistance in collecting the samples from materials stored at the Old Museum in Cagliari; Sig. Giuseppe Garau and Dott.ssa Carla Perra for facilitating access to the storage areas under their supervision or curation (respectively, Ex GIL in Sardara and Museo Villa Sulcis in Carbonia); Miranda Ferrai and Yvonne Ferrai for help in providing botanical samples, along with a lifetime of support. My thanks to Dott. Franco German, Dott.ssa Luisann a Usai, Dott.ssa Emerenziana Usai for sharing bibliographic information on the s ites they investigated which were included in the isotopic sample; to Dott.ssa Maria Grazia Me lis and her coworkers for the attempt, unfortunately failed, to find the bell beaker indiv iduals from Iloi that resulted inaccessible; to Dott.ssa Simonetta Castia, Dott.ssa Barbara Fois, D ott. Antonio Ibba, Dott.ssa Bonaria Mulas, Mrs. Isabelle Vella-Gregory, Dott.ssa Barbar a Wilkens, for providing indications and/or sharing precious bibliograhic information. For the isotopic measurements themselves, besides D r. Tykot and Dr. Hollander, I express my gratitude to Mr. Ethan Goddard (Paleolab University of South Florida, St. Petersburg campus) for his patience and time when w orking together on the stable isotopic results, and to Dott. Greg Hodgins (University of A rizona, AMS Laboratory), for being my mentor during my internship on radiocarbon dating a nd providing the interpretive information for the AMS dates included in this proj ect. Many thanks, besides my advisor Dr. Robert Tykot, t o Dr. Jessica F. Beckett, Dr. Erin Kimmerle, Mrs. Rheta Lanehart, Dr. Tamsin OÂ’Co nnell, Mrs. Teddi Setzer, Mrs. Sharon


xxvWatson, Dr. Christian Wells, and especially Dr. Tra vis Doering and Dr. John Robb for their help in reviewing my drafts of the project proposal that eventually was funded by the National Science Foundation, and/or of parts of thi s dissertation, and to Mrs. Carylanna Bahamondes for her help in my fights with Microsoft Word. On the administrative and bureaucratic side, I am grateful to Mrs. Daisy Mato s and Mrs. Debbie Roberson for their assistance, guidance and problem-solving in many oc casions. My gratitude goes to the several institutions that made available the funds to cover the costs of analyses: the Research Society Sigma X i, for funding the pilot project “Tracing differences in dietary patterns between inland and coastal sites in Neolithic Sardinia” which was the first step toward the larger endeavor; the administrators of the Comune di Soleminis, in the persons of Sig. Sandro Serreli former mayor and Sig. Leandro Sanna former assessore, and of the Comune di Siddi, in the person of mayor Sig. Marco Pisanu, for their sensitivity and courage demonstrated in investing toward this r esearch, despite the small budgets available. I finally thank the National Science Fou ndation for granting funding that covered the bulk of this research project (grant BCS-061285 8, “ Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant: Stable Isotopes: Diet and Climate in Mediter reanean Prehistory. The Case of Sardinia ca. 4000-1900 BC ”), and especially to Dr. John Yellen, for recogniz ing the potential of the produced knowledge and its innovative aspect s. This work would have been much harder to bring to c ompletion if not impossible, without the practical and moral help I received in many instances and ways, more or less direct, by: Mr. Robert Bowers; Dott. Mimmo Casti; m y aunt Ignazia Depau and my uncle Ing. Gian Paolo Melis, and the staff of his Enginee ring Studio Dott. Mariano Depau, Geom. Piero Ghiani and Geom. Daniele Murgia; Mrs. Annette Doying; the staff of the Farmacia Dott. Giua in Cagliari; Ms. Jennifer A. Kelly, lab colleague and housemate for two years; Dott. Nicola Sanna; Mrs. Belen Sisay, my friend in the inevitable hard times of loneliness and discomfort while abroad. Most of all, this work, as much of my accomplishmen ts in life, would not have been possible without my stronger, most loving and best allies: my wife Sharon Watson, my mother Marina Melis, my sister Alessandra Lai, my t hree unwavering sources of support and help. In the certainty of forgetting someone, I extend my thanks to all those who were not specifically mentioned, and I take responsibility f or the mistakes, which are all mine.


1 Chapter 1. Introduction This dissertation is an investigation into economy and diet in prehistoric Sardinia (Western Mediterranean, politically part of the Ita lian Republic) and aims at contributing to our understanding of how they changed over time, in the context of a mutual relationship with the natural and cultural environment, between the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. In rough absolute chronology the target period span s ca. 4000-1900 BC. Within the limits imposed by the current level of information we poss ess, the research presented here consisted of both an examination of prior evidence, and the p roduction of new data, in order to evaluate models of development, or trajectories of socio-eco nomic change, found in the literature. Such models provide different interpretive keys for the change in material culture patterns, and attribute such change to different causes, from technological to socio-political and – to a lesser extent environmental. Quantitative stable isotopic data on human diet and climatic conditions have been produced according to a questi on-driven sampling strategy tailored to address specific questions that emerge in the archa eological literature. The discussion, rather than dealing only with the results, consists of a s ynthesis that attempts to integrate these new data with prior, mostly qualitative or semi-quantit ative data, in order to ascertain the nature and extent of change, and suggest the possible unde rlying dynamics to be tested by future research. Sardinia between the Late Neolithic and Early Bronz e Age has long being the subject of archaeological research due to its architecture, both underground and above ground, mirroring the two aspects of Neolithic monumental t radition: rock-carved tombs and ritual sites on one hand, and megalithic structures on the other (Contu 1997; Webster 1996). This has been recognized throughout the Mediterranean an d Western Europe at least at some point as reflecting the beginning of social complexity, a nd islands have represented a preferential focus, contributing, along with the Pacific islands to the definition of the domain of “island


2archaeology” (Evans 1973; Patton 1996). However, th e meaning of many such phenomena in social terms has been, and still is, at the center of contrasting readings. Such a processual view, grounded on mild or radical environmental and geographic determinism, has increasingly been attacked, rejected, or corrected (Boomert and Bright 2006; Broodbank 2000: 6-35; Patton 1996: 24-33). The growing awaren ess that natural processes applicable to plants and non-human animals had little direct usef ulness in studying human societies, the role of historically-specific developments and of t he cultural, not just physical, nature of insularity, are the most important points. Moreover the dietary and economic changes underlying the changes in material culture are surp risingly poorly known, and the economic side of the theoretical reconstructions has had com paratively little factual evidence to be evaluated against. This is not surprising for the Italian research tra dition, which includes outstanding excavators and art historians but remained until re cent years largely impermeable to broad theoretical orientations, with a few notable except ions. Many reasons can be cited: language was certainly one, as relatively few academics mast ered more than three languages, and often English was not one of them. A second factor, conne cted to the former, is the presence of nationally-based institutions with smaller tenure m arkets than the world-wide Englishspeaking commonwealth. Moreover, a strong tradition in art history, rooted in the extraordinary wealth of figurative works dating to Greco-Roman times, made the focus on artifacts easy and natural. Finally, underfunding i n Mediterranean nations is a general structural factor depending on broad economic patte rns that caused a constant disadvantage, especially in science-based approaches. Among the many interpretive approaches used to deco de social change from the archaeological record, managerial or exploitative m odels have explained monumentality as the architectural manifestation of rising inequalit y, emphasizing the social outcomes of technological innovations: the introduction of the oxen-drawn plow, dairying and wool exploitation, also coupled with differential produc tive potential in different environmental zones, would have favored uneven accumulation of we alth and of labor control (Chapman 1990; Webster 1990). Alternative models instead stress the remarkable co ntinuity in the resource pool, belittle the social implications of variation in ma terial culture, and emphasize mobility and horizontal stratification rather than complexity an d vertical inequality (Whittle 1996).


3Climatic change as an active factor is for the most part overlooked, or mentioned as a possibility but dismissed due to unclear or weak ev idence. This is largely due to the lack of communication and collaboration between traditional archaeology and paleoclimatology, and of researchers at the interface between the two, wh o would be able to profit from both types of information. In fact, the record of climatic change over the wes tern Mediterranean clearly shows a long-term shift toward drier conditions during the Middle-Late Holocene, with a drier phase centered on the 3rd millennium BC. This time seems also to have been p unctuated by a few abrupt dry events, which have not been given the co nsideration they deserve, at least as contributing factors to the social change recognize d in the archaeological record. Clear evidence for a faster pace of change and even cultu ral disruption and adjustments in probable coincidence with climate change has been documented in the Near East, but despite some chronological coincidence being pointed at (around 2300 BC: Chapman 2003; Webster 1996: 62), a similar type of evidence in the western Medi terranean has not been synthesized and incorporated into standard archaeological knowledge Tracing diet in prehistory is relevant beyond a sim ple descriptive nutritional interest. It is relevant to shed light on the economic backgr ound of social variation since it is a proxy for the broad basis of subsistence. Diet can also r eveal changes in relations between age groups and genders. An important part of the presen t dissertation consists in creating a first dataset of 13C and 15N isotopic measurements on human bone tissues, to a ddress some issues highlighted by scholars of Mediterranean pre history: did the exploitation of marine resources have any importance at some point in time or was it marginal as it appears in the rest of the Mediterranean basin from an increasing body of data – both artifacts and isotopes? Were there any organizational changes from more sed entary, lowland-based farming communities to more mobile herding groups, focusing on the highlands and relying on milk and dairy products, as landscape occupation and mat erial culture seem to indicate? If data are actually compatible with such a change, was this in any meaningful way correlated with climate change so that a causal link can be hypothe sized, or was it instead socio-cultural dynamics that determined the variation in the archa eological record? In this regard, besides the critical analysis of paleoenvironmental and pal eoclimatic data for the Western Mediterranean, 18O values measured on the same skeletal remains as t he dietary analyses,


4despite some interpretive uncertainties, provided a means to evaluate the correspondence with previously known broad climatic patterns. In summary, this dissertation presents the results of the effort to address these three interconnected aspects: 1) collecting and criticall y assessing the prior evidence for socioeconomic and climatic change; 2) documenting diet a nd climate through stable isotopes; 3) incorporating holistically the old and new data in a synthetic outline. While this is a proximate scope, one indirect scope is to give a co ntribution to the history of political ecology of Sardinia and the Western Mediterranean, and in this way understand the complex relationship between humans and environment in orde r to inform sustainable policies for the future. From a cross-cultural and applied perspective, this is important in order to predict the consequences of human responses – or non-responses! to climate change in fragile environments worldwide, and help to document and un derstand sustainability and nonsustainability in the past as in the present. Altho ugh heuristically useful, broad cross-cultural generalizations, typical of processualism (e.g. Bos erup 1965; Steward 1959), were tainted with deterministic explanations overemphasizing env ironment and technology over specific cultural and historical determinants. From the reac tion to environmental determinism permeating much of research until the 1970s came th e reconsideration of culturally specific factors and the mechanisms they could reflect (Shen nan 1987), after the historical domain had already been converging towards the use of a na tural-cultural integrated approach with the French Annales school (Burke 1990). A detailed knowledge of contextualized cultural adaptations to changing climate in the past is espe cially relevant in our times of global warming, when we are starting to experience the war nings of major climatic transitions caused by the greenhouse effect, predicted to yield huge consequences on human societies. Under this light, the research presented here is al so inspired by approaches within a wider historical ecology framework, as outlined by Crumley and others (Crumley 1994; Fowler and Hardesty 2001), with some important diff erences. Such approaches were applied in fact to periods relatively well documented by li terary sources in both the environmental and socio-cultural domains. Studying Sardinia in th e 4th and 3rd millennium BC has the same aims of investigating holistically long-term change and broad patterns, but presents the challenges of climatic conditions documented only b y more or less direct proxies measured and analyzed in comparatively recent times, and bel ief systems and social and economic


5organization reconstructed only through material re mains. This makes reconstructions coarser, with rare exceptions in the circum-Mediter ranean world (Ptrequin, et al. 1998), but extends the potential breadth of our knowledge of t he human-environment relationship several millennia back in time, increasing the abil ity to recognize long-term, persisting or reoccurring patterns (Braudel 1985). Given this necessary premise, the following pages r eflect the different stages of research. Chapter 2 gives a succinct background on the present-day geography and climate of Sardinia, and summarizes the main phases of the isl andÂ’s history up to now, to make the reader familiar with the context, and based on hist orical sources in order to underline the interaction of geographic and historic factors and how these shaped the degree and type of relations that the island had with the surrounding mainlands. This can, in fact, illuminate our understanding of the potential situations that coul d have been in place in the past, helping to interpret the archaeological record. Chapter 3 prov ides an analysis of paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental studies on the surrounding weste rn Mediterranean areas, in order to infer conditions that are likely to have been in place in Sardinia as well, during the period under examination. Chapter 4 provides a critical overview of the material culture documented for the several phases studied, from pottery and lithic s to architecture and funerary ritual, which provides a definition and the limitations of the cu ltural units that are used to discuss the subject of this dissertation. Particular emphasis i s placed on chronology, and on indicators of social and organizational change in anthropological terms. This supplies a more specific framework that enables to reliably compare trajecto ries of cultural change with those detected in the other two domains of environment and economy Chapter 5 examines in detail the extant evidence for dietary and economic change, fr om biotic remains to osteology and patterns of landscape occupation. All the relativel y scarce evidence is evaluated and general tentative trends are outlined, with the aim of iden tifying the main hypotheses and research questions which are partially addressed through bio chemistry in the following chapters. Chapter 6 presents the project that supplied new is otopic data. Principles, potential and limitations of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen stable i sotopy are first illustrated, followed by the operative description of the project, from sampling strategy to contextual information regarding the chosen collections. Chapter 7 present s the results of stable isotopic analyses, starting with preservation assessment and basic eva luation of the data. Chapter 8 opens with the correction of isotopic data in order to make th em comparable between sites, continues


6with the discussion of the isotopic results in diet ary and climatic terms. All the pertinent available proxies are integrated in order to provid e specific answers to the proposed research questions. Finally, an overall interpretation of th e interaction between the environmental, economic and cultural element in shaping the ecolog ical history of Sardinia between 4000 and 1900 BC is attempted. Finally, chapter 9 summar izes the main conclusions of this study and recommends directions for future research.


7 Chapter 2. Background 2.1. Geographic, Environmental and Historical Backg round Sardinia is a large island, about 24,090 km2 (roughly the size of New Hampshire), located in the center of the west Mediterranean (Fi gure 1), almost equally distant from the Italian peninsula and from Tunisia (ca. 170-180 km) and especially close to the island of Corsica, a natural bridge toward the European mainl and (Figure 2). The largest plains are located on the western half of the island, while th e majority of the landscape is made up of hills, with a few areas in the central-eastern high lands over 1,000 m asl, and several steep ranges and gorges that make transportation difficul t (Figure 3). Climate is presently characterized by mean annual temperatures of 10C t o 18C, and precipitation of 400-1000 mm (Pracchi and Terrosu Asole 1971), a short rainy season in the winter, and a long dry summer which favors the occurrence of highly destru ctive fires. Prevalent winds are from the northwest, which is also where moist clouds come fr om, depending on the eastward winds from the Atlantic (westerlies). Throughout documented prehistory and history (Table 1), SardiniaÂ’s several outward connections reflect its central location, with cult ural and political links and trade connections shifting between central-northern Italy, the Iberia n peninsula and Tunisia, and additional ones to southern France, the Balearics, southern Italy, and Sicily (Contu 1997; Day, et al. 1997; Meloni 1990). Its insularity is reflected, on the o ther hand, by unique biogeographic elements, most important of which is the extinction of large mammals by pre-Neolithic times, the strong presence of species or subspecies not fo und elsewhere (Vigne 1992), long periods of relative cultural isolation and drift (Rowland 2 001), and today in the unique elements of the local language, Sardinian (Blasco Ferrer 2002), and in the genetic traits of its population, remarkably distinct from those of the surrounding m ainlands (Francalacci, et al. 2003; Fraumene, et al. 2003).


8 Figure 1. Location of Sardinia in the Central-Weste rn Mediterranean. Map created with cartographic materials courteously provided by Primap Software. Figure 2. Location of Sardinia with close up of the basins around the island. Map created with cartographic materials courteously provided by Prim ap Software.


9 Figure 3. Physical map of Sardinia showing main oro graphic features, coastal lagoons as of the mid1800s, and names of some of the main historic regio ns and cities mentioned in the text. Map by the aut hor, based on cartographic material from S.A.R. Sardegna consortium, with kind permission.


10 Table 1. Chronological table of Sardinian prehistor yÂ’s cultural phases in the time span considered in this study. Calibrated radiocarbon da tes are after Tykot (1994), with a few modifications involving the hypothesized different duration of Copper Age cultures across the island. While the Paleolithic occupation of the island is d ebated, the first stable colonization is connected with the introduction of domesticated animals and plants in the Early Neolithic (Cherry 1990). This phase is characterized by so-ca lled cardial impressed pottery, a decorative style obtained by impressing the rim of Cardium shells on the ceramic paste


11before firing, which is common to a wide area betwe en the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Spanish shores. During the Early through Late Neolithic, th e presence of one of the largest obsidian sources of the western Mediterranean has put Sardin ia in an archaeologically visible contact with wide areas: the distribution of Sardinian obsi dian spreads as far as southern France, northern Spain, and central and northern Italy (Tyk ot 2002a, b; Tykot, et al. 1999). The participation in wide maritime spheres of interacti on is witnessed also by other items, such as polished stone hatchets and large lithic rings/brac elets of uncertain purpose, circulating in the Early Neolithic and probably through the Middle Neo lithic (D'Amico 1998; Ptrequin, et al. 1997; Tanda 1977). On the other hand, ceramic style the best documented kind of artifact evidence, starts to acquire more regional features already within the Early Neolithic, which has been characterized by Tanda (1995a) in three as pects, with shapes and decoration that become increasingly peculiar to Sardinia (Contu 199 7: 79-84, 178-197). By the Late Neolithic (4th millennium BC), pottery shows standardized decorat ive motifs that are typical and distinct from the European mainland. Contact wi th southern France and central-northern Italy is still documented by obsidian, although the intensity cannot be assessed due to the lack of indicators for transport of perishable goods. While obsidian frequency declines, ceramic styles d uring the Copper Age show multiple similarities, occasionally quite stringent documenting SardiniaÂ’s full participation in the web of routes connecting the whole western Medi terranean, very likely in coincidence with the spread of metallurgy. The Early Copper Age pottery of northern Sardinia (1st half of 3rd millennium BC) appears closer to central and north ern Italy (Basoli and Foschi Nieddu 1993), while later Copper Age material culture (Mon te Claro phase, centuries across mid-3rd millennium BC) shows similarities with southern Fra nce and Sicily (Lilliu 1988a: 155-157). Walled settlements are also features in common with southern France and Iberia (Moravetti 1998a, 2001), and other peculiar traits found in so uthern Sardinia, such as burnished pottery and leaf-shaped copper blades, seem to reflect part icipation in more east-oriented cultural contexts. The presence of Bell Beaker elements (ca. 2500-2200 BC) is parallel to those widespread in continental Europe (Nicolis and Motte s 1998; Waldren and Kennard 1987). Two phases have been identified, with an earlier em phasis on similarities with the Mediterranean West and Northwest and later on stron ger parallels with the Alpine and Italian area (Ferrarese Ceruti 1989: 59-66) Interestingly, Corsica appears to be touched only marginally by the Bell Beaker style (Lemercier, et al. in press), which may be due to lack of


12research or reflect a late and peripheral inclusion in the Bell Beaker routes between the Northern Mediterranean and Sardinia, which were lik ely related to traffic in metal goods. The links witnessed by typical Beaker pottery decoratio n evolve and continue in the Early Bronze Age (ca. 2200-1900 BC), when material culture in ge neral is similar to that of the Polada culture of northern Italy (Lilliu 1988a: 301-312), although daggers of Iberian type are also frequent at the transition into the Middle Bronze A ge (ca. 1900-1300 BC). The wealth of copper sources in Sardinia might have been an impor tant attractive element around this intermediate period. More complex relations and intense trade is instead documented in the Late and Final Bronze Age (ca. 1300-1000 BC), when Mycenaean potte ry, though in relatively small quantities, is found at several locations, along wi th a high density of metal objects and ingots, particularly of Cypriot origin towards the end of t he Bronze Age (Knapp 2000; Lo Schiavo 1995). At the same time, Sardinian pottery is found on Lipari and Crete, witnessing to the islandÂ’s insertion in Mediterranean-wide trade netw orks involving not only metal but also perishable goods, identifiable as the new prestige consumables, i.e. wine and olive oil (Hamilakis 1999; Riley 1999). In the Iron Age, evidence for indigenous export shr inks again within the Western Mediterranean, with preferential connections of Nor theast Sardinia with Etruria (Lo Schiavo 2002), in central Italy, and the establishment of P hoenician trade posts on the southern and western coasts of Sardinia. These represent the fir st examples of truly urban communities, and within a few centuries virtually monopolize the traffic between the interior and the outside world, in the context of a colonial divisio n of the Western Mediterranean into areas controlled by Etruscans, Greeks and Phoenicians (Be rnardini, et al. 2000; Tronchetti 1988). The unification of the Western Phoenician cities un der Carthage and the creation of the first expansionist empire in the area strongly ties Sardinia to North Africa both economically and culturally, a pattern that remains up until the Middle Ages. Carthage conquers all lowlands by ca. 500 BC, and begins the utilization for cereal monocropping of the most fertile lands. The Roman take-over of the coastal cities in 238/37 BC did not extinguish the strong Punic identity, which lasted for centuries (Mastino 1995). After several uprisings and genocidal campaigns in the mountains lasting over two centuries, Sardinia was virtually romanized by the 1st century AD, and became fully part of the large Med iterraneanwide economic system of the classical world. This a lso coincides with the most intense


13human presence in the landscape since the Late Bron ze Age, and the establishment of landholdings with the use of slave labor (Meloni 19 90). Not much more than place names of the pre-Roman languages survive, although in the ce ntral highlands such pre-Indoeuropean linguistic fossils have been documented in frequenc ies among the highest in Europe (Wolf 1998). The link with present-day Tunisia in North Africa w as maintained towards the decline of the imperial power, and during the occup ation of the Vandals between the 5th and 6th centuries AD. Following the example of the Romans, who deported to Sardinia thousands of Jews, the Vandals deported into the island heret ic bishops and political opponents, marking in this way an important phase in the diffu sion of Christianity (Artizzu 1992). For another century and a half, after the Byzantine tro ops regained control of the island (AD 535), Sardinia was politically dependent on Tunisia while being open to eastern culture. Islamic expansion reached North Africa in the early 8th century, breaking the millennial relation with Sardinia. The Arab conquest of Sicily in AD 826 and the Islam ic control of the Western Mediterranean made navigation and connections with the European mainland less intense. Byzantine authority became only nominal, but noneth eless important in the legitimization of the indigenous rulers who led the resistance to the many attempted invasions. While very few Greek words are found in Sardinian, many religious traditions and churches date to this period (Corrias and Cosentino 2002), and settlement remained dispersed in small hamlets, growing out of the late Roman farming enterprises, with slavery replaced by servitude. The alliance with Pisa and Genoa in the fight against N orth African raids favored the opening to external trade in the 11th century AD, and the intermarriage of local dynasti es with high ranking families from Tuscany and Liguria. The alle giance to the Roman Church was also cemented through donations to monastic orders cente red in central Italy, northern Italy and southern France. The Kingdom of Aragona, with capital Barcelona, in Catalonia, entered the picture in order to gain control of trade routes to the East, and between AD 1323 and 1409 was able to defeat both external Italian competitors and the la st indigenous kingdom of Arborea, with capital Oristano on the west coast (Casula 1983). S ardinian society experienced a dramatic demographic collapse due to war and disease, which likely contributed to easing the way to Iberian cultural hegemony (Ferrante and Mattone 200 4). Sardinian cities controlled by


14Catalans maintained regular trade connections with Barcelona, Genoa, Naples and to a lesser extent, Marseille, while in the countryside feudali sm was instituted for the first time at a time when in continental Europe it had virtually disappe ared. Sardinia was under Catalan and subsequently Spanish rule until the early 1700s, and became heavily hispanic in many aspects of spiritua lity and tradition (Murgia 2000); Spanish is also the language that most heavily influenced t he Sardinian vocabulary, remaining the prestige tongue of the nobles and the higher clergy until the early 1800s (Sorgia 1982). In 1720 the island was assigned by treaty to the Dukes of Savoy, based in northern Italy; this state annexed within approximately 150 years most o f the territories that then became Italy. Among the important socio-economic points worth men tioning are the 1820s and 1830s reforms aimed at abolishing feudalism and creating private property, in an island where most land was still held and managed in common by each c ommunity (Le Lannou 1941: 157-167; Scaraffia 1984), and the investments in industrialscale, modern mining in the late 1800s up to the mid-20th century, mostly in the Southwest, overlapping with the areas where prehistoric Bell Beaker occupation is densest. The brief outline of Sardinian external relations t hrough 8,000 years highlights the role of geographic centrality, which allowed multip le links with several surrounding mainlands and islands, during different periods or at the same time, and the important role that specific historical conditions played in shapi ng cultural change. At the same time, this did not prevent the establishment and maintenance o f original cultural traits, which depending on the theoretical orientation may be att ributed to insularity and isolation (Rowland 2001), or interpreted as acts of ‘creation of identity’. Among such original traits, many of which were codified in the Middle Ages by Q ueen Eleonora (14th century), is the legal condition of women, who inherited property as did their male siblings, and the clear recognition of rape as a crime against an individua l (Casula 1994). Evidence of parallel descent reckoning, scarcely documented in Europe, a ppears from archival documents in the Middle Ages and up to the 17th century, where the transmission of the last name t o women was matrilineal (Murru Corriga 1993). Today, the language itself, which became officially allowed by the Italian government only in 1997, along with specific cultur al and religious traditions, is a remarkable testimony of a unique cultural trajector y, where a complex interplay of


15geography, external and internal economic dynamics, and agency seems to have constantly favored or permitted the expression of ‘otherness’. 2.2. Theoretical Background and Objectives Studies specifically addressing economy and diet be tween the end of the Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age are surprisingly few. Medi terranean societies are overall considered to have been fully dependent on farming and animal husbandry (Sherratt 1994), but the particular patterns within the Neolithic re source pool, and the integration with hunting and gathering, are highly variable. In Sardinia, th e first human presence documented on the highlands dates to this time (Tykot, et al. 1999). It seems clear that over wide areas of Europe there was enough surplus labor for construction of megaliths. In Sardinia, more than to the building of megalithic structures, this was applied to the carving and decoration of rock-cut tombs, so-called domus de janas typical of the Ozieri culture and its later tradi tion (ca. 40002500 BC), which reached in some cases a high degree of complexity, with tens of rooms, abstract paintings and reliefs, and the reproductio n of houses for the living (Tanda 1984, 1992a). What is uncertain is what this involves in economic terms. Subsistence was based on farming cereals and legumes, and tending ovicaprine s, cattle and pigs. In several areas of western Europe there was demographic growth from th e Late Neolithic, with the expansion of some settlements which has been related to the i ntensification of production (Knapp and van Dommelen 2002; Malone 2003; Robb 1999). Instead in Early Copper Age Sardinia (ca. 3200-2500 BC) we see contraction in the absolute nu mber of sites, their location at higher average elevation, and the almost total disappearan ce of evidence for open-air settlements: elements of material culture have been recovered mo stly in burials (Atzeni 1995). Also, a few outstanding sites represent local social and ritual trajectories (same phenomenon found elsewhere in the 3rd millennium western Mediterrane an: Robb 2001a: 190), with megalithic tombs and circles, concentrations of statue-menhirs with unique symbolic markers, and the pyramid-temple of Monte d’Accoddi (Atzeni 1989a, 19 94; Atzeni and Cocco 1989; Perra 1994; Tin and Traverso 1992b). In the Monte Claro phase, which appears in many asp ects of material culture foreign to the local tradition, dated through pottery style and stratigraphic contexts to the Later Copper Age (at ca. 2700: Tykot 1994), there is a fo cus on lowlands in the South, and


16nucleation of settlements and the rise of fortified /ritual sites on hilltops in the North (Castaldi 1999; Moravetti 2000). Similar developments have be en connected in Europe to the ‘secondary products revolution’, a concept that und erlines the effects of the spread of technological innovations such as the wheel, the ox -drawn plow, and the exploitation of dairy products (Patton 1996: 59-62; Sherratt 1983, 1994). This package would have opened up new opportunities for differentiation, due to increased outputs and the presence of means of production that could not be maintained by all fami lies or groups. For Sardinia, these dynamics have been suggested as the key to a certai n degree of differentiation in the Copper Age: to sustain a household in lower-productivity a reas, a peasant would need to depend on plow and draft oxen from wealthier families, so fav oring the increase of inequality (Lewthwaite 1986). In reality, while exploitation o f secondary products has been clearly documented in central-eastern Europe, in the Medite rranean Balkans the evidence is unclear, with older cattle possibly representing use for tra ction or just wealth accumulation in creating large herds, whereas ovicaprines were exploited for meat (Greenfield 1988; Greenfield and Fowler 2005). Moreover, besides the problem of the diversity in the material culture indicating distinct phases within the Sardinian 3rd millennium (often lumped into a generic ‘Copper Age’), complexity itself is not to be taken for granted: monumental structures are the main alleged indicator of social complexity, while burial customs, the other element that may reveal differentiation, are largely collective. As in Sardinia, higher architectural complexity is found at some point in the Copper and Early Bronze Age in Iberia (Chapman 1990; Lilli os 1995); in southern France, similar enclosed settlements have been interpreted as fully sedentary, fortified centers of power indicating intensification and competition (Gutherz and Jallot 1999; Lewthwaite 1982); in Malta, construction of large ritual and burial site s and specialized artworks also implies some concentration of labor (Malone and Stoddart 1998; S toddart, et al. 1993). These phenomena have been mostly explained through Marxist and func tionalist models, whereby the need for leadership or the opportunity to gain control are k ey factors in social differentiation processes (Earle 1987; Renfrew 1972). In managerial models, the dry Mediterranean climate would have required, in arid areas such as south-eastern Spain, intensification of production to increase outputs and meet the needs of a growing population. Elites would hav e emerged to keep the order necessary for water management, or to make long-term investments in tree crops, as grains are more prone


17to failure due to weather unpredictability (Chapman 1990; Vicent Garca 1995). For Marxian theorists, the new practices were the opportunity f or ‘aggrandizers’ to exploit the community by tying it to reliance on olive and vine cultivati on, and to themselves (Gilman 1981; Johnson and Earle 1987; Lull 1984; Ramos 1981). It has been observed, however, that such treecrops and water storage/irrigation facilities involve a s ubstantial material and organizational power that must logically come before the ability to mobi lize labor (Webster 1990; see parallel problems in Mesoamerican archaeology with irrigatio n management: Wells 2006: 269-270). On empirical grounds, as concerns Sardinia, we do n ot know anything about tree crops before the Middle Bronze Age (Bakels 2002). On a similar line between processualism and social theory, others ascribe the rise of patron-client systems and inequality in Sardinia (H ernando Gonzalo 1997; Webster 1996: 5261) to different productivity potential, circumscr iption, and high-risk environmental contexts (Carneiro 1970; Webster 1990). In island ecosystems key subjects for processual archaeologists (Patton 1996), monumental architectu re has also been interpreted as the mirror of ritual intensification during chronic crises (Ba hn and Flenley 1992; Stoddart, et al. 1993). Sardinian prehistoric cultures in the Final Copper (ca. 2500-2200 BC) and Early Bronze Ages (ca. 2200-1900 BC) are again known mostly from buri als, with scarce evidence of living sites (Atzeni 1996a; Atzeni and Santoni 1989). The Bell B eaker style has therefore been interpreted as a new fashion of prestige markers to be displayed mostly at funerary rituals. The Early Bronze Age has attracted more attention, since it is identified as the formative phase of the following Nuragic culture. While many local archaeologists place the rise of complexity in the Early Bronze Age after the Copper Age cultures which are generally viewed as simpler (Lilliu 1988a: 358; he believed t hough that nuraghi dated to the Early Bronze Age; Tanda 2002; Ugas 1999), some also recog nize signs of more social complexity in the Copper Age (Lilliu 1988a: 143, 244; 1988b). Webster (1996: 81-84) definitely argues for a society organized in autonomous households la sting through the Middle Bronze Age; others identify a first phase with household-based organization focused on lowlands and cereal monocropping, and a second phase, named Sant ’Iroxi, with some signs of differentiation, which is transitional toward the M iddle Bronze Age when this would have mostly occurred (Perra 1997). The competing dietary and social model for Sardinia n prehistory emphasizes continuity, with no significant changes from the Ne olithic to the Iron Age (Lazrus 1999). A


18similar mixed farming economy would have been in pl ace during the Neolithic as well as the Copper and Bronze Ages, where the broad subsistence base would include sheep, goat, cattle, pig, wheat, barley and legumes, integrated with som e gathering, fishing, and hunting of Prolagus sardus (a rodent now extinct), wild boar and deer. This d iversity is considered incompatible with the reliance on a single food cat egory that would be expected if a dramatic shift between agriculture and pastoralism had occur red. Any archaeological evidence in this direction (in settlement patterns, burial practices and symbolic expressions) is considered scarce. Social organization would have never involv ed more than moderate and temporary differentiation throughout the period (Lazrus 1999) This is in line with historicist and postprocessual models applied to wider European prehist ory, which stress mobility (Whittle 1996), tribal politics, agency, change in gender ro les (Robb 1994a, 1999), and identitybuilding (Broodbank 2000 for the Aegean; Robb 2001a ; Tusa 1998 for Malta) as driving forces. The enclosures found across western Europe are interpreted as areas for ritual gathering rather than fortresses, sites used repeat edly by mobile groups to keep communal identity and use rights in the land. Evidence for c limate change is considered inconclusive (Whittle 1996: 322-354). It has been underlined that the simplistic tetra-pa rtite model of band-tribe-chiefdomstate largely based on the Pacific islands (Sahlins 1963) is an acceptable generalization but is inadequate to explain the complexity of tribal soci al organization. One reading of the central Mediterranean evidence based on more recent ethnogr aphic work is by Robb (1999), who identifies in the Late to Final Neolithic transitio n in the Western Mediterranean the evolution of great-person societies into big-man societies. B ig men enjoy a more generalized acquired status related to wealth and leadership, which beco me generalized prestige characteristics opposed to particular, horizontal or egalitarian ro les based on unconvertible skills or spiritual qualities. Males also seem to gain a position of do minance as opposed to complementary and more balanced roles (Robb 1994a, 1997). A related c onsequence, in this case not inherent or necessary but historically generated, would be an a ugmented strife to acquire prestige items, which necessitates more surplus wealth and therefor e intensification of production (Lillios 1995, 1997). At the root of intensification, rather than economy, would be the ritual need to acquire goods of extraordinary quality, or quantity (Spielmann 2002), for events which can become an opportunity for a socially acceptable gai n of prestige and/or wealth (Wells 2007). In contexts where this was not environmentally viab le for lack of land or scarce soil


19productivity, as in small islands, intensification may have led to some degree of centralization and/or social disruption, according to historically specific trajectories (Robb 2001a). According to these models, it is a change i n social and cultural behaviors that would affect economy and in turn environment, rather than the opposite. Whether or not dynamics were similar over vast regi ons of the western Mediterranean, which is unlikely, the most profitab le research agenda would seem that of collecting data on ritual and economic mechanisms within their environmental con texts, in regional units, in order to detect common causal re lationships. From this perspective, Sardinia is one relevant piece of the wider goal ou tlined above: detecting the mutual relationships among natural and cultural factors, w ith economy at the interface between the two, while keeping our interpretative efforts as mu ch as possible open to explanations that holistically integrate environmental change, econom ic processes, and socio-cultural dynamics (Sherratt 1991, 1997b; Thomas 1987). As briefly mentioned in chapter 1, one of the lines of inquiry that this study takes inspiration from is the historical ecology framewor k, as outlined in Crumley (1994) and others. It was also underlined how similar tendenci es where the holistic convergence of nature and culture can be recognized in historic st udies. In the present work, the interpretive perspective for the understanding of change draws f rom Pauketat’s (2001) historicismprocessualism, defined as a new paradigm, but also from van der Leeuw and AschanLeygonie’s (2000) complex systems approach on socio -natural dynamics. Pauketat’s discussion is useful to elucidate the main points t hat are relevant for the interpretation of the data analyzed. Even in some Neo-Darwinist approache s there is a convergence of some parts of such theoretical currents with post-processualis m as concerns the emphasis on practice and conscious or implicit historicism, in that material culture is viewed as a product of previous traditions on which socially negotiated choices are applied, in turn shaping future developments. It has been pointed out (Pauketat 200 1; Robb 2007: 5-7) that there are authors who define their theoretical orientation as “agency ”, but in reality give in their interpretation preeminent role to individual decision-making and a strife for success and prestige as intrinsic human qualities. It is important to under line that intentionality, present in every act of replication of practices, is not the same as str ategy or tactics. It corresponds rather to the “habitus”, or the realm of the “doxic” in Bourdieu’ s (1977) terms: unconscious, spontaneous, practical, belonging to the domain of common sense. Pauketat (2001: 79-81) calls for the


20documentation and understanding of the “genealogy o f practices” as the context for the unceasing renegotiation of tradition. Rather than s earching for universals by means of deductive logical process, the documentation of sev eral micro-scale historical processes and their proximate causes are considered the basis for a better understanding of ultimate causation by means of induction profiting from larg e datasets. What is considered important is “the traditions of practice, the genealogies of production, and the proximate details of how things changed […] toward more encompassing – dare I say ultimate – explanations of the cumulative effects of practice” (Pauketat 2001: 81) The potential – or inevitability – of unintended consequences of any given practice, whet her in the short or long term, is a concept used in social anthropology to describe cul tural dynamics where the choice of action, on an individual and collective level, contributes to changing but also to reproducing preexisting structures with effects that were unwan ted or unpredicted by actors (Joyce 2004; Robb 2001b; 2007: 5-7). The same definition of “unintended consequences” is also commonly used by environmentalists to interpret practices that have an impact on the environment: van der Leeuw and Aschan-Leygonie (2000: 13) similarly poin t out that each human practice applies forces to the environment that have the potential t o issue unpredicted effects. Furthermore, the more transformations and effects are long-term, the less likely they are to be perceived by human societies, even if they are leading to future problems. The embeddedness of the perceptions of crises or environmental change, besi des theory, is confirmed ethnographically. It has been observed, for instance, that the percep tion of environmental degradation due to overgrazing is better where rainfall is regular, wh ereas in areas periodically affected by long droughts the effect of herds is easily conflated in to and confused with the effect of lack of rain (Bollig and Schulte 1999), or that intentional ity at the collective level may be absent or different from intentionality and profitability at the household or individual level, determining gaps and unintended consequences (McPea k 2005). Considering some concepts used by the Complex Syste ms and Agency theorists mentioned above, it appears that despite the differ ent underlying general basis, and the focus on more socio-cultural change versus environmental, “socio-natural” change, the concept is rather convergent, and not at all new. In a general form, it is found for instance in 16thcentury politician and diplomat Guicciardini (1977) who in disagreement with his more influential friend Machiavelli, emphasized with dis appointment that the specific historical


21conditions of each and every given situation made s ystematic prediction and repeatability impossible. Van der Leeuw and Aschan-Leygonie (2000 : 11) define “institutions” as “flow structures – essentially temporary manifestations o f the movement of matter, energy and information”. This is one definition in scientific words of human practices, meaning things that humans do, but following Levi Strauss in clari fying that these are symbolically defined in each context. This is not, therefore, different from “practices” as defined in agency, in their dependence on the constraints of preexisting habitu s, and in their generative property. There are further elements widely shared in today’s theoretical panorama that can be found to be in common to agency theory, for instanc e as discussed by Joyce and Lopiparo (2005) and complex systems as discussed by van der Leeuw and Aschan-Legonye (2000): one is the emphasis on action, dynamic change, and relations, which incorporates what we perceive or traditionally define as structure, or s ystems, rather than being a separate entity. Since all human practices determine change, even if momentarily or archaeologically imperceptible, and whether it is intended or uninte nded, logical consequence is that every system, or apparently normative structure, is in mo tion and continuous becoming. The perspective used and the effort made in this study is accordingly that of describing dynamic realities, even if description of material culture may appear otherwise, and even if, for the sake of making change understandable, it may be nec essary to describe situations synchronically as if they were artificially frozen. In reality, the concept of system, although connected in most archaeologists’ minds with the pr ocessualism of the 1970s, is still a useful tool to refer to several factors bound together in such a way that a change in one element affects the others. The existence of factors that d o not respond to the laws of physics due to their arbitrary, symbolic nature (Robb 1998) and of cultural entities that are not integrated but can be devoid of (perceptible) effects does not era se, but only limits to some extent, and makes more dynamic, the validity and usefulness of the concept itself. The perspective used here makes an effort to overco me the bridges and dichotomies between science-based and social theory-based appro aches. As underlined above, most scholars aligned with post-processual criticisms of previous environmental determinism tend to deal with prehistoric politics, symbolic archaeo logy and ritual, and are generally inclined to overlook environmental factors in explaining, or rather describing, historical processes, probably regardless of the quality of environmental data that we have available for much of the Holocene, which is mostly ambiguous, patchy and admittedly inadequate for use by


22archaeologists (Bintliff 2002; Dincauze 2000: 23-27 ). This, coupled with the historicallyspecific lens that characterizes most post-processu alists, has also the consequence that there is very little connection that can directly or impl icitly bear upon the current management of resources, which is regrettable. This is not intrin sic in practice theory, where the ultimate goal of finding general patterns in long-term human practices is not rejected a priori (Pauketat 2001: 81), but in concrete terms it tends to be postponed indefinitely, in a way somewhat similar to the indefinite postponing of th e study of the so-called “superstructure” on the part of classic processualists. In this stud y, an attempt is made to verify the existence and reliability of information regarding climate an d environmental change, and analyze such variation by considering its interaction with human practices as part of a whole. However, the focus is not on landscape itself (Crumley 1994; Gun n, et al. 2004), instead landscape is only one of the many proxies that are taken into conside ration to interpret change in the humanmade material record in terms of social and cultura l change of people. To be able to evaluate the interplay of elements, o n one side I analyzed and synthesized data on climate and environment between 4000 and 1900 BC (see next chapter), on another I used existing data on culture and soci ety, and finally I addressed economy and diet by both analyzing and synthesizing previous da ta from several research domains, and by producing a meaningful dataset of relevant stable i sotopic values on skeletal remains. Human practices such as those related to food production and consumption are located at the interface of humans and everything else: the limina lity embodied in the act of eating and drinking (Hamilakis 2000) makes it an ideal target as precisely one of the “flows”, or relational acts, which are themselves reflexive, re productive and generative, constantly reinforcing and changing in various degrees the str uctures where they are situated and which they are part of. The cycle involving food and drin k, of which consumption is an element together with production, distribution, and process ing, impacts soils, vegetal and animal communities, creating through practice a cultural w orld, with the addition of other practices not directly related to diet. Along with change, su ch practices introduce both intended, proximate consequences, and non intended, longer-te rm effects (van der Leeuw and AschanLeygonie 2000). As regards the origin of changes in culture (Figure 4), whereas theoretical orientations in the past have been leaning towards either general, climatic/environmental, natural causes – in the 1960s and 1970s – or prefer ably cultural/agency-based, human


23 Figure 4. Flow diagrams to illustrate the relations hips among Interacting domains in explaining change according to different paradigms.The third, conside ring that most domains interact both ways, with eit her direction potentially being stronger in different h istorically specific situations, is the one adopted in this study. On the right, the chapters roughly correspon ding to the different domains as organized in this work. induced causes – in the 1980s and early 1990s The key concepts used in the anthropology of human-environment interaction were adaptation, wher e variation depended on people


24adjusting to nature in time and space, and then sus tainability, where nature was thwarted and made cultural by people in ways that could be condu cive or not to long-term maintenance of social entities (van der Leeuw and Redman 2002). De spite strong residual adaptationist generalizations that seem a new presentation of old er processual attitudes, the approach that focuses on resilience using complex systems theory attempts to tackle the variability and broad range of potential factors that interact at a ny point in time, at different scales and in different ways (Redman and Kinzig 2003), in shaping what we perceive as change. In this study, the aspect relating to the attempt to find g eneralizations and applying models of change is not adopted: on this issue, the considera tions regarding practice theory and historicism-processualism as briefly outlined above (Pauketat 2001) are valid. A more contextual look at the evidence available for the s tudy area intends to reconstruct the dynamics of its particular historical ecology, with a lens that is as much as possible balanced and unbiased toward climatic, environmental and cul tural causation as they interacted at different scales, pace, and ways, each potentially gaining somewhat stronger role in different situations.


25 Chapter 3. Climatic and Environmental Change in the Western Mediterranean Basin and in Sardinia ca. 4000-1900 BC 3.1. Introduction As explained in depth in the introduction to this d issertation, the wide scope of my research is to understand the relationship between environmental, economic and cultural change, and to find correlations that may be interp reted as causal links between these three factors. To overcome dichotomies between natural an d cultural determinism we must acknowledge that all cultural and natural phenomena are tightly intertwined. The direct effect of both sets of factors, although they may and do v ary, cannot be expressed meaningfully by either/or statements, but appears to be better repr esented as a continuum between two extremes, which are rarely if ever found as such. The essential outline of the theoretical position u nderlying this study in chapter 2 served the purpose of making clear some important p oints relating to the interaction of human impact and climatic conditions in shaping a c hanging environment. The climatic conditions function as constraints for the potentia l variation available to human agency, which is responsible for much of the characteristic s of the cultural environment. The practices that transform both the natural (vegetal, animal, pedological) and cultural reality are culturally embedded, so that intended and unintende d consequences are all elements to take into account (Robb 2007: 5-7; van der Leeuw and Asc han-Leygonie 2000: 13). Change is brought about unceasingly by acting, while at the s ame time contributing to the maintenance of contextual socio-cultural structures. Understand ing the interaction among different elements, whether they are economic, symbolic, envi ronmental, or climatic, is the goal of this study, and it is assumed (van der Leeuw and AschanLeygonie 2000: 19) that change will depend on the magnitude and intensity of change in some factors relative to others, the speed


26and duration of different phases, and the scale con sidered. Long-term dynamics can intermingle with short-term events called perturbat ions (with a rather environmentallyoriented language), which include cultural stimuli and practices unrelated to activities pertaining to subsistence (and here these distincti ons are used as units of analysis, not as intrinsically distinct domains: Robb 1998). The pre eminence of some factors over others is assumed to change in single situations, depending o n the elements cited above such as magnitude, duration etc. In the past several decades the focus of research h as been mostly on material culture, belief systems as represented by material culture a nd, to a lesser extent, social organization. Climatic information regarding specific localities on the island is lacking instead, so that a climatic reconstruction that is reliable and suffic iently detailed and articulated in phases is necessary. Unfortunately, there have been no studies done that specifically involve the environmental conditions of Sardinia in the mid-tolate Holocene timeslice from 4000 to 1900 BC. This is due to the scarcity of structures, funds and professional skills necessary for all the disciplines that address climatic and envir onmental reconstruction in prehistoric times. There is up to now no palynology laboratory on the island, and none of the university departments has research teams involved in it. Comp aring sites studied in Sardinia with the adjacent areas (Figure 5) underlines the large gap it represents in the western Mediterranean record. With these premises, in this chapter I have reviewe d the most important and up-todate literature on climatic and environmental condi tions, examining several contributions to the recording and explanation of climatic and/or en vironmental conditions in the regions surrounding Sardinia. This was done with the aim of putting together information in order to identify whether there are trends and phases that a re common to the entire area and can therefore be inferred to affect Sardinia, in the sa me period ca. 4000 and 1900 BC. For this purpose, these are the main questions: was there an y detectable climatic and environmental change? If so, is it possible to define chronologic ally, in an accurate and meaningful way, these different phases? Is it possible to quantify these changes in terms of temperature, humidity, and their seasonality? Also, what was the role of humans in contributing to the transformation of the environment?


27 Figure 5. Map showing the distribution of Mediterra nean sites mentioned in the text, which have been discussed for the reconstruction of paleoenvironmen tal and paleoclimatic conditions in Sardinia, 40001900 BC. 3.2. Sources and Methods Scholars have several methods at their disposal for paleoenvironmental reconstruction, which match the different available proxies. According to the chronological scale we are interested in, not all the known proxi es yield the same information potential. Here I am interested in mesoand microscale ranges and particularly in patterns spanning from several thousands of years to centuries. Ideal ly, the best situation would be having information at a much smaller scale, even to the ye ar or the season, but this contrasts with the absolute chronology of Sardinian and of most of Wes tern Mediterranean prehistory. In fact, the scale of radiocarbon dating is millennial or ce ntennial – at least without sequences allowing the use of Bayesian statistics. As a matte r of fact, tree-ring dating of archaeological


28phases, possible for instance on waterlogged remain s in the Alps or northern Europe, is truly exceptional in Mediterranean areas, so that having a higher-resolution environmental sequence without a comparable cultural sequence wou ld be of limited use to identify relations between the two. Generally, existing proxies include geomorphologica l features, morphology of sediments and soils on land and in lakes, faunal, m acroand microbotanical remains, tree rings, corals, historical record, and ice cores (Di ncauze 2000: 176-87). Among these, ice cores are a viable approach on high mountains, but they never yield long sequences as in arctic regions. Tree rings in the western Mediterra nean do not preserve as well as in more northern latitudes due to temperature and higher se asonal variation, and those available have not been studied extensively. Historical records ar e not useful for phases at least a thousand years earlier than the first appearance of writing in the 9th century BC (Phoenician inscriptions) or the first truly historic accounts by Greek (6th century BC) or Latin (2nd century BC) writers. A systematic discussion of the principles and ways to extract paleoenvironmental information from all these diverse materials is not included in the scope of this dissertation, therefore for this purpose I recommend consulting m ore specific literature. Here I will only briefly discuss pollen analysis and its main limita tions, as they have been pinpointed in the context of the reconstruction of vegetation history within the western Mediterranean context. This is done here for the sheer reason that palynol ogy makes up the majority of our evidence. Most general caveats and limitations concerning the interpretation of pollen data stem from the diverse nature of pollen deposition throug h different agents and for different species: some are airborne over long distances whil e others are carried mostly by insects within a short radius from the plant source, some a re self-pollinating and their flower does not even open. Some taxa produce large quantities o f pollen grains, while others relatively few, so that their representation in the archaeolog ical record, affected also by differential preservation, is severely biased. Moreover, only so me plants can be identified at the genus level, most grasses for instance cannot be recogniz ed beyond the family level. These are the reasons why ancient assemblages, more than being in terpreted singularly, are compared to modern ones (Pearsall 2001: 336-44). Concerning the Mediterranean, some examples are the overrepresentation of the Pinus genus (pine), whose species produce large amounts of pollen, and the Cedrus genus


29(cedar), both windborne over wide areas, as opposed to the underrepresentation of the Fabaceae family (pulses or legumes). Pollen of the latter, despite these plants being intensely cultivated, is hardly found more frequent than 1% o f any given total pollen count. Legumes are instead revealed by the pollen of Cuscuta (dodder), a parasite, and by remains of insects that live on them, like species of the Curculionidae family. Glacier melting can liberate pollen that will mix with, and distort, the sequenc es of the lake where it is transported. Depositional processes have also been identified, w here due to the particle size, some taxa are represented better than others in clayey deposi ts rather than in muddy ones, or the other way around (Andrieu, et al. 1997). All this warns u s against taking one or a few sequences as representative without accounting for these mechani sms. Unfortunately in many works dealing with paleoenvironmental proxies, whether it is pollen analysis or different methods, this is instead common. While rejecting a priori a large amount of data would be unwise, it is safer to formulate conclusions only on a substantia l body of evidence spanning wide areas. As is clear from the following analysis of availabl e data, I relied mostly on well-dated sequences, whether they are pollen, charcoal, oxyge n isotopes, magnetic susceptibility and so on, and gave more importance to datasets that were comparable. In some cases I attempted to read the diagrams in more detail than did the autho rs themselves, just considering that I was interested in portions of sequences, while the majo rity of the papers dealt with longer-term change. The diversity in the information provided, and the style, depend on the focus. Some articles contained good descriptions of vegetation changes that may have applied to Sardinia, others had good chronological data useful to detect specific environmental phases. All radiocarbon dates were calibrated whenever poss ible. They are cited whenever possible as uncalibrated years BP with relative cal ibrated date. Dates BC are calibrated in the present work with Calib.5.0.5, which is one among t he several calibration programs internationally recommended (Weninger, et al. 2005) and are in brackets. Dates that appear as calibrated in previous works but whose raw dates were not reported, as well as calibrated dates BP cited in the original works, are in parent heses. The cases where the dates are reported already calibrated with the 1999 calibrati on curve (Stuiver, et al. 1998) with no BP dates are also indicated.


303.3. Analysis of the Evidence by Area 3.3.1. Mediterranean France France is a country with a well established school of palynology; numerous cores have provided data regarding the vegetation cover i n the Holocene. Other approaches to paleoenvironmental reconstruction are anthracology (Carcaillet 1998; Heinz 1991; Heinz and Thiebault 1998), a specific branch within the study of plant macroremains that deals with charcoal, which is shedding new light on the early beginnings of human impact on the territory through fire (Quils, et al. 2002), and t he study of sedimentation in riverbeds (Bichet, et al. 1999), lakes (Magny, et al. 2001), and coasts (Dubar and Anthony 1995; Morhange, et al. 2001). The pollen evidence has been critically manipulated and reinterpreted in the last decade by the research team led by Guy Jalut (2000; 1997) to homogenize and make sense of several studies involving single cores or sites. Sp ecific parameters were used with the purpose of tracing the shift from temperate to Medi terranean and from Mediterranean to steppic conditions: the ratio of deciduous and broa d leaved trees vs. sclerophyllous trees, and the ratio of sclerophyllous trees vs. Chenopodiaceae The datasets from the sites were reorganized, and diagrams produced according to the se variables. All climatic types are defined accurately and used consistently, so that t hresholds between different environmental stages could be systematically established (Jalut, et al. 2000: 256-63). Modern pollen distribution along two longitudinal transects was d ocumented, in order to compare consistently the prehistoric database with a contro l reference. Sites included in the study were also purposefully selected: only coastal sites, to avoid contamination by Supra-mediterranean species (from higher elevations), and only sites wi th small drainage basins, to reduce input of waterborne pollen, both concerns that are rarely pr esent in the literature, and which may negatively affect precision of meaningful counts (J alut, et al. 2000: 256-68). Jalut and coworkers provide the first documentation of a gradual expansion northwards of the Mediterranean climate zone during the Middle and Late Holocene, opposed to the rapid contemporaneous installation m odel (Prentice, et al. 1996). According to their findings, it took several thousand years for a fully Mediterranean vegetation to cover the whole latitudinal span between southeastern Spain a nd southern France. South of 39N, the environment would have been Mediterranean already a round 10000 BP, while at La Trmie,


31in Provence, only around 2800 BP. Etang de Berre, a site included in the first preliminary article (Jalut, et al. 1997) and later expunged, sh ows Mediterranean vegetation as defined according to their criteria not earlier than 1000 B P. Based on data from four sites on the French Mediter ranean coast (La Trmie, Marsillargues, Capestang and Canet St. Nazaire: Ber nard 1971; Jalut 1995; Planchais 1982, 1985; Planchais and Duzer 1978), Jalut and coworker s were able to identify several aridification phases (Figure 6). Since here I consi der specifically the period covered in the Figure 6. Pollen diagrams from southern France: La Trmie, Marsillargues, Capestang and Canet-St.Nazaire. Reprinted with modifications from Palaeoge ography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 160, G. Jalut et al., Holocene climatic changes in the Western Mediterranean, from south-east France t o south-east Spain, pp. 263-266, Figs. 4-7, 2000, wi th permission from Elsevier. The period ca. 4000-19 00 BC is shaded in gray for each sequence.


32 present dissertation, the relevant phase is mostly A.3 occurring around ca. 4500-4000 BP, or 3300-2200 cal. BP (Jalut, et al. 2000), which is da ted by radiocarbon dates at La Trmie (about 4050 100 BP, mid-3rd millennium BC) and Capestang (before or around 401 0 100 BP, first half to mid-3rd millennium BC), and correlated with a long aridifi cation phase recorded at Marsillargues and Canet-St. Nazaire. One of the problems facing paleoclimatologists and archaeologists desiring a fruitful mutual exchange of information is the different tar get scale for environmental reconstruction. Often, palynologists work on a timescale closer to geological times than cultural times, so that the chronological resolution turns out to be o f limited use to understand its relations with culture change (Dincauze 2000: 23-7). Therefore, be sides this phase A.3, considered by the authors as a major one, I tentatively identified fo ur possible additional aridification phases, which I called E, B, D, and C (see figure 6). Phase E, identifiable clearly at Canet-St. Nazaire, could be tentatively placed around 3050-29 50 cal BC based on a date that follows it (4200 90 BP). Such identification and date are po ssibly confirmed at Marsillargues (earlier and up to 4460 100 BP), less clearly at Capestang Phase D is best dated at Marsillargues at about 3550-3450 cal BC (wiggle right after the radi ocarbon date 4760 100), and clearly visible at Canet-St. Nazaire between phases C and B Phase B can be identified at Canet-St. Nazaire between E and D, so around 3350-3250 BC. Vi sually, it seems it could correspond to a drop in humidity and temporary sub-Mediterranean vegetation in the Marsillargues diagram. Finally, aridification phase C seems to ha ve occurred around 3850-3750 cal BC (bracketed between 5240 50 BP, date of the preced ent peak at Capestang, and 4880 80 BP at Canet-St. Nazaire). A similar pattern of alte rnating dry-wet phases in the same period has been detected through lake level changes at Lak e Constance (Magny and Haas 2004). Apparently, the following major dry phase recorded in Mediterranean Spain, dated around 3700-3300 BP (ca. 2350-1450 cal BC), did not correspond to any fast vegetation change along the French coast (Jalut, et al. 2000; 1997). To the east, Provence, as shown by the pollen sequence of La Trmie, had sub-Mediterra nean conditions throughout the 4th and 3rd millennia BC. In the west, the Gulf of Lion benefi ted from the moist and cooler westerly winds coming through the corridor between the Pyren ees and the Massif Central, so that the


33climate was generally oceanic. The threshold of sub -Mediterranean conditions was reached a few times and for very short lengths of time (Jalut et al. 2000). Anthracology, the discipline concerned with the stu dy of charcoal, has been giving a substantial contribution to the documentation of pr ehistoric vegetation and environment. Several sites in the eastern Pyrenees have been stu died by Heinz and coworkers (Heinz 1991; Heinz, et al. 2004; Heinz and Thiebault 1998), and provide stratigraphically controlled diagrams of vegetation change, although the degree to which such change is anthropogenic or climate-related is not quantifiable. At Font Juvna l, about 500 m asl (Figure 7), there was during the Late Neolithic and Copper Age a steady d ecline in deciduous oak and increase in genus Buxus (boxwood) and garrigue (the typical shrubby vegeta l community, similar to Figure 7. Charcoal diagram from Font Juvnal. Repri nted with modifications from Quaternary Research, vol. 50, C. Heinz and S. Thibault, Characterizatio n and palaeoecological significance of archaeologic al charcoal assemblages during Late and Post-glacial p hases in southern France, p. 63, Fig. 2, 1998, wit h permission from Elsevier. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gray, with the 4th millennium in lighter gray.


34Italian macchia ), but still forested environment with diversity of species associated with deciduous oak after 4800 150 BP [3760-3370 cal BC 1]. The lowest presence of deciduous oak, highest frequency of shrubs and Quercus ilex (evergreen oak) dates after 4190 90 BP [2890-2620 cal BC 1] (Heinz and Thiebault 1998). At Montou, 270 m asl (Figure 8), there is as well a decline in oak, but here it involves evergreen as well as deciduous oak, with a remarkab le drop from the centuries of the Late Neolithic around 4000 BC to the Copper Age layer (H einz, et al. 2004). In the Copper Age there is also an increase in the genus Buxus (boxwood), but especially Rhamnus-Phyllirea (mock privet) and Cistus (rockrose), adapted to warm and dry conditions. Th e latter is a shrub that, besides being typical of Mediterranean environments, often indicates human Figure 8. Charcoal diagram from Montou. Reprinted w ith modifications from Heinz et al. 2004, p. 624, Fig. 2, in The Holocene, 2004, with kind permissio n from Sage Publications. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gray.


35clearing since it sprouts easily after burning. Wha t is important, though, is that the decrease in Quercus both deciduous and evergreen, and the increase in heath ( Erica ), strawberry tree ( Arbutus ) and rockrose ( Cistus ), had already started in the Late Neolithic layer. The evidence fits a picture of replacement due to c limate change, with the contribution of human impact. It is only in the Ear ly Bronze Age that human impact is visible in the increase of Olea due to the beginning of its cultivation, as shown by the ratio of wild vs. cultivated specimens, which declines from 1 in the Late Neolithic to 0.7 in the Early Bronze Age, and by the ratio young vs. old wood (in dicating management), which rises from 0.5 to 0.8 (Heinz, et al. 2004). This also matches well the turning point in the vegetation type detected through pollen, with several genera not sp ecifically related to human activity but to relatively dry conditions ( Pistacia, Erica, Phyllirea ) peaking between 4880 and 4200 BP [ca. 3700-2700 cal BC], while deciduous oak is still abu ndant. Evergreen oak and rockrose, markers of cleared, secondary forest, take over aft erwards (Planchais 1985). Fires are documented in the highland region of the Causse between 4805 50 BP and 2990 60 BP [4th through 2nd millennium cal BC], where pine trees dominated the forest (Quils, et al. 2002), and on the western valleys o f the Alps (Carcaillet and Brun 2000). At St.-Michel-de-Maurienne and Aussois, the record of fires thickens in the 4th millennium BP [mid-3rd to mid-2nd millennium cal BC], a period when the forests seem to have been largely made up of pine trees as well (Carcaillet 1998). Based on the above evidence for fires and on method ological grounds, there are critics of the climatic reconstructions done throug h statistical manipulation of pollen sequences. The method used by Jalut and colleagues (2000; 1997)to standardize data has been put under serious critique: the use of the rat ios of deciduous and broad leaf trees vs. sclerophyllous plants would reflect the advantage given to sclerophyllous families, plants with hard leaves adapted to dry environments, by hu man agency rather than by climate change. The use of average annual temperature and p recipitation to define climatic thresholds may admittedly be inaccurate, since the main charac teristic of Mediterranean climate is instead the uneven distribution of them, with long summer droughts. The charcoal record is considered by some to be the key point to show that fire, not dryness, would be responsible for the spread of sclerophyllous plants and the rep lacement of deciduous forest (Pons and Quzel 1998).


36Related to the effects of both climatic change towa rds drier conditions, and the use of fire to clear the landscape, is the change in river and coastal sedimentation. According to Bichet and colleagues, a reversal can be detected b etween Atlantic and Sub-boreal periods: up to the subboreal, high lake levels would corresp ond to thicker and coarser sediments, and vice-versa low levels would signify thinner and fin er-textured sediments; afterwards, the opposite (Bichet, et al. 1999). Based on this assoc iation, from the coastal sediment record of the Baie des Anges, near Nice, it was possible to r econstruct the existence of wet and temperate conditions 8000 to 5000 BP (ca. 7000 to 3 800 cal BC: the so-called ‘climatic optimum’). From ca. 6000 BP [ca. 4800 cal BC] the f orest cover upstream begins to thin, and after 5000 BP [ca. 3800 cal BC] deciduous oak is re placed by pine, selected for by a drier climate and possibly by burning. Increasingly irreg ular precipitations caused episodic highenergy streams, recorded in the accumulation of coa rse sediments. On the coasts, malacology, the study of mollusk shells, confirms a shift from seawater to fresh and brackish water species, indicating lagoons and marshes due t o gravel barriers and the infilling of former marine shallow bays (Blanc 1993; Dubar and A nthony 1995). In the highlands, infilling volume has been calculated for the waters hed of Lake Challeixon, showing higher rates starting in the Late Atlantic up to ca. 3400 BC and particularly in the Subboreal (although this lumps together 2600 years, up to ca. 800 BC): at this location, coniphers replace deciduous forest around 3400 BC, roughly co rresponding to the macrobotanical record, and signs of palustrine waters appear for t he first time (Bichet, et al. 1999). Blanc attempted to draw a climatic outline of Provence pr ehistory through sediment analysis and integration of proxies: the Atlantic (8000-5000 BP, up to the 1st half of the 4th millennium cal BC) is assessed as hot to very hot (2-4C higher th an modern temperatures), characterized by the peak of progradation of the Rhne delta. Erosio nal crises in the streams would characterize the interface between Atlantic and Sub boreal. The following period (5000-4750 to 3000-2750 BP, or mid-4th to early 1st millennium cal BC) would have temperate/hot conditions, with alternating humid and dry phases ( see also Magny and Haas 2004). Characteristic of the Sub-boreal period would also be the regression of cliffs, brief erosive events, more deposition of colluvium and the infill ing of bays and bottom valleys (Blanc 1993). This occurred in continuous interaction with sea level changes: sea level rose up to about 2000 BC on the French Mediterranean coast, wi th a negligible role of tectonics (Lambeck and Bard 2000).


37 3.3.2. Mediterranean Spain In Spain, botanical remains, including mostly polle n, but also non-pollen microfossils and charcoal, have been analyzed at many locations, providing a relatively good knowledge of vegetation changes, at least for certain areas. A great amount of data have been produced in the last decade by Jos Carrin in collaboration with several scholars (Carrin, et al. 2001a; Carrin, et al. 2001b; Carrin and Navarro 2 002; Carrin, et al. 2000a; Carrin, et al. 2000b; Carrin, et al. 2003). At San Rafael (3620' N, 10 m asl, Almera), from 7100 50 BP [ca. 6000 cal BC] through 4430 100 BP [around 300 0 cal BC], there is a drop of Artemisia sp. and grasses in general, and higher frequency of Corylus sp., deciduous oak, and particularly evergreen oak. Around this date, trees decline sensibly while Artemisia dominates largely the assemblage, indicating drier conditions and/or human impact. Asteraceae in general and the microfossil Pseudoschizea point to increased aridity, the latter being an aquatic plant that thrives in desiccating basins (Carrin and Navarro 2002; Pantalen-Cano, et al. 2003). Similarly, at Navarr s (3906'N, 225 m asl), at about 5930 80 BP [from ca. 5000 BC] there is great increase in ev ergreen oak, decrease in Pinus and Artemisia and among the indicators of limnological change, an explosion of Polyadosporites markers of stagnant waters and extension of peats and marshes (Carrin, et al. 2001b; Carrin and Navarro 2002). Basin desicca tion parallels data from Southern Italy and Southern France over a thousand years later, ap pearing compatible with the progressive spread northward of aridity that has been suggested (Caldara, et al. 2002; Dubar and Anthony 1995), to which fire and grazing must be considered as contributing to shape both plant communities and water drainage. At Caada de la Cruz (3804'N, 1595 m asl), a turni ng point with the establishment of a xerophytic component (adapted to dry conditions), Juniperus sp. and Ephedra sp., parallel to the almost total disappearance of trees (pine, o ak) and shrubs present before, is extremely well dated by three very close radiocarbon dates ar ound the event: 3385 30 BP, 3370 20 BP, 3350 40 BP (Figure 9). These dates place the shift between 1750 and 1550 cal BC (Carrin, et al. 2001b; Carrin and Navarro 2002), so clearly after the period I am concerned with. This seems important, because it means that t his site at over 1500 m asl experienced wetter conditions throughout the early-mid-Holocene (Carrin, et al. 2001b), while at lower


38 Figure 9. Pollen diagram from Caada de la Cruz. Re printed with modifications from Carrin et al. 2001.b, p. 791, Fig. 7, in Journal of Ecology, 200 1, with kind permission from Blackwell Synergy. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gray. elevations weather was remarkably dry throughout th e Copper Age. This may explain why there has been a widespread shift of site location towards the highlands, which in Sardinia do not have a record of human presence earlier than ca 4000-3200 BC (Ozieri phase), their importance being emphasized only after 3200 BC. At Sierra del Gdor (3654Â’N, 1530 m asl), another site in southern Spain at about the same altitude, there is a similar pattern; in this case, between 4000 and 1900 BC there is an invasion of deciduous oak from lower elevations, pr obably provoked by an increase in temperature and consistent humidity, differently fr om the dry lowlands, where at least from 2200 BC aridity was enhanced by the effects of fire s (Carrin, et al. 2003). At Villaverde (3848Â’N, 870 m asl, Pinus forest is dominant (~60%) in the first half of the 6th millennium cal BC (6670 70 BP), when other tree species appe ar (Figure 10). The intrusion of oak


39 Figure 10. Pollen diagram from Villaverde compared to dry spells in North Africa. Reprinted with modifications from Carrin et al. 2001.a, p. 647, F ig. 11, in The Holocene, 2001, with kind permissio n from Sage Publications. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gray. indicates moister and warmer temperatures. At 5140 60 BP [beginning 4th millennium cal BC] Pinus is lower than 30%, and deciduous oak expands rapid ly becoming the dominant species, with important presence of hazel, ash and alder. In the second part of the sequence that is bracketed by the date 3240 50 BP [mid-2nd millennium cal BC], from around 3000 cal BC, evergreen oak takes over, marking the onset of drier conditions, accompanied by Artemisia, Juniperus and xerophytic taxa that expand up from the lowlan ds with increased aridity (Carrin, et al. 2001a; Carrin and Navarro 2002). Differently from southern France and Corsica, Olea was apparently present early on after glacial time s on the coasts of Spain, and as soon as the climatic conditions changed, it spread consistently, along with the rest of drought-resistant trees and shrubs (Pantalen-Cano, et al. 2003). Furthermore, the non-pollen microfossil diagram shows a distinct peak of densit y probably not longer than half a century, centered on the mid-3rd millennium BC, and possibly lasting a few centurie s. This indicates lowered lake-level and eutrophic environment (Carri n and Navarro 2002).


40Such a dry event correlates well with the dry spell identified all over the Mediterranean and better identified in the Near Eas t (Bryson and Bryson 1997; Weiss 1997). A confirmation of the general trend towards aridity from the early-mid to late Holocene, yet with a coarse chronology, comes also from the analy sis of isotopic discrimination of 13C during grain infilling of barley and wheat, compare d with modern samples (Araus, et al. 1997a; Araus, et al. 1997b; Araus, et al. 2003). The previously cited work by Jalut and coworkers tr acks the spread of Mediterranean conditions northward; Southeastern Spain (Figure 11 ) is peculiar in that vegetation was already Mediterranean before Neolithic times (Burja chs and Riera 1995). South of 40N latitude, Mediterranean climate was established ver y early: at Salinas (3831'N), conditions were Mediterranean throughout the sequence starting around 10000 years BP. An irregular arid period spans the sequence around 6090-5650 cal BP [ca. 4300-3600 cal BC]; wetter periods are recorded at 4810-4240 cal BP [ca. 29002200 cal BC] and between these two dates. Between 3980 and 3670 BP [ca. 2350-1700 cal BC], there is indication of a prolonged dry event – or of its long-term effects – which aga in corresponds clearly with the aridification Figure 11. Pollen diagrams from southeastern Spain: Salinas and Cabo de Gata. Reprinted with modifications from Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatolo gy, Palaeoecology, vol. 160, G. Jalut et al., Holocene climatic changes in the Western Mediterran ean, from south-east France to south-east Spain, pp 270-271, Figs. 11-12, 2000, with permission from E lsevier. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gray for both sequences.


41phase documented over wide areas (Burjachs and Rier a 1995; Jalut, et al. 2000). Finally, the Cabo de Gata sequence (3747'N, figure 11), on the Almerian coast, shows as well as Salinas a Mediterranean climate already established in preNeolithic times. A drop in the ratio sclerophyllous taxa/Chenopodiaceae right after 3570 60 [ca 2100-1750 cal BC] (Jalut, et al. 2000) rather than just drought might be an example of delayed, abrupt threshold crossing of the ecosystem into grassland (Scheffer, et al. 2001 ), likely enhanced by human impact through soil overuse, fires, and possible deforesta tion related to metallurgy as shown by increasing evidence in the western Mediterranean. T his time and area corresponds in fact to the peak of the Early Bronze Age Argaric culture, c haracterized by a powerful rise in metal manufacture. Mediterranean conditions would have been establishe d at the two sites of Besos and Cubelles (Figure 12), both in the Northeast and les s than 100 km apart, with a relatively long interval: at the southern site during the 1st half of the 4th millennium BC, at the northern one only in the mid-2nd millennium BC. Here as in the whole western Medite rranean area, several aridification events of broad extent have been reco rded: A.3, 4500-4200 BP (around 3400Figure 12. Pollen diagrams from Catalonia (northeas tern Spain): Besos and Cubelles. Reprinted with modifications from Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatolo gy, Palaeoecology, vol. 160, G. Jalut et al., Holocene climatic changes in the Western Mediterran ean, from south-east France to south-east Spain, pp 267-268, Figs. 8-9, 2000, with permission from Els evier. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gra y for both sequences.


422600 cal BC), would mark the beginning of the shift towards a Mediterranean climate north of 40N, which is considered connected to an increa se of 2C in the sea surface temperature of the Mediterranean. A large mass of data are comp ared to these results, pointing to a threshold period for the major shift at around 4500 BP [ca. 3400-2800 cal BC] (Jalut, et al. 2000: 281-3). Looking at the diagram more closely, at Besos (4124Â’N) the chronology has similarly low resolution; the period 4000-1900 cal BC, when climate conditions become Mediterranean, is bracketed between 6870 100 BP [ 1st half of the 6th millennium cal BC] and 3250 50 BP [ca. 1650-1400 cal BC], and is the refore not useful for comparative purposes. The Cubelles diagram (4112Â’N) shows drie r conditions at 5040 70 BP [ca. 4000-3700 cal BC] before a humid peak that makes th e vegetation temporarily Submediterranean (compare again Magny and Haas 2004 ), then a decrease in humidity and constant ratios in the following centuries up to 36 80 80 BP [ca. 2350-1750 cal BC], when there is possibly a mildly dry event matching the m ajor phenomena found in the Levant (Jalut, et al. 2000; Riera i Mora 1994; Riera i Mor a and Esteban Amat 1994). In the lake level record, the Iberian Peninsula (Fi gure 13) as North Africa seems to experience a major shift toward drier conditions be tween 5000-4000 BP (early 4th-mid 3rd millennium cal BC). Unfortunately, the number of la kes considered is scarce (only 4 for the Iberian Peninsula versus 72-76 for North Africa) (M agny, et al. 2002). Figure 13. Lake level diagram from the Iberian peni nsula. Reprinted with modifications from Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 186, M. Magny et al., Assessment of the impact of climate and anthropogenic factors on Holocene Me diterranean vegetation in Europe on the basis of palaeohydrological records, p. 50, Fig. 1, 2002, w ith permission from Elsevier. The period of interes t ca. 4000-1900 cal BC is comprised between the mid-5th and the mid-3rd millennium BP, or timeslices 5 to 3.


433.3.3. Mediterranean Italy In Italy, the best record of vegetation changes has been collected in the middle section of the peninsula, due to the many volcanic lakes which preserved sediments yielding much environmental information. A key synthetic wor k on conditions in Middle to Late Holocene Italy (Magri 1997) considered the traditio nal arboreal pollen (AP) vs. non-arboreal pollen (NAP) ratio from seven lacustrine sequences along the peninsula summarizes the identifiable trends; further evidence comes from ma gnetism (Brandt, et al. 1999), sediment history (Ramrath, et al. 2000; Ramrath, et al. 1999 a; Ramrath, et al. 1999b), oxygen isotopes (Tuccimei, et al. 2003), and, for sea surface tempe rature, from alkenones (Rimbu, et al. 2004). Lago Grande di Monticchio, in Southern Italy, did n ot yield any absolute date, so that environmental reconstruction is not well anchored t o any timeline that is archaeologically relevant (Watts, et al. 1996). Similar limited info rmation comes from Agoraie di Fondo and Padule; therefore, here I discuss mainly the sites in Latium, central Italy. At Valle di Castiglione (44 m asl), AP is relatively scarce, bu t increasing at 5280 65 BP [ca. 4300-3900 cal BC] and 4490 65 BP [ca. 3400-3000 cal BC]. Af ter reaching the highest proportion, with strong presence of Fagus (beech) indicative of rather wet conditions, tree frequency starts decreasing some time before the date 3480 50 BP [ca. 2000-1700 cal BC], with the lowest level some time afterwards. At Lago di Vico, 510 m asl (Figure 14), AP is aroun d 85% from 5354 75 BP [43304040 cal BC 1] onwards, with a decrease in two steps down to 75% and 65%, corresponding to radiocarbon dates 4135 75 BP [ca. 2900-2500 ca l BC] and 3710 50 BP [2278-1954 cal BC 2] (after Magri and Sadori 1995); this two-stepped d rop may correspond to the aridification phase A.3 in France (Jalut, et al. 20 00) and possibly with the phase E that I tentatively identified at Canet-St.-Nazaire (figure 6). Lago Lungo (371 m asl) does not have but one radiocarbon date at the end of the sequence 3680 70 BP [2284-1887 cal BC 2], which corresponds though to the lowest ratio of tre e versus grass pollen, and to a severe reduction of oak (Calderoni, et al. 1994), parallel to Lago di Vico itself and matching the evidence from the Levant. Finally, Lagaccione (350 m asl) shows a similar pattern, with a very high percentage of AP up to 4350 75 BP [3335 -2779 cal BC 2], one first drop of arboreal pollen with a date around 3750 80 BP [24 57-1951 cal BC 2] that seems to stop


44 Figure 14. Pollen diagrams from the Italian peninsu la. Right: Lago di Vico; left: Lagaccione. Graphs reprinted from Magri 1997, p. 522-523, Figs. 4, 6, in Dalfes et al. (eds.), 1997, with kind permissio n from Springer Science and Business Media. The period ca. 4000-1900 cal BC is shaded in gray. Note that Quercus includes both deciduous and evergreen, which are a ssociated to different environmental conditions. for some time, where Quercus is high and Fagus severely decreased, and finally a further, sharp low peak possibly within a few centuries afte rwards (Magri 1989; 1997: 520-3). These two drops may coincide again with drier phases A.3 and E mentioned above for Mediterranean France. The 4th millennium seems to start with dense forests at th ese sites in Latium, central Italy, except at Valle di Castiglione where this is likely due to altitude (only 44 m asl, as opposed to the altitude of the other three, between 350 and 510 m asl), where probably rainfall was lower, and consequently tree cover mor e sparse. The two more detailed and better dated sequences, Lago di Vico and Lagaccione show similar patterns of dense forest until a noticeable reduction of arboreal pollen tak es place starting around 2300-1900 cal BC, in two steps that seem to coincide with each other, with arid phases in Southern France, and with the wider trends mentioned above. Sediments da ta and lower lake levels also match the indication for a remarkable dry phase in the same p eriod. Such events do not appear to have occurred at the northern sites of Lago Padule and A goraie di Fondo, in the northern


45Apennine, again due to altitude (both lie over 1000 m asl), which mitigated the effects that decline in rainfall can generate in lowlands (Magri 1997), as indicated at Caada de la Cruz in Spain. Furthermore, the appearance at Lago di Vi co of the of Cedrus sp. pollen, related to strong southerly winds at about 2250 cal BC, points to the dependence of climate on air masses centered in North Africa. These winds, among other factors, might have contributed to the desiccation of soils and the environmental d isruption documented by the reduction in arboreal pollen; similar association of low pollen concentration and Cedrus presence has been observed as well in France (Andrieu, et al. 19 97; Magri and Parra 2002). The growth of organisms associated with specific en vironmental conditions in lakes has also been used as an environmental proxy: durin g the interval ca. 7250 to 3650 cal BC, organic-rich diatoms were deposited at Lago di Mezz ano. Two phases of lower organic carbon were identified within this interval, of whi ch one (P2) around 4850-4250 cal BC is characterized by a decrease in biogenic parameters, and finds its best correlate in Tunisia (see below). From 5000 cal BP [ca. 3000 cal BC], the shi ft in sedimentation pattern indicates abrupt climate aridification, from very wet to dry, and some cooling (Ramrath, et al. 2000), data that have been correlated with the abrupt even t recorded in Tunisia (Zielhofer, et al. 2004). One recent study at Buca della Renella provides an even more specific and explicit proof of an anomalous dry spell that hit Tuscany at ~2200 BC, from the profile of several proxies including 13C and 18O measured in a speleothem. In this profile, anothe r peak in aridity, milder than this, is also recorded at ~470 0 BC (Drysdale, et al. 2006), which the authors connect with a similar date and event recor ded at Soreq Cave, in Israel (BarMatthews, et al. 1997). The same general pattern is recorded also in Apulia southeastern Italy, but possibly aridification started here at an earlier time; stud y of sediments in the Salpi lagoon indicated wetter conditions in the Middle Neolithic. It would be at the end of this phase that the climatic deterioration would start, with an arid ph ase characterized by scarce rainfall and high temperatures that was so remarkable that the whole coastal area fell under semi-desert conditions (Boenzi, et al. 2001; Caldara, et al. 20 02). Erosion due to the absence of vegetation increased sediment infilling rates, made the lagoon smaller and shallower, until it turned it into a sabkha a flat, desiccated biome typical of Middle Easter n areas characterized by compact and highly saline soil. While later phas es at the site of Coppa Nevigata have


46better chronological resolution (Caldara and Simone 2005), it is unfortunate that such a good sediments history is very poorly dated, with a sing le aridification phase documented between the Late Neolithic and Middle Bronze Age (Caldara, et al. 2002). A still similar pattern has been recorded in the plain south of Salerno, Campan ia, where during the Copper Age a profound environmental crisis (which followed signs of volcanic activity, not necessarily in any kind of causal relationship) led to a massive s eries of cut-and-fill events, with large quantities of sediments colluviated toward the coas t and the suggested coastal progradation and formation of marshes and stagnant-water lagoons (Di Maio, et al. 2003). Information on sea surface temperature comes from c ore AD91-17, located between Apulia and Albania. The sequence begins at about 17 C at 4000 BC, then temperature decreased to 16C until the mid-3rd millennium BC, and rises slightly around 2000 BC, confirming at least the bipartite character of this section of the Holocene (Rimbu, et al. 2004). 3.3.4. North Africa, Sicily and Surrounding Islands The most investigated record for paleoenvironmental reconstruction in North Africa is probably the oscillation in lake level (Figure 1 5). While relatively few studies concern the Mediterranean belt of Africa, a large database has been created and synthesized with Saharan lakes across the continent, building upon previous data collections, particularly the Oxford lake level data bank, OLLDB (Damnati 2000). After a moist period, an ‘unstable phase’ where some lakes became shallower is identified aro und 7000-6000 BP [ca. 6000-4700 cal BC]. The ‘last fluvial phase’ followed, where most lakes began to decrease from the early 5th millennium BC, to become increasingly drier from th e 1st half of the 4th millennium BC (Damnati 2000). Generally, the whole period between 9000 and 4500 BP [end of 9th-end of 4th millennium cal BC] was much more conducive to huma n life than it has ever been later: the water bodies supported molluscs, fish, and sava nnah mammals, all nutritional resources that disappeared afterwards. The decrease in precip itation between 10000-5000 BP and today has been estimated for the paleo-lake Chad area to be roughly 300 mm (Damnati 2000; Kutzbach 1980). The Western Libyan Sahara has been investigated by an interdisciplinary ItalianLibyan team, integrating several methods: a relativ ely wet phase lasted up to the early 4th millennium BC: in the area there were lakes, swamps savannah vegetation, and this


47 Figure 15. Maps of North Africa showing lake levels between the 5th and the 3rd millennium BC. Reprinted with modifications from Journal of African Earth Sc iences, vol. 31, B. Damnati, Holocene lake records in the Northern Hemisphere of Africa, p. 257-258, Figs 2.b, 3.a and 3.b, 2000, with permission from Elsevier. water left its trace in the sediments. Lake levels rose gradually, peaking during the early 5th millennium BC, when moisture started decreasing. Th ere is a break in the radiocarbon dates sequence at the end of the 6th millennium BC, which has been interpreted as a pos sible dry phase which caused the break in human occupation; a fterwards, erosion, wind deposits inside shelters and caves, and the collapse of shelter roo fs indicate progressive aridification (Cremaschi and Di Lernia 1999). As regards specifically the Mediterranean belt, at Lake Tigalmamine (Morocco) the isotopic evidence and the shallow-water diatoms ind icate evaporation and increased salinity due to lowered water level during the 5th and the 1st half of the 4th millennium cal BC (Lamb,


48et al. 1995). In Algeria at Sebkha Mellala, a lacus trine episode is revealed in the early 5th millennium cal BC through the analysis of sediments (Damnati 2000; Gasse and Fontes 1992): all phenomena point to a Mediterranean wet p hase. In northern Tunisia, in the Medjerda Valley (Zielhofer, et al. 2004), which is the north African investigated location closest to Sardinia, sediment deposition between ap proximately 4650 and 4050 cal BC has been interpreted as a sign of drier conditions and connected to similar evidence at Lago di Mezzano in central Italy (Ramrath, et al. 2000; Ram rath, et al. 1999a; Ramrath, et al. 1999b). Afterwards, from ca. 4050 to 2850 cal BC, sedimenta tion is stable, until an abrupt event, defined as a “climatic collapse”, is recorded at ab out 2800-2700 cal BC, when drier conditions generated increased sediment and the end of soil formation; according to the authors (Zielhofer, et al. 2004), this would be a p unctuated event representing the response of the environmental system to increased insolation, f ollowing a model of alternative steadystates and “hysteresis” occurring between them (see also Higgins, et al. 2002; Mastrandrea and Schneider 2001). At another location in Tunisia the Chott Rharsa basin, a later arid phase, starting around 2400 cal BC, has been identi fied (Swezey, et al. 1999). In the lake level record, the major drop is in the period between 5000-4000 BP, corresponding to early 4th -mid 3rd millennium BC (Figure 16), which confirms the tren d highlighted above (Magny, et al. 2002). Variation i n sea surface temperature investigated through alkenones (Rimbu, et al. 2004), yielded res ults from the southern belt of the western Figure 16. Lake level diagram from North Africa. Re printed with modifications from Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 186, M. Magn y et al., Assessment of the impact of climate and anthropogenic factors on Holocene Mediterranean veg etation in Europe on the basis of palaeohydrological records, p. 50, Fig. 1, 2002, w ith permission from Elsevier. The period of interes t ca. 4000-1900 BC is comprised between the mid-5th and the mid-3rd millennium BP, or timeslices 5 to 3.


49Mediterranean. Core RL11, located between Sicily, M alta and Greece, shows a temperature in the Ionian Sea starting at ~22C at 4000 cal BC, rising to almost 24C around 3000-2500 cal BC, and dropping constantly almost until 1000 c al BC at 18.5C. Core MD95-2043, located in the Alboran sea, near Gibraltar, starts at almost 19.5C at 4000 cal BC, declines to ~18.3C at 3500 cal BC, and after 3000 cal BC peaks at 19.3C (see table X, after Rimbu, et al. 2004). Not much research has been done regarding Holocene climate change in Sicily and the surrounding islands (Giraudi 2004; Madonia, et al. 2003; Sadori and Narcisi 2001), while even worse and of no use for the scope of this stud y is the little research done on Malta (Hunt 1997). On the southern island of Lampedusa, between Sicily and Tunisia, the Atlantic period is characterized by deposition of fine silts. This process was interrupted at about 4010 40 BP [mid-3rd millennium BC], when sediments became coarse, poin ting to instability and soil disruption. The accumulation of wind-borne dust ric h in quartz (foreign to the local geology) increased from the 1st half of the 4th millennium cal BC, and such dust accumulation corresponds to moister conditions and glacier advan ce in the Alps and the Apennines (Giraudi 2004). In Sicily, at Lago di Pergusa, the formation of muds and decline in the rates of sediment accumulation are interpreted as decreas ing humidity from the 6th millennium cal BC onwards. Overall aridity increased up to remarka bly dry conditions from the late 2nd millennium cal BC. The pollen zone ending right aft er 7475 65 BP [6447-6228 cal BC 2] reveals a forest (high arboreal pollen levels) domi nated by deciduous and evergreen oak (4061% and 12-25% respectively), but very important is also, at this early stage, the presence of Olea (olive), Pistacia (mastic and terebinth), and Vitis (vine), which in Corsica appear only thousands of years later. Afterwards, warm and wet optimum is indicated by the peak in arboreal pollen (94%), followed by two drops to the minimum across 4400 105 BP [33692764 cal BC 2] (Sadori and Narcisi 2001). The role of climate is however, again likely mixed with human impact. 3.3.5. Western Mediterranean Islands: Balearics and Corsica Corsica and the Balearic Islands are undoubtedly th e two most important places that need to considered in the absence of data coming di rectly from Sardinia. This is due, for Corsica, to its geographic proximity to Sardinia an d to its role as a natural bridge with the


50Italian peninsula and the European continental land mass, which makes it the likely intermediary for the spread of species to and from the island. The Balearics are important because their latitude is fully included in Sardini aÂ’s latitudinal range, so that at least it is possible to get an idea of possible climatic clines in a south-north direction using them as a proxy. Paleoenvironmental reconstruction on the different islands has been given uneven attention by researchers: Corsica shows in fact a r emarkable example of an island quite wellknown from a palynology standpoint, mostly thanks t o Maurice Reille. Cores have been taken from over 25 sites, with a good coverage of a ll the environmental zones of the island, many of which included Holocene sequences and speci fically the period of interest for my dissertation (Reille 1984, 1988, 1992, 1997; Reille et al. 1999a, b; Reille, et al. 1997). Corsica can therefore provide powerful analogies to infer possible developments on Sardinia as far as vegetation is concerned, with the necessa ry caution to account for human vs. climatic impact and for the latitudinal difference that makes Corsica more temperate and moist. The vegetation pattern appears to be, in the Atlant ic period (up to the 1st half of the 4th millennium cal BC), bipartite: on the eastern plain s, Taxus (yew), Tilia spp. (lime or linden)and deciduous oak are the most frequent tree s, while the evergreen oak is absent, as well as genera Pistacia, Olea, Myrtus, Phyllirea Erica sp. (heath) was confined to the warmer spots. This means that most of the typically Mediterranean kinds of shrubs were not present yet. On the other hand, on the much steeper western flanks and northern Cape areas, pristine forests of heath and strawberry trees char acterized the vegetation landscape. At an altitude of over 1500 m, black pine ( Pinus laricio) and even fir ( Abies ) constituted the majority of arboreal cover. In the Subboreal, from the second half of the 4th to the beginning of 3rd millennium cal BC, evergreen oak expanded, replacing deciduous oak, heath and strawberry tree. In the thick oak forest previously dominant on the coasts, new species that are today widespread, as mastic, terebinth, wild olive, and mock privet, mak e their first appearance. At higher elevations, black pines undergo as well major expan sion (Reille 1984, 1988, 1992): all such phenomena can be related to a progressively drier c limate. More in detail, at the site of Crovani on the north western coast, a major expansion of evergreen oak occurred around 4300 120 BP [3262-2 679 cal BC, 1]. At this site, right


51after the date 3820 140 BP [2468-2045 cal BC, 1], there is a hiatus in the deposition of organic sediments, with a sterile sandy layer (Reil le 1992), which might be an indication of faster erosion, parallel to phenomena studied in co astal France. At Saleccia, two radiocarbon dates, 5690 140 BP [4688-4372 cal BC, 1] on the bottom and 5160 100 BP [4217-3798 cal BC, 1] on the top of the pollen ‘zone b’, bracket the en d of the Atlantic period: this phase shows strong presence of heath ( Erica arborea ), not much evergreen oak, and consistent presence of strawberry tree ( Arbutus ). The presence of rockrose and asphodel ( Asphodelus ) is a sign of human clearance, since these are the first pioneer plants that colonize impoverished soils. The fact that evergree n oak did not spread yet is interpreted as proof of its absence from the natural vegetation un til the late Atlantic. A typically Mediterranean shrub such as Myrtus (myrtle) is absent up to historic times (Reille 19 92: 372). ‘Zone c’ is dated after 5160 100 BP [4217-3 798 cal BC, 1] and before 3730 110 BP [2292-1973 cal BC, 1], and corresponds to the Subboreal, characterized again by the trends described above, the spread of evergreen oak being the most relevant (Reille 1992). A very good record of vegetation changes has been r etrieved from cores at the Lac de Creno, in the mountainous center of Corsica, at 131 0 m asl. During the Atlantic, preceding the timespan of interest, there is a replacement of yew ( Taxus ) by heath ( Erica arborea ), with increasing temperature corresponding to the climati c optimum, while Tilia boxwood, and Ulmus (elm) decrease. The first appearance of beech also indicates increased humidity in the first half of the 7th millennium BC (zone i). After a temporary decline of heath and alder, and the increase of yew and black pine ( Pinus nigra laricio ), possibly due to cooler conditions, a "major event" is recorded between ca. 6285 155-15 0 and 5419 80-75 BP [between ca. 5500-4000 BC], which involved the appearance and es tablishment of Arbutus whereas evergreen oak is still insignificant, less than 1% (Reille, et al. 1999a, b). This phase represented the peak of deciduous oak which replace d yew on high elevations, while evergreen oak in the early 4th millennium BC extends at the expense of heath at l ower elevations. Reille connects this 'major event' to h uman impact, due to the presence of plantain ( Plantago lanceolata ) rockrose ( Cistus ) and asphodel ( Asphodelus ) all indicators of human impact on the landscape, and of buckwheat ( Rumex ), indicating ruderalization, which disappears afterwards. Unfortunately the chronology becomes coarser during the key timespan of the 4th and 3rd millennia BC, when evergreen oak takes over partia lly replacing heath and deciduous oak, and so establishing a type of vegetation that resembles the current


52Mediterranean one. This can therefore be taken as a sign of climatic conditions with enhanced seasonal difference and longer summer drou ght (‘zone l’ of Lac de Creno, estimated by Reille to have lasted approximately 30 00 years around 4465 125 BP [33492944 cal BC, 1] (Reille 1988; Reille, et al. 1999a). During this period, while shrubs like Pistacia (mastic and terebinth) Phyllirea (mock privet) and Olea (olive) become established on the dry lowlands (Reille 1988), the charcoal evi dence does not seem to support the suggested importance of fire until the Iron Age (Ca rcaillet, et al. 1997), differently from Southern France where such evidence dates as early as the Late Neolithic (Carcaillet 1998). On the island of Minorca, among the pollen sequence s considered, two are radiocarbon dated, and the other two are generally well compatible (Yll, et al. 1997). At Algendar, during phase ‘a’, dating to before 4940 50 BP [3911-3639 cal BC 2], boxwood ( Buxus ) and hazel ( Corylus ) dominated the forest. Remarkably abundant were al so juniper ( Juniperus sp. ) and ephedra ( Ephedra sp.), besides both deciduous and evergreen oak. Th e frequency of Typha sp. (cattail) indicates extensive coastal marshes. In the phase lasting up to 4090 60 BP [2872-2489 cal BC 2], olive trees appear and increase; heath, alder, m ock privet and evergreen oak spread, while boxwood and hazel decrease: these changes point to the beginning of Mediterranean conditions with long er summer droughts. Plantago (plantain) starts but expands only in the end of the phase, wh en conversely Juniperus (juniper) decreases, which is likely connected with human act ivity. During this phase, there is also a very high frequency of Apiaceae, which quickly disa ppear shortly after. This family includes thousands of species, among which the genus Ferula which includes pioneer species very common in present-day Sardinia that colonize impove rished soils (compare with Rumex and Asphodelus in Corsica). Abruptly, in the second half of the 3rd millennium BC, juniper and boxwood almost disappear, and hazel declines. Selec tion against boxwood and hazel may be connected to higher seasonal variability and lower precipitation, but also coincides with the first stable colonization of the islands. The survi val of hygrophylous taxa (adapted to high moisture) only in the northern mountain range has b een explained with the possible formation of mists. Replacement of boxwood by olive and heath is unique to the Balearics, and such olive tree pollen has been interpreted as belonging to the wild variety, Olea europaea subspecies sylvestris This is based on historical information regarding the introduction of cultivated olive trees by the Moors in the late Middle Ages (Yll, et al. 1997).


53At the same time in Corsica a similar trend to arid ification is instead characterized by the replacement of heath by evergreen oak (Reille 1988) The sequence at CalaÂ’n Porter (Figure 17) follows a relatively similar pattern. One event that could date to a few hundred years before 5120 60 BP [4042-3776 cal BC 2] causes on one hand Plantago, Asteraceae and Poaceae, and especially olive, to in crease; on the other, it makes deciduous and evergreen oak and hazel decrease sensibly, and juniper and boxwood to almost disappear. Pollen diagrams are do minated by olive and grasses until 4450 50 BP [3339-2929 cal BC 2], with Polygonum (a kind of buckwheat) very high in the first half; this plant grows on sandy soils, and may ther efore indicate soil degradation depending on aridity and loss of vegetal cover. Afterwards, e ven most grasses decline (only Poaceae recover), while olive trees become the characterizi ng element of the vegetal landscape (Yll, et al. 1997). Figure 17. Pollen diagram from CalaÂ’n Porter, Minor ca, Balearic Islands. Reprinted with modifications from Quaternary Research, vol. 48, E-I. Yll et al., Palynological evidence for climatic change and hum an activity during the Holocene on Minorca (Balearic I slands), p. 343, Fig. 4, 1997, with permission fro m Elsevier. The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is shaded in gray.


54At the site of Alcudia (3951Â’N), on the island of Mallorca, the situation is similar. In the Atlantic period, juniper and ephedra are found on the sandy coasts, hazel and alder along streams, and there were widespread forests of heath evergreen oak, mastic, and particularly deciduous oak and boxwood. After 6270 70 BP [5463 -5038 cal BC 2], shrub species such as Olea, Pistacia and trees like pines replace most of junipers and ephedra. On higher elevations, boxwood disappears, deciduous oak decre ases, and beech increases. Mastic/terebinth and evergreen oak spread, particul arly towards the end of the phase, which is around the 1st millennium cal BC. The presence of rockrose ( Cistus ) also becomes more consistent, and as in Corsica, there is a great exp ansion of evergreen oak at the expense of the deciduous species (Burjachs, et al. 1994). All thes e vegetation changes are symptoms of gradually longer summer droughts since the 5th millennium BC, according to the reconstruction by Jalut and colleagues, who detecte d the first establishment of Mediterranean conditions by the early 6th millennium BC (Jalut, et al. 2000). 3.4. Discussion. Trends, Events, and Their Nature 3.4.1. Was There Any Long-Term Climate Change 40001900 BC in the Western Mediterranean? Since the evidence is highly diverse in methods and study areas, and the purpose of this chapter is to compare evidence from different areas to infer trends in the geographic center, by necessity I draw most of my generalizati ons from the studies that involved wide areas. This is also coupled by attention to century -scale shifts, which as I explained above are very important for archaeologists but do not repres ent the main concern of paleoclimatologists. As is clear from the results of the survey, one of the key studies is that by Jalut et al. (2000). They devised a rigorous and sound methodolo gy, which while not lacking reasons for criticisms, makes their findings widely accepted an d cited. It accounted for several biases commonly not considered, and allowed the tracing of patterns over a broad area and over different latitudes in a systematic way. Magny et a l. (2002), in their synthetic work focusing on hydrology, bring together many available proxies (Figure 18), and accept the identified aridification phases. What they disagree upon conce rns the correspondence of dry phases


55 Figure 18. Hydrology and correlation with arid phas es detected through pollen analyses. Reprinted with modifications from Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatolo gy, Palaeoecology, vol. 186, M. Magny et al., Assessment of the impact of climate and anthropogen ic factors on Holocene Mediterranean vegetation in Europe on the basis of palaeohydrological records, p. 52, Fig. 2, 2002, with permission from Elsevier The period ca. 4000-1900 BC is highlighted in yello w. with high lake levels and glacier expansion. They p oint out the problem of comparing calibrated dates of pollen sequences with uncalibra ted dates of glacier data, concluding that the correspondence is rather between arid phases, l ow lake levels, and glacier retreats as documented in previous studies (Magny 2001; 2004; M agny, et al. 2003a; 2003b). A general trend toward aridification is clear over the 4000-1900 BC period we are interested in. On the other hand, the chronological correspondence is in my opinion not much better by using all calibrated dates. Although it i s of course more rigorous methodologically, it does not make things clearer because dating reso lution is still too coarse. Jalut et al.Â’s (2000) aridification phases in some cases even over lap with each other, so they can


56potentially match almost every phenomenon one likes It is clear that due to such problems of resolution, finding correspondences is very hard at the small scale. This also affects the complexity of accounting for climatic patterns at t he local level. However, two important points have been acknowledged: first, that there wa s a general division of the Holocene into two halves worldwide (warmer/wetter vs. cooler/drie r?) (Roberts, et al. 2001); and second, that the existence and identity of arid phases, des pite their coarse chronology needing improvements, are recognized in several cases. Looking at a variety of different proxies, the real ity of significant climatic changes that do not depend at all on human impact is clear, and has been connected to changes in summer insolation of the northern hemisphere and gl obal warming, which caused south-north displacements of the monsoonal zone and of the west erly winds that bring rain to the Mediterranean and the Levant (Damnati 2000; Magny a nd Haas 2004; Weiss 1997). These displacements and climatic changes were generated, as they are now, by displacements of the boundaries between resulting climatic zones, or eco tones. While the Mediterranean zone is hot and dry in the summer and wet only in the winte r, the Oceanic/Atlantic zone is cooler and more moist (Crumley 1993); SardiniaÂ’s location is r emarkably central, so that a shift of a few hundred km, comparatively small at the global scale does generate significant and possibly rapid change in precipitation and temperature patte rns. Such movement has been described as pulsating, and it may involve, when high pressures prevail, a weakened westerly jetstream, so that the moisture coming from the Atlantic does not release rains on the Mediterranean basin. When thresholds are crossed that are relevant for h ydrology and ecosystems in general (Starkel 1997), environmental change can be profoun d, as can be seen in vegetation communities. It is also apparent that besides the g eneral trend from the climatic optimum in the 5th millennium until historic times (after the 9th-7th century BC), the most substantial climatic and environmental change in the Western Me diterranean area did occur specifically during the 3rd millennium. 3.4.2. Assessing Human vs. Climatic Impact The issue of whether the environmental evidence ref lects climate change or human impact is a crucial question, and the debate is liv ely. On one side are those who recognize a primary role of climate independent from human agen cy, which is not considered as relevant


57up to historic times (Jalut, et al. 2000; Jalut, et al. 1997). On the other side there are those who identify human impact as the primary factor for the recorded evidence since the establishment of Neolithic economies (Carcaillet 19 98; Carcaillet, et al. 1997; Pons and Quzel 1998). Anthracology and AMS dating have been used to addre ss this problem. Carcaillet (1998) argues that if two areas within the same alt itudinal belt, and only 10 km apart, show remarkably different patterns of fires, this means that fires are not of natural origin, but set by humans. Along this line, the recorded pattern suppo rts an origin independent from wide climatic change. On the other hand, 34 AMS dates fo r a period spanning 7000 years (from 6715 95 BP to 75 55 BP: about one sample every 200 years) seem quite few to infer real patterns. Each date may represent a small fire rath er than forest fire, while conversely the scattered dates show a large uncertainty and possib le randomness of patterns. Also, the possibility of lightning-generated fires is overloo ked, and very difficult to determine. Assessing frequency and extension of fire events se ems to require a much more intense sampling. Pons and Quzel (1998: 758-9) point out how over th e last 100 years, with the decrease in human management of the countryside, de ciduous oaks have shown a constant expansion (over twice as large an area) in southern France. They argue that changes appear to not be contemporaneous, and so reflect factors othe r than climate. As an example of paradoxical conclusions, they cite La Trmie and Be rre. These two sites are hardly 40 km apart, they are located within the same ecological context, but Mediterranean climate, based on pollen records, would have appeared about 1800 y ears apart (Jalut, et al. 1997; Berre was expunged from Jalut et al. 2000). This would indica te that human impact is responsible for this variation, not climate, and such explanation w ould be confirmed by the contextual appearance of indicators of human activity: pioneer plants that colonize disturbed soils and others that thrive in soils with high concentration of nitrates. Even acknowledging the importance of general climat e change as reconstructed by Jalut and coworkers, it must be considered that fires would h ave been responsible for major vegetation changes, not by simply destroying the forest, but b y altering the competition among species, favoring evergreen versus deciduous oak (Figure 19) in a chronologically irregular and to a certain extent reversible way (Carcaillet 1998; Pon s and Quzel 1998). In coastal Corsica, fires would have destroyed the specific factors inh ibiting the spread of evergreen oak: the


58 Figure 19. Illustration showing the effect of fire in forests as altering competition among species. R eprinted with modifications from Carcaillet 1998, p. 392, Fi g. 8, in Journal of Ecology, 1998, with kind permission from Blackwell Synergy. Coniphers (repre sented as pointy trees) are at disadvantage compare d to evergreen oak (broader trees in figure) at every fire event. dense clusters of heath and pine, the layer of humu s, and nitrogen mineralization. As a proof that this does not depend on drier climate, there w ould be the establishment of species such as Acer (maple) and Fraxinus (ash) which are not related to arid conditions (Ca rcaillet, et al. 1997: 92). A counterargument to this is also that t he increase in erosion and the formation of bodies of stagnant water would have created new moi st ecological niches (Caldara, et al. 2002; Dubar and Anthony 1995). Similar arguments fo r a selective pressure of fire have been made about Pistacia, Phyllirea and Olea (Reille 1992), and for highland Corsica about Pinus nigra and Taxus (Reille, et al. 1999a). In some contexts it is less controversial that plan t communities changed in response to much higher aridity. Radical differences in vege tation took place in the Balearics “before human impact began […], changes were then accelerat ed by human activity” only later (Yll, et al. 1997: 343-6). Other examples of vegetation c hange independent from human presence come from Southeastern Spain (Jalut, et al. 2000: 2 85): climate must have been the main trigger for change in Almeria, since no undisputed palynological evidence exists of human impact on the landscape, even in areas with high de nsity of settlement (Pantalen-Cano, et al. 2003). The dichotomy human vs. climate is interesti ngly present also in the fact that in the presence of anthropogenic indicators, important pol len variation is attributed to humans, even


59though climate can have an effect, and in fact does on environments that have been already modified. Therefore, even such markers mean human p resence, but not necessarily that active impact is responsible for all the recorded variatio n. The difference of these positions is not in absolut e terms, but in the emphasis. While Jalut, Magny, Yll and coworkers identify major clim ate changes that modify the environment with limited and occasional contribution of human p ractices, Carcaillet, Pons and Quzel, and Reille see climate change as a possible factor speeding up major changes brought about by human deforestation by fire, cultivation, and pa storal practices. Some scholars are actually modeling environmental change taking into account b oth factors (Carrin and Navarro 2002; Carrin, et al. 2003). Similar polarization mirrors closely the interpretation of erosion in relation to human settlement across the Mediterrane an from a more archaeological perspective, along the opposite lines exemplified b y Vita-Finzi and Van Andel, but a model of mutual feedbacks seems more likely to have been at work in most cases (Bintliff 2002). The constant problem is the extent to which we can identify correlation with causality. Comparing the intensity of human occupat ion and the erosion events, for instance, there is always the dilemma that “two major human-i nduced processes were likely to be at work […]. First, rapid settlement expansion across the countryside, associated with clearance of wood or scrub and heavy soil disturbance, could lead to soil erosion and thence stream alluviation. Second, the reverse procedure – abando nment of a formerly heavily populated countryside – might cause slope failure with abando nment of terrace maintenance” (Bintliff 2002: 419). The problem is further complicated by t wo mechanisms: sharp climate changes may be detected in areas where they cause some para meters to cross thresholds that are relevant for the ecosystem, while elsewhere the sam e temperature/rainfall change may not be ecologically significant (Starkel 1997); climatic a nd/or human impact can initiate processes that result in sensible changes long after their oc currence, sometimes in sudden and radical ways, if equilibrium is maintained by alternative s tates (Scheffer, et al. 2001). 3.4.3. Chronology and Nature of Climatic Events The most comprehensive contribution to the identifi cation of climatic phases in the western Mediterranean during post-glacial times def ines several aridification phases, two of which are within the range of interest for this dis sertation (Jalut, et al. 2000). Besides these


60dates, which are rather coarse and even overlap, li kely because of phenomena described above, further evidence of specific dry phases come s from measurements of magnetic susceptibility (Ellwood, et al. 1996; Ellwood, et a l. 1997). Combining two sequences from Spain (El Mirn 1) and Albania (Konispol), three ar id periods were detected, two of which correspond with those detected through pollen analy sis: SE-7, ca. 4255 to 3675 cal BC, SE-5, ca. 3583-3069 cal BC, SE-3, ca. 2880-1997 cal BC (E llwood, et al. 2001; all dates are already calibrated with the 1999 curve, without raw dates available). The dry phase SE-7 at the end of the 5thstart of the 4th millennium finds correspondence in central-northern Italy (Tuccimei, et al. 2003), and especially in the southern belt of the Mediterranean: in Tunisia (Zie lhofer, et al. 2004), in the Ionian Sea and near Gibraltar (Rimbu, et al. 2004). The phase SE-5 seems to correspond to the beginning of the accumulation of windborne dust sediments on Lam pedusa after the mid-4th millennium BC (Giraudi 2004), whereas similar dates at norther n latitudes correspond to remarkable instability, with swinging lake levels in the Jura massif, the beginning of pebble accumulation in the southern Alps (Magny 1999; Magn y, et al. 2002), and three stormy events dated by tree rings at Lake Constance that a ffected the human occupation of the shores (Magny and Haas 2004). Similar instability has been found in northern-central Italy in the oxygen isotope record (Tuccimei, et al. 2003), a cl ear rainy peak is recorded at Cubelles (Catalonia) after the mid-4th millennium (Jalut, et al. 2000: 274-5), and the wi ggles in pollen sequences from southern France discussed above coul d as well be related. Such instability has even been traced at a global scale, mostly as d rier, and often as cooler conditions. Good agreement in chronology connects the long dry phase SE-3, identified between ca. 3000 and 1900 BC in most areas, beginning with a dry event around 3000 BC, reflected by a drop in arboreal pollen at San Rafael, Spain, and Pergusa, Sicily (Carrin, et al. 2001b; Carrin and Navarro 2002; Sadori and Narcisi 2001), and by a dry spell at Tigalmamine, Morocco (Lamb, et al. 1995). This long dry phase ha s been documented in central Italy by pollen sequences, sedimentation evidence and oxygen isotopes (Magri 1997, 1999; Magri and Sadori 1995; Ramrath, et al. 2000; Tuccimei, et al. 2003); in southern France and the Alps, through lake levels and glacier retreat (Magn y, et al. 2002); in the belt between northern Spain and Albania, through interpolation o f magnetic susceptibility profiles (Ellwood, et al. 2001); and in North Africa, throug h sediment micromorphology (Zielhofer, et al. 2004). This time seems to have witnessed a c hange in air mass circulation patterns, due


61to the migration northward of the polar front. Ther e was a shift from a more regular precipitation regime related to southerly circulati on and monsoonal-type summer rains, to stronger influence of westerly wet air masses, whic h were likely to be seasonally constrained by high pressure systems in the southern Mediterran ean belt. From palynological evidence in central Italy (Magri 1997) and on the western coast of the Mediterranean, it seems that this long phase could have contained two periods separated by milder conditions around the middle of the millennium (between phases A.3 and A.4 in Jalut, et al. 2000); the first coincides wit h the sudden ‘collapse’ detected in Tunisia, which is interpreted as a punctuated event in respo nse to increased insolation (Scheffer, et al. 2001; Zielhofer, et al. 2004), documented also in c entral Italy (Ramrath, et al. 2000) and therefore very probably involving Sardinia as well. The second aridification phase, besides the pollen evidence, is also recorded in low lake l evels in the Alps (Magny, et al. 2002), a warm phase detected through alkenones in the southe rn Adriatic Sea (Rimbu, et al. 2004), windborne dust on Lampedusa (Giraudi 2004) and else where, and a large body of evidence for the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond, that has been summarized and discussed elsewhere (Bryson and Bryson 1997; Dalfes, et al. 1 997; Weiss 1997). Reconstructing the details of climatic change in te rms of temperature and humidity is complex. Many scholars do not even mention the prob lem, although it is clear that in some cases there is an implicit idea that drier correspo nds to warmer, which not necessarily is the case. In general terms, it seems accepted that both temperature and rainfall were higher in the Atlantic; in southern France, this has been estimat ed as 2-4C higher than the present-day annual average (Blanc 1993). The shift towards drie r conditions characterizing the late 4th and 3rd millennia would have been coupled by a few degrees in both sea surface (Jalut, et al. 2000: 281-283; Rimbu, et al. 2004) and atmospheric temperature, although their interaction and the consequences for Mediterranean climate are not known in enough detail. For certain areas of Saharan Africa before ca. 3500 BC, precipi tation has been estimated to have been about 300 mm more than today, but this cannot be ap plied as such to the Mediterranean area (Damnati 2000). It only gives an indication confirm ing the generally moister conditions widely documented in Europe. Even smaller changes c ould have made a difference between the 5th and 3rd millennium, and especially in a threshold area the y would have been ecologically significant (Starkel 1997; Thornes 199 5), but this is even more likely since there is evidence of major events in the 3rd millennium.


62 3.5. Conclusion. What Can Be Inferred about Environ mental Change in Sardinia I draw here a few conclusions from the evidence I h ave analyzed and discussed (Table 2). The 4th millennium BC was drier and cooler than the millen nium before and wetter than the millennium after, representing the crucial transition from temperate and humid to Mediterranean conditions characterized by increased seasonality and summer droughts. A warmer and drier phase occurred around the centurie s around 4000 BC in the whole area. A time of storms and weather instability around 36003200 BC (Magny and Haas 2004), apparently wetter than before and after, and which is documented in the northern area of the western Mediterranean, may have involved Sardinia a t least in the northern area. A generally arid period, lasting over a thousand ye ars, characterized the 3rd millennium BC as compared to the one before and to the centuries just after. Within this period, two particularly dry (and warm?) phases occ urred. The first, centered around ca. 2900-2700 BC, which seems to have been dramatic in North Africa, is likely to have affected Sardinia, and particularly the southern lowlands. T he second, centered around 2400-2000 BC, was probably the most severe ever experienced b y local human groups up to that point, which might be connected to the widespread evidence of break in settlement continuity in the Western Mediterranean that has been pointed out (We bster 1996: 62). It has been documented widely, over a belt stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to areas beyond the Near East, and quite well at Lago di Vico (Magri 1997; M agri and Sadori 1995). It is important to note that altitude and geography played an important role in affecting the local variation of environmental cond itions. As shown by several pollen sequences, the higher the elevation, the less the v egetation suffered from aridification. Similar to data from the Apennines, the diagram of Caada de la Cruz (Carrin and Navarro 2002), at over 1500 m asl, shows a warm and wet pha se throughout the timespan examined, up to the mid-2nd millennium BC, which means that since the more fer tile lowlands were, as are now, also more susceptible to severe drought in arid phases (Thornes 1995), the dynamics of settlement and resource exploitation must have b een adjusted, either by mobility or by a process of selection in favor of the communities oc cupying the most advantageous regions. This may explain why there seems to have been a pro portional increase in human presence in


63Table 2. Tentative reconstruction of likely climati c phases in Sardinia between the late 5th and the early 2nd millennium BC, with relative references and chrono logy of cultural phases as identified in the literature and chronologically defined by Ty kot (1994) the Sardinian highlands, which were virtually uninh abited earlier than 4000-3200 BC (Ozieri phase), and came to be preferred after 3200 BC.


64These climatic changes resulted in the alteration o f the ecosystem, which was particularly severe in the lowlands, selecting spec ies well adapted to summer droughts that were until then confined to coasts and sandy soils. Since there is no palynological evidence so far, it is only possible to infer, based on Cors ica and the Balearics, that forests of deciduous oak, heath and strawberry tree were domin ant in the early 4th millennium on the northwestern and central-eastern mountains, with bo xwood and hazel also present. The southern and western plains were probably covered b y deciduous oak, possibly yew and linden, with juniper only in the arid coasts. The t ypical Mediterranean shrubby vegetation, made up by wild olive, mastic, privet, myrtle and e specially evergreen oak, could have been present in glacial times in refugia in the extreme south, but the fact that their arrival to Corsica was quite late may indicate that Corsica an d Sardinia were acting like cul-de-sacs for the spread of these species after the last glacial maximum. They would have spread northward up to Tuscany and southern France, and th en south. Genetic evidence of presentday evergreen oak ( Quercus ilex species), in fact, points to an origin from the It alian peninsula (Lumaret, et al. 2002), and this may impl y that it was scarcely or not present in Sardinia as in Corsica (Reille 1992) before the Atl antic, and marginal until the 3rd millennium BC. During the 3rd millennium BC the establishment of drier condition s and longer summer droughts, enhanced by fire, likely accelerat ed the spread of specific species more resistant to drought and burning. The actual dynami cs of species competition, which were different in the Balearics and Corsica, will remain unknown until pollen sequences will be obtained and analyzed. By purely geographic argumen ts I would think about evergreen oak replacing boxwood, hazel and heath, as in Corsica b ut earlier than in Corsica, and on the same south-north gradient. If the increase in Olea in the Balearics may be connected to the stable colonization of the islands by the Bell Beak er groups around 2500 BC, it seems reasonable to think that the contemporaneous presen ce of Bell Beakers in Sardinia and their marginal presence in Corsica (Lemercier, et al. in press) could likely reflect the establishment of different agricultural practices including the m anagement or planting of tree crops, detected and studied in the northwestern Mediterran ean. While temperate deciduous forests were getting thin ner, in the drier lowlands of the Campidano and Sulcis wide extensions of shrubs and grasses dominated the landscape, in certain areas probably close to pre-desert conditio ns as recorded at similar latitudes in


65southeastern Spain and in Apulia (southeastern Ital y) for the 3rd millennium BC. Weather instability in the 4th millennium and the following arid phase in the 3rd, enhanced by human impact through fire and grazing, likely caused soil erosion that first favored the definition of large coastal lagoons and then progressively infill ed them with sediments, turning rich estuarine environments into marshes, with different iated ecological outcomes. This process was probably coupled by a slight decrease in sea le vel: estimates for coastal Provence are on the order of 6-3 m lower than present-day at ~4000 BC, 3.5-1.5 m lower at ~2000 BC (Lambeck and Bard 2000). Due to the complex interse ction with uplift and subsidence, there is a great variation the western Mediterranean: spe cific estimates for Sardinia (Figure 20) are around 12-8 m below current sea level at 4000 BC, a nd 6-4 m at 2000 BC (Lambeck, et al. 2004). On the Aegean coasts, though, a more articul ated curve has been recorded, apparently not influenced by tectonic movements, by which sea level would have been equal to presentday at ca. 4000-3000 BC but dropped during the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, to reach its lowest level in the second half of the 2nd, ca. 2 m below, before rising up to today (Kayan 1 997). Beyond these details, what is clear is that phenome na of erosion and infilling were more intense in the end of the 3rd millennium, during an unprecedented arid phase, wh ich probably precipitated an environmental crisis already favore d by cultivation of steep slopes, long-term grazing, deforestation and burning. This is likely to have created problems, involving poorer Figure 20. Sea-level change in northern Sardinia. R eprinted from Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 23, K. Lambeck et al., Sea-level change along the Italian coast for the past 10,000 yr, p. 1584, Fig. 3.e, 2 004, with permission from Elsevier.


66 harvests, scarcer water and pasture for the flocks, and scarcer water for people. Additionally, the possible establishment of malaria (Brown 1997), especially in the lowlands, which is commonly attributed to later times, would have prev ented the exploitation of some welldrained fertile areas. In fact, in case of drought the most sensible ecological systems are those with substantial biomass, whereas vegetation commun ities adapted to dry soils will likely be more resilient (Thornes 1995: 365), as can also be observed today: the areas at higher risk of desertification for global warming are the fertile lowlands of the South (Sardegna 19952007). The human perception of what was happening for cent uries or millennia is a fundamental aspect. It has been underlined that the more gradual phenomena are the less likely they will be perceived as a threat even thou gh they affect negatively vegetal communities and natural resources in general (van d er Leeuw and Redman 2002: 9). Especially in case certain practices were actually advantageous and disadvantageous at different social levels, the unintended effects cou ld have been just inevitable. This has been suggested for herd accumulation, which makes sense at the household level but is detrimental for the progressive impoverishment of vegetal commu nities and soils by overgrazing that it favors (McPeak 2005). The different directions that such practices were leading to, including possible responses such as the regulation of resour ce exploitation, social and organizational adjustments, the adoption of technological innovati ons in food production (e.g. tree crops, more resistant to unpredictable weather) are not fo reseeable based on general models but depend on the historically specific forces at play, all embedded in, and producing, environmental and cultural change. It seems likely, as documented in other areas of the Mediterranean (Maggi 2004), that drier periods may have induced, gradually or exceptionally, movement to the highlands with the f locks to have reliable water sources and grazing grounds. Furthermore, clearing through fire to create this pasture and fields, documented in France, Spain and elsewhere (Carcaill et 1998; Carcaillet, et al. 1997; Carrin, et al. 2003; Maggi 1998) is likely to have deprived the slopes of thin fertile soils which in turn discouraged farming because of low outputs and encouraged the intensification of herding. Increases in grazing due to herd accumulat ion may have prevented the recreation of forests and sped up soil erosion, in a series of ne gative feedbacks which, coupled with


67unfavorable settings such as poor soils and particu larly sharp and severe arid events, may have led to ecosystem degradation and collapse. The se possible trajectories are considered in the remaining sections of this dissertation, partic ularly through stable isotopes, which can provide an efficacious independent assessment of cl imate variation and of reliance on vegetal versus animal products.


68 Chapter 4. Change in Material Culture and Social Or ganization in Sardinia 4000-1900 BC 4.1. Introduction The plan of this dissertation involves the integrat ion of information coming from three broad domains. This chapter represents the va riation in material culture and its possible meanings in cultural and organizational terms. This is the most qualitative but also the best known of the three, since it has been the subject o f archaeological investigation since the beginnings of prehistoric archaeology in Sardinia. This means that the sheer amount of data available is by far the largest. I will not refer h ere to these raw data; instead I will make use of the main synthetic works, with some degree of in tegration only when there are substantial updates, or specific points to be made regarding mo re limited topics, such as specific categories of material culture or symbols. Detailed synthetic works on Sardinian prehistory be fore the Bronze Age are only available in Italian. In English, are worth mention ing the introductory section of Rowland’s (2001) book on Ancient and Medieval Sardinia summar izes prehistoric cultural history, and Webster’s A Prehistory of Sardinia (1996). The latter is the only work with a prehist oric and anthropological focus covering pre-Nuragic times, e ven if only as an introduction to the Bronze Age. Therefore, the main sources of raw data and descriptions will be Lilliu’s La civilt dei sardi (1988a, reprinted in 2004), and Contu’s La Sardegna preistorica e nuragica (1997), with integrations where appropriate. The fi rst is almost two decades old and outdated in many aspects, but the collection of data and the general framework is still a good reference, particularly as concerns ceramics, which is the main discriminant in what came to be defined as ‘cultures’ in the scholarly tradition


69Decades of research in the fields of ethnography an d archaeology have shown that there is no necessary relationship between ethnicit y and specific aspects of material culture. Only elements that are themselves structurally defi ning for identity will have this connection. For periods that are sans documents and are far back in time, reconstructing this is a t best extremely difficult, if not impossible (Fowler and Hardesty 2001). It will be sufficient here to emphasize that ethnic identities may not, and likel y did not, correspond to the archaeological constructs we work with, while only a consistent as sociation of several elements of material culture and cultural symbols may increase the likel ihood of actually reflecting a cultural ‘unit’. For the reasons just explained, this will b e an overall view on material culture, with a special attention to geography and chronology, rath er than typological details for their own sake. The locations mentioned in this chapter can b e found on the general map of sites (Figure 21). 4.2. Ceramic Groups and the Definition of Archaeolo gical Cultures 4.2.1. Ozieri The culture named Ozieri (or San Michele di Ozieri) is characterized by specific ceramic shapes and decoration. It appears to have e volved from Middle Neolithic tradition, with a transitional phase, named San Ciriaco, which has been recognized at several locations in western and southwestern Sardinia. After the fir st finds it was suggested that this may be a local aspect. It is now clear that the style’s dist ribution covers most of the island, including Gallura in the northeast (Antona 2003; Lugli 2003; Molinari 2002; Usai 2005a) As several aspects of lithics, settlements, and arc hitecture are shared with previous and subsequent phases, pottery is truly the nature of the Ozieri culture. Lilliu divided the pottery types according to form and decoration into three groups, although one, painted pottery, is now attributed to the Sub-Ozieri aspect of the same tradition, which is chronologically considered part of the Copper Age ( Melis 2000d: 47-48). There is no evidence for wheel-made vessels, firing is highly v ariable, but never very high temperature, and clays reflect local sources, never reaching the finesse of Middle Neolithic vessels (Contu 1997: 184). Among the non-decorated types are colla red vessels and carinated bowls,


70 Figure 21. General map of all sites mentioned in ch apter 4. Map by the author, based on cartographic material from S.A.R. Sardegna consortium, with kind permission.


71 including the footed version (tripod). This latter shape is very common, with frequencies that do not have parallels anywhere else in the western Mediterranean, and can be rather large (diameter 23 cm, height 17 cm). It has been compare d with western types, especially from southern France (Lilliu 1988a: 100-101). Handles ar e often minimal or absent in tripods, replaced by holes for suspension around the rim (Co ntu 1997: 182). In the earliest Ozieri phase at Cuccuru sÂ’Arriu (Cabras, west coast), unde corated amphorae and cups are also associated with large spoons (Contu 1997: 180). Most distinctive are, however, the decorated vessel s (Figure 22), which are found with little local differences over most of the isla nd. Typical are the collared amphora, the socalled vaso a cestello a basket-shaped open vessel with flat bottom and concave walls also called kalathos and the pyxis a closed form with flat bottom and concave walls as well. These last two types are very standardized and comm on, usually decorated, and very distinctive, and the second seems more rare in the final phase of transition into the Copper Figure 22. Examples of typical Ozieri decorated pot tery (~4000-3400 BC). Reprinted with modifications from Lilliu 1999, pp. 95, 113, 117, 119, Figs. 113, 131-132, 137-138, 140, 1999, with kind permission from Carlo Delfino publisher.

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72Age (Santoni 1989). Generally, there is a prevalenc e for flat-bottomed, open shapes, with few flasks and bottle-shaped containers (Contu 1997: 18 4). Decoration is rarely painted, but it displays techn iques that replace the filledempty effect of painting (“achromous dichromy”): excision s (rare) and incisions, which are sometimes filled with white or red material. Striat ed, pinched and punctated motifs are either free or within geometric partitions, often covering the whole surface of the vessel and the inside. Among such motifs are the star, spirals, fl ower-shaped figures and zig-zags (Contu 1997: 179-186; Lilliu 1988a: 105-111). Occasionally bovine heads and human stick figurines appear as part of this decoration (Contu 1997: 188196). When these diagnostic sherds are present, the identification of this culture is quit e straightforward, which may cause its overrepresentation when dealing with highly fragmen ted surface finds. Specific to Sardinia, the features of the Ozieri style do not appear as s uch elsewhere: its distribution is virtually limited to the island, with a significant exception in a few potsherds found in downtown Florence (Tykot 1999: 74). 4.2.2. Post-Ozieri Tradition I include here in the Post-Ozieri tradition the pha ses that have been identified as the evolution of the Ozieri style within a framework of continuity, labeled traditionally as SubOzieri, Filigosa and Abealzu (Figure 23). The artic ulation and classification of ceramic evidence has improved remarkably in the last two de cades. Lilliu (1988a: 131-146) considered the beginning of what is now known as Su b-Ozieri as part of the Ozieri style, and the following period a different unit, defined “Abe alzu-Filigosa”. He suggested the existence of some differences in the two aspects Abealzu and Filigosa, but recognized the overall identity of the culture, and since clear stratigrap hies were still lacking, he believed Abealzu to be an earlier phase. Later, it became clear that th e aspects truly represented somewhat different phases, and Contu found a basic distincti ve element in the presence of flasks and bottles with a handle on one side and two grips, or rough knobs, on the opposite side (Contu 1997: 302). The milestone in documenting and understanding the real nature of these ‘cultures’ is the contribution by Melis (2000d), who collected an d classified typologically all the known materials from these phases, using statistics to fi nd relevant associations of shapes and

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73 Figure 23. Some examples of typical late Post-Ozier i (Filigosa-Abealzu) pottery (~3400-2400 BC) Reprinted with modifications from Lilliu 1999, p. 1 25, Fig. 147, 1999, with kind permission from Carl o Delfino publisher, and from Fadda 2004, no Fig. num ber, with kind permission from the author. decoration in order to understand and evaluate chan ge over time. What she found is a large overlap in associations, which points to a gradual change in ceramic production (Melis 2000d: 49). Several groups were generated where typ es were found exclusively, while others had elements of the previous and following groups. She was therefore able to outline trendsin this continuous flow of modifications: technology i n group A (tentatively identified with Sub-Ozieri) is close to Ozieri, technologically the finest of the group. Exclusive to this phase is red-on-white painted ware, low pans, and a still high frequency of tripods; also, there are a few carinated shapes, and still typically Ozieri ba sket-shaped vessels. In the ‘interface’ groups AB (Sub-Ozieri/Filigosa t ransition) there is a high proportion of carinated bowls, while pans disappear Group B has few exclusive types, but scratched decoration appears, to continue in the fo llowing phases; in group ABC, carinated cups become more frequent than bowls, and plastic d ecoration begins. Group BC (labeled as Filigosa I) still shows high frequency of carinated cups (41%), and a remarkable increase of miniature vessels. In group C (labeled Filigosa II) there is a proportional decrease in cups and bowls, whereas beakers become quite common (16%), a ccompanied by jugs (8%); at the same time, typically Ozieri shapes like tripods dec rease.

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74Groups CD and D (defined as transitional between Fi ligosa and Abealzu), have rather few common types: beakers, tall-necked vessels, or flasks (Melis 2000d: 51-55), which in the previous qualitative literature are considered typi cally “Abealzu”. Miniature vessels increase in frequency, a trend associated with the increasin g proportion of burial sites versus open-air settlements. The remaining groups CE and E (the lat ter labeled as Abealzu) are represented by very few types and sites, so that they formally describe a statistically coherent group but do not seem to represent widespread cultural marker s: one single hut near the temple of Monte d’Accoddi contained several of these unique t ypes (Melis 2000d: 55). As for general long-term trends, simple forms were found to be very common in the first groups and to be much rarer after phase C (Fi ligosa II). There is a similar sequential trend for carinated bowls and cups, and for tripods which decrease sensibly after C. Inversely, there is an increase in beakers, mugs, j ugs, amphorae and long-necked vessels. Large jars are more common in the earlier phase and in the later ones (Sub-Ozieri and Abealzu: but again, the second represents mostly a single hut at Monte d’Accoddi). They are instead scarce in the intermediate phases (Melis 20 00d: 55-60). Decoration drops after the Sub-Ozieri phase, and rather than incised and impre ssed it is mostly dry-scratched and plastic, with an exception for cupules (Contu 1997: 273; cfr. Lilliu 1988a: 135; Melis 2000d: 60). Besides unique examples from Monte d’Accoddi, painted wares are limited to a few sites within a limited area around Cagliari, namely Terra maini (Pirri), and su Coddu (Selargius), and Monte Olladiri (Monastir), the latter possibly Late Neolithic (Lilliu 1988a: 118; Melis 2000d: 48; Ugas, et al. 1989: 239-243). In this pha se there is an increased general comparability with ceramic styles of the Italian pe ninsula, namely the Rinaldone culture, which may be an indication of enhanced communicatio n and contacts between the island and the European mainland (Basoli and Foschi Nieddu 199 3; Contu 1997: 315-316). As for geography and site types, it must be highlig hted how most Sub-Ozieri (group A) sites are located in the south, and mostly in lo wlands, while the proportion is more balanced in the group B, it is reversed from group C onwards, with most sites in the northern half of the island. Starting from phase BC, the Sub -Ozieri assemblages of the southern lowlands disappear (Melis 2000d: 60). These trends, rather than merely reflecting a shift in settlement patterns from lowlands to highlands, are likely to be related to spatial variation in ceramic styles, and the phases might have a partial ly overlapping chronology. Such an interpretation may be supported by the new AMS date s presented in this dissertation, where

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75Sub-Ozieri pottery at Cannas di Sotto and Filigosa pottery at Santa Caterina di Pittinuri appear to be partially contemporaneous. Given such a picture, is there really a point in na ming these cultures as if they had some separate identity, especially those that appea r as largely arbitrary entities created based on single assemblages all but representative of gen eralized phenomena? I exemplified the point in a barchart (Figure 24), where several site s are represented with indication of the types belonging to each of Melis’ systematically de fined phases. The assemblage from the eponymous site Abealzu turns out to be rather more “Filigosa”, whereas Serra Cannigas, Santa Caterina-upper layer and other assemblages ar e more ‘Abealzu’ than the assemblage from Abealzu itself. This points out a source of co nfusion and inconsistency that traditional nomenclature perpetuates and that I believe special ists of material culture and pottery should address. This is why I hereafter prefer to use ‘Pos t-Ozieri’ as a comprehensive term for SubOzieri, Filigosa and Abealzu (~3400-2400 BC), while keeping the single phase’s denominations when necessary or when the sources me ntion them as such. Figure 24. Chart of relative frequency of ceramic t ype groups at Sardinian Early Copper Age select sit es (data after Melis 2000). Note that types represente d at Abealzu are mostly belonging to BC and C group s, which are nevertheless labeled ‘Filigosa’

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764.2.3. Monte Claro Whereas the Post-Ozieri pottery tradition has been dissected into several archaeological ‘units’, interestingly Monte Claro p ottery (~2700-2300 BC) has been constantly defined as one, despite since the beginn ing a remarkable differentiation was underlined in stylistic features in different geogr aphic zones. From three to five aspects were identified, often referred to according to the four provinces of the island, with the addition of the Southwest (Depalmas 1989; Ferrarese Ceruti 1989: 57-59; Lilliu 1988a: 166-177). Fairly distinctive aspects are that of the Cagliari area (Figure 25), mostly known from burials in the eponymous Monte Claro-sa Duchessa necropolis i n Cagliari; that of the Oristano area, mainly represented by the well-studi ed assemblages at Simaxis; that of Biriai (Oliena, Nuoro), a large settlement; and that of th e Sassari-Alghero area in the north. Lilliu Figure 25. Some examples of typical Monte Claro pot tery from southern Sardinia (~2700-2300 BC). Reprinted with modifications from Lilliu 1999, pp. 128, 129, Figs. 151, 154, 155, 1999, with kind permission from Carlo Delfino publisher, and from F errarese Ceruti 1989, pp. 61-62, 65, Figs. 3-4, 6, 1989, with kind permission from Banco di Sardegna S.p.A.

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77(1988a: 171-173) distinguished the Mogoro group, wi th features intermediate between the Cagliari and the Oristano area. Depalmas (1989), in stead, sampled more sites and separated into groups according to the four provinces, so tha t the Cagliari area and the Southwest are together. Paste quality and color, and surface color, inclusi ons and so on are all variable, reflecting local manufacturing, but quality seems g enerally finer than preceding and following phases (Lilliu 1988a: 167-174). Decoratio n is characterized by straight parallel grooves covering portions of the vessel horizontall y or vertically, or both, but several other techniques are represented in combination, with rem arkable variation. Vessel shapes are also highly variable, but generally more rigid than befo re, and with wider flat bottom (Ferrarese Ceruti 1989: 57). The relative frequency of ceramic types also varies, characterizing assemblages across the island very distinctively. D uring this phase we find the largest jars of the whole Sardinian prehistory before the Middle Br onze Age. The highest frequency of grooved pottery is found in the Cagliari province ( Cagliari and the Southwest), and common shapes are buckets ( situlae ), large jars ( dolia ), tripods, and low platters (Depalmas 1989; Usai 1989b, 1991; Usai 1996). Along with grooves, striat ions are more common in the North, where shapes are less rectilinear and the paste is more refined (Lilliu 1988a: 176-177; Moravetti 2002: 76). Incisions are particularly com mon in the Oristano area, impressions are frequent in the Center and South, and a peculiar le aflet motif is particularly frequent at Biriai in the East (Castaldi 1999: 239-274; Depalmas 1989: 44-54). Among other shapes, vessels with outward neck and a ledge inward, traditionally labeled as ‘milk boilers’, are more frequent at Biriai, in the western lowlands near Mo goro and Oristano, and in the Southwest (Lilliu 1988a: 171-174; Usai 1997; Usai and Santoni 1998). The relative similarity of assemblages among sites of the central belt across the width of Sardinia has induced Depalmas (1989: 55) to defi ne three, rather than four or five, regional aspects. Evidence has been recognized for a further local aspect in the Southwest, where middleand large-size containers with internal rim dominate the assemblages from open-air settlements (Usai and Santoni 1998), while in the m ountainous area a possible borderline between the Cagliari and Biriai styles has been ide ntified in the territory of Orroli (Sanges 1989). Burnished surfaces on pottery are found almost only in grave goods around Cagliari, and its somewhat patchy Mediterranean-wide distribu tion includes, outside of Sardinia,

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78central Italy and especially Sicily (Lilliu 1988a: 179-180), making its presence unexpected, and pointing to possible contacts between Southern Sardinia and Sicily or even farther East. Other comparisons for the grooved treatment of vess els have been drawn especially with pottery of the contemporary Fontbousse culture of Southern France. With such an evidence for high variation, if Monte Claro is used as a mea ningful unit in Sardinian archaeology this is probably just because its difference from any ot her ceramic group is more than its internal differentiations. The main problem is still that of verifying, defining and then explaining the terms, essence and reasons of this “almost radical cut with the past” (Lilliu 1988a: 181). Certainly to the extent to which pottery similariti es can be used as proxies for intensity of communication, Sardinia definitely seems to partake now in a wider western Mediterranean network than it previously did. 4.2.4. Bell Beaker With the appearance of this ceramic style, Sardinia for the first time since the cardial Early Neolithic, over two thousand years earlier, s hares the same decorations and shapes with wide areas of the Mediterranean and beyond. Sardini an Beaker pottery (Figure 26), whose comprehensive typological repertoire has been publi shed relatively recently (Castia 1999: 735) is borrowed, and generally parallel, to the sty les widespread in Central and Eastern Europe, France, Iberian and Italian peninsula, and the British Isles. While some specimens could have been imported, most are local imitations and variations of motifs of large diffusion. Key markers are the typical bell shaped beakers and the decoration, organized strictly in horizontal bands, that includes incisio ns and impressions made with or without a comb. Different phases have been recognized on purely sty listic grounds, which have not been tested through absolute dating before the AMS dates presented in this dissertation. The corded ware pre-Beaker aspect is scarcely documente d (one single find: Atzeni 1996a: 397), but both main Beaker groups, Mediterranean and Cont inental, are largely comparable with Sardinian examples (Lemercier, et al. in press). Wh ile traditionally gentle, round shapes were considered earlier and more angular and rigid profi les later, likely they did coexist in some contexts, also due to local variation, and in fact there are some late assemblages showing late,

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79 Figure 26. Some examples of typical decorated Bell Beaker pottery from Sardinia (~2500-2200 BC). Reprinted with modifications from Lilliu 1999, pp. 134, 135, Figs. 159, 163-165, 1999, with kind permission from Carlo Delfino publisher. non-decorated pottery with a trend toward more roun d profiles (Marinaru and Cuguttu, Alghero; Molimentos, Benetutti: Ferrarese Ceruti 19 81a: lvii-lviii). Keeping these caveats in mind, the second phase tha t has been identified, which is better represented (78% of all finds according to L illiu 1988a: 199), finds comparisons mostly with areas in the western shores of the Medi terranean (Lemercier 2003, in press). Although very few assemblages (Marinaru, Filiestru) included sherds likely to have been imported, due to its close similarity to examples i n Atlantic and Mediterranean France (Atzeni 1996a: 397; Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lviii), there are more generalized stylistic similarities with Beaker assemblages from France an d Spain, and most stringent with Catalonia; typically vessels in this group do not h ave handles, and tripods are not very frequent (Atzeni 1996a: 397-400; Ferrarese Ceruti 1 981a: lvii-lviii), while punctated decoration is more common than incision (Lilliu 198 8a: 198). A later Beaker aspect (~2500-2200 BC?) is marked by new shapes, as similar beakers and mugs are provided with handles, and small globu lar vessels with distinct neck appear. Bumps and pointed handles (Atzeni 1996a: 402) are a lso documented, including the elbow handle, which will remain a feature of post-Beaker cultures in northern Italy as in Sardinia.

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80The presence of handles, of metopal decoration – which indicates a decorations distrib uted in a horizontal band vertically divided in fields, lik e in Doric Greek temples – and the dramatic increase in polypod types (threeand four-footed v essels) are all elements close to examples from Austria and the Czech Republic, whereas they a re foreign to western Mediterranean pottery (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lxii). Decorated p ottery is found also increasingly associated with undecorated pottery, in a gradual transition i nto the virtually undecorated Early Bronze Age assemblages (Atzeni 1996a: 400-406). The threeand four-footed bowls characterizing this second phase are completely different from the long tradition of Neolithic-Copper Age polypods, and are shapes widespread in northern Ita ly and across the Alps in Central Europe (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lviii). Geographically, the later Beaker group seems to be more represented in the center and south, with relatively fewer examples in the Sa ssari-Alghero area, which may represent some local innovation on known types (Atzeni 1995: 134-139; Lilliu 1988a: 197), or an outcome of more intense interaction with central-Eu ropean stylistic spheres. 4.2.5. Bonnanaro A This aspect (Figure 27), also named Corona Moltana from the site where it was first identified in 1889, clearly shows its origin from t he Beaker style, with the main innovation being its virtual absence of decoration, in a gradu al transition possibly well represented in the Sardinian Southwest and in the Oristano area (Atzen i 1996a: 406-408; Ferrarese Ceruti 1981b: lxxii; Lilliu 1988a: 345, 351). Documented a lmost totally by burial assemblages, its best parallel is found in northern Italy, where the Polada culture shows very similar developments from common models. Stringent similari ties are found with both phases Polada 1 (Lilliu 1988a: 318, 351) and 2 (Ceccanti 1980). The quality of manufacture of artifacts pertaining to this style is generally quite low, and the vessel walls quite thick (Lilliu 1988a: 356 ). The single most important diagnostic shape is the tripod; as compared to the Beaker type it shows elongated feet, usually singlehandled vessels, height almost as great as width wh ereas the Beaker antecedents were more open (Castia 1999: 37-94; Ferrarese Ceruti 1981b: l xxii-lxxiii; Lilliu 1988a: 351). The relatively abrupt disappearance of tripods in the f ollowing Middle Bronze Age phase (named sa Turricula), within a general context of continui ty, points to a specific function. Carinated

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81 Figure 27. Some examples of typical Bonnanaro A pot tery (~2200-1900 BC). Reprinted with modifications from Ferrarese Ceruti 1989, pp. 74, Figs. 27-29, 1 989, with kind permission from Banco di Sardegna S.p.A. bowls ranging from less than 10 to about 30 cm diam eter are the most frequent type, possibly because of its being simple and non-specialized. Th e main differentiation is due to the slope of the vessel walls, from very low in the Early Bro nze Age to almost vertical in the Middle Bronze Age (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981b: lxxii-lxxiii). Besides the tripod, the presence of axe-shaped hand les is another main marker of this period, in Sardinia as well as over a wide area tha t extends from the Alps down to Tuscany, which is where there may be the closest similaritie s (Ceccanti 1980) 4.3. Lithics, Bone, Other Items, and Trade The data described from this section onwards are su mmarized in tabular format to provide a visual reference as a guide for reading a nd analyzing them (Table 3). Among the Ozieri lithic implements that probably did not surv ive past the Neolithic-Early Copper Age transition are stone vases. Although not very frequ ent, they have been found at several

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82 Table 3. Prospectus of important trends in the chan ge of key elements of material culture in Sardinian prehistory, ~4000-1900 BC Phase Obsidian & flint tools Chopping/ working tools Grinding tools Ceramic tripods Other ceramic forms Weaving implements Metal items LN (Ozieri) 4000-3200 BC Microliths decrease and disappear Peak in arrowheads and foliates Hardstone axes decline Frequent oval, flat grinding stones Frequent (cooking) Bowls + jugs, bottles, beakers, strainers Loom weights, spindlewhorls Incipient ECA (Post-Ozieri) 3200-2500 BC Increase in hoe-weights Flaked adzes More grinding stones, long and concave Less (North) + frequent, complex, varied, large loom weights + ornaments: silver, copper (South) LCA (Monte Claro) 2700-2300 BC Knapping decline Frequent (South) + large jars Less metal overall + utilitarian, silver, + tin Beaker 2400-2200 BC Only arrowheads in burials ? ? Frequent (serving) + beakers, serving vessels Scarce (?) + utilitarian: knives, pins EBA 2200-1900 BC Hoe-weights ? Fewer? Frequent (drinking cups) Beakers/ cups locations, which seem to cluster around the central western coast (Oristanese: at least five examples), with single finds in the north, south an d eastern highlands. While Contu would assign most of them to the Middle Neolithic (Contu 1997: 201-203), they may well be of Ozieri age, and some contexts have been demonstrate d to be Sub-Ozieri or Filigosa (Lugli 1988, 1992; Melis 2000d: 71). Besides a limited use of locally available various materials, most formal tools are made of obsidian and chert (Contu 1991), and their frequency varies depending on geographic proximity to the sources. While rich che rt sources are located mostly in the North, obsidian originates only from Monte Arci near the c entral-western coast, which is of the four sources of the western Mediterranean along with Lip ari, Palmarola and Pantelleria (Tykot 1997, 2002a). This explains the highest relative pr oportion of obsidian at sites in central and southern Sardinia, and its highest absolute quantit y at sites close to the source (Figure 28). The relative frequency of different subsources with in the Monte Arci obsidian source and the whole chane opratoire are still being investigated. Current data are in sufficient for a

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83 Figure 28. Barchart of relative frequencies of lith ic materials at Sardinian sites dating from the ini tial Late Neolithic to the Late Copper Age. Data after Lilliu (1988), with integrations from individual contribu tions in Castelli et al. 2004, arranged in a north-south order rather than by time period. The north of Sard inia is more rich in chert sources, whereas the only obsidi an source is in the center-west. conclusive overall reconstruction, because many ass emblages come from surface collections at settlements with several phases of occupation, a problem affecting as well our knowledge of typological and technological change (Melis 2000 d: 65). It seems that obsidian from SB sources, the most inconsistent as concerns quality and workability, is increasingly rare by Late Neolithic times, when SA and SC are preferred. At the site of Contraguda, recently excavated and radiocarbon dated (Boschian, et al. 2 002), there is no SB obsidian (Lai, et al. 2006), and for some fairly standardized types relia bly recovered in Ozieri layers, there is one instance of almost exclusive use of SA obsidian at Cuccuru sÂ’Arriu, near Cabras (Lugli and Sebis 2004). Obsidian from Sardinia is also found b eyond the island shores, in Corsica, central and northern Italy and southern France, wit h a few specimens in Catalonia. This is evidence of a substantial trade connection, althoug h the specific ways in which this material reached such distant areas is not well understood a nd certainly changed over time. Based on the current evidence, the main mechanism seems to b e down-the-line exchange, from Sardinia to Corsica, and from Corsica to Tuscany, L iguria and beyond (Bietti, et al. 2004; Tykot, et al. 2005; Tykot, et al. 2003). On the oth er hand, there are some clues pointing to

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84different patterns of relative distribution among s ubsources that could indicate differential pathways. Obsidian SA, which is the subsource best represented in southern France, may have been transported through more direct maritime routes and may have carried social meanings more than just functional value (Binder an d Courtin 1994; Robb and Tykot 2003). Obsidian microliths, which were common since Early Neolithic times, decrease in frequency in the Ozieri phase, although average siz e of tools is usually small (Lilliu 1988a: 120). This phase is considered the peak in quantity and quality of obsidian tools; among the formal types are blades and arrowheads (Cappai, et al. 2004: 229). Arrowheads are more common in open-air settlements, less in burials, an d rarely found in isolated findspots, which suggests they were standardized tools for frequent use (Lugli and Sebis 2004). There is also some variation in their typology: foliate tools, pe dunculated with or without notches (Ragucci and Usai 2004), often fully retouched, are common d uring the late Ozieri phase, and continue, possibly even increase, into the Sub-Ozie ri (Melis 2000d: 67-69). In the Early Copper Age of Post-Ozieri tradition th ere may have been a contraction in the circulation of obsidian, and in typological var iation, with scrapers and drills rarer (Contu 1997: 213), although quality of tool-making shows c ontinuity (Lilliu 1988a: 140; Melis 2000d: 69). An enhanced tool revitalization and reu se has also been documented at a SubOzieri site in southern Sardinia, which has been se en as a symptom of a decrease in the procurement of raw material, and this confirms that its acquisition was not as easy as in the past (Cappai, et al. 2004). Chert usage was apparen tly discontinued, even at northern locations near the sources, where it previously rep resented over half of the assemblages (Melis 2000d: 67). Among the contexts that have bee n systematically studied and published, foliate points are considered the most distinctive element of this phase, especially in MelisÂ’ groups C and D, which at least in the center and so uth of the island represent a later development along the lines of the Ozieri tradition (Melis 2000d: 67-68). While simple foliate points dominate the assemblage at Puisteris (central-western Sardinia, near Monte Arci, mostly Ozieri), notched points, with a tenden cy to more elongated profiles, are more frequent at several burial sites attributed to Fili gosa and Abealzu cultures based on ceramic style (Atzeni 1985; Atzeni and Cocco 1989; Cocco an d Usai 1988; Contu 1997: 211-212; Ragucci and Usai 2004). In Monte Claro contexts of the later Copper Age, ob sidian is still present but much decreased, with frequency still affected by proximi ty to the source. Blades and notched

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85arrowheads are the most common formal tools, and at one location close to a source, there seems to be a revival in chert use (Atzeni 1981: xl ii; Contu 1997: 344-345; Lilliu 1988a: 160161), which is part of a widespread trend underlyin g the presence of chert arrowheads and daggers at Bell Beaker burials in northern Sardinia and elsewhere in Europe (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lxii). Obsidian and chert arrowheads, typica lly square-notched and pedunculated, are anyway the only kind of flaked stone tools still fo und in Bell Beaker contexts (Ferrarese Ceruti: 62; Lilliu 1988a: 189), and obsidian become s really rare. The persistence of obsidian and chert for symbolic rather than functional reaso ns is demonstrated by its typology in the Early Bronze Age. While manufacture of formal, elab orate stone tools is virtually over, at Iscalitas, an Early Bronze Age burial pit recently excavated in southern Sardinia and included in our stable isotopic sample, simple flakes of obs idian, estimated to be per individual, were used as grave goods (Manunza 1998). A specific stone tool type has been recognized in s everal large and roughly shaped adzes (Lilliu 1988a: 120), obtained by percussion f rom volcanic rocks, very common in the central-western lowlands and present also in the so uth. They have convincingly been attributed to the Sub-Ozieri and particularly Monte Claro phases (Lugli 1999). Some of these adzes are similar to another category of tool s, often found inside or in the vicinity of rock-carved tombs, and therefore considered to be c arving picks (Contu 1997: 203; Lilliu 1988a: 141; Melis 2000d: 70). Regarding the category of ground stone tools, and s pecifically grinding implements, only scanty and preliminary quantitative data are a vailable for frequency and change in typology at one site (Neuville 1999). This is unfor tunate, of course, because it would be very useful to understand changes in organizing and carr ying out food production and preparation. Grinding stones were widespread throughout the sequ ence 4000-1900 BC, from Ozieri times onward, when the most common type is oval, flat on the grinding surface and convex in the bottom (Contu 1997: 203; Lilliu 1988a: 122). Conspi cuous numbers are reported for some settlements in post-Ozieri Copper Age (su Coddu, sa Corona: Lilliu 1988a: 127, 141; Monte dÂ’Accoddi: Melis 2000d: 69), although the data that can be safely referred to a single phase by stratigraphy are very limited (Melis 2000d: 67-6 9). In the Monte Claro phase, grinding implements appear to be very frequent, and generall y larger than before (Atzeni 1981: xlii). They were commonly made of basalt or granite, const antly elliptical and elongated like New World metates and range in size between 12 and 60 cm long by 5 to 23 cm. Their shape is

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86usually similar to that recorded at earlier times o n Sardinia, but also, at least in settlements in the Campidano from Oristano to Cagliari, with both top and bottom flat-rectangular sections, and with concave, wide tops (Atzeni 1981: xlii; Con tu 1997: 344-345; Lilliu 1988a: 164). At Biriai (Oliena), the only site where some systemati c study on a small sample of grinding stones has been done, authentic middens of exhauste d and broken metates can be seen tossed or reused in walls (Neuville 1999). As for the Beak er and Bonnanaro A phases, there is no mention of grinding stones in the literature, possi bly related to the scarcity of open-air living sites: in fact, none is known for the Beaker phase (only sporadic sherds) and a few Bonnanaro A were discovered in the last twenty year s (after Ferrarese Ceruti 1981b: lv-lvi). Among these few sites, two fragmentary grindstones have been retrieved at Costa Tana (Santoni 1996), while from the isolated hut excavat ed at su Stangioni (Sardinian Southwest) only several pestles are reported but no grinding s upports (Usai 1994: 242). A type that has been interpreted mostly as utilitar ian is the so called “ testa di mazza ”, or digging hoe, which is present but rare already i n Neolithic Ozieri times. It becomes more common throughout the Copper Age phases, possibly d uring the Monte Claro phase (Contu 1997: 205, 344-345; Lilliu 1988a: 122, 140; Melis 2 000d: 66). Their presence is also documented at the few investigated Early Bronze Age dwelling sites (Santoni 1996; Usai 1994), and are common during the Nuragic Bronze Age Some scholars associate them with the polished-stone spheroid objects also found at s everal locations, which for their dimensions and refinement were more likely ornament s (Contu 1997: 207; Lilliu 1988a: 163164). Apparently non-utilitarian were also the larg e polished stone rings of Early Neolithic tradition that are possibly found up to the Middle Neolithic, but definitely disappear in the Late Neolithic Ozieri culture (Contu 1997: 207; Tan da 1977). The hardstone axes, from large to pendent-sized, al ready common, continue to be used in the Late Neolithic and Early Copper Age, al though a gradual decrease in the amuletic type may have begun within the cultures of post-Ozi eri tradition (Contu 1997: 207-208; Lilliu 1988a: 120-122, 140; Melis 2000d: 70; Morave tti 1989). The large, flaked, utilitarian type is still frequent in Monte Claro settlement co ntexts (Lilliu 1988a: 163-164), whereas the polished small specimens, differently from other ar eas of the Mediterranean (e.g. Portugal and Malta: Lillios 1997; Skeates 2002) are not very common in burials. The raw material for the polished small axes, mostly greenstone, was bel ieved to be imported from the Alpine region, but alternative, local sources have been id entified on the island, so that overseas

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87circulation may not have been necessarily involved as much. Nonetheless, at least the amuletsized specimens are part of a common code of wester n Mediterranean material culture that is still alive during the Bell Beaker period, at least at an early stage (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lxiv-lxv), becoming scarce in the Early Bronze Age (Lilliu 1988a: 344), and disappearing afterwards. A specific, standardized type of large stone axe, t raditionally known as “battle axe” (so called from the first interpretation of such sp ecimens in the context of the Corded Ware culture of Central Europe), which is very common in northern and central Italy during the Gaudo and Rinaldone cultures, has been documented a t a few locations in Northern Sardinia, and particularly at the temple-site of Monte d’Acco ddi (Contu 1997: 315-316). This may be a testimony of a circulation of ideas reflected by an d generated through material culture, which was in place following a north-south pattern and is shown by the distribution of several other artifactual classes. A few types of stone (and bone) tools are typical o f the Final Copper and Early Bronze Age phases, which in Sardinia correspond to the Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro A phases (ca. 2500-1900 BC): the so-called brassards or wrist-guards. They are small plaques with two or more holes, which have been interpreted as protective implements for the archer’s arm holding the bow while shooting arrows (hence the name, in French); there is no compelling evidence, though, that this was actually the case. They certainly had some symbolic importance, since they were buried with th e dead, likely secured to the body and/or clothing through strings. In Sardinia, they are for the most part roughly rectangular, and have one face flat and the other slightly convex, with g reat variation in the details. Some have straight sides, some concave, some long sides strai ght and short convex, or vice-versa (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981b: lxii-lxiii; Lilliu 1988a: 190-191). Their average length seems to increase between the Beaker phase and the Bonnanaro A phase (longest specimens are 11.3 cm in the former, 14 cm in the latter: Contu 1997: 371). These details have also been compared to mainland Beaker specimens, to detect po ssible similarities and, by inference, trade connections. It seems that, while types often coexist, straight sides are more frequent in southern France (Lilliu 1988a: 191), whereas concav e sides are typical of Central Europe (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lviii). Also attributed to these contexts are turtle-shaped buttons and buttons with v-shaped perforation (Atzeni 1996a: 40 2; Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lxiv; but see Lilliu 1988a: 194-195).

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88Several elements, together with the change in potte ry style preferences reflected by the revival of tripods in a different form, by meto pal decoration, and other typical ornaments found in burials, contribute to the same reconstruc tion. In an earlier Bell Beaker phase, Sardinia was part of a cultural area having its cen ter in the coastal western Mediterranean, particularly the Gulf of Lion between Catalonia and Languedoc-Roussillon. In a later Bell Beaker phase, the most intense communication seems to have shifted to central Europe, via northern Italy (Atzeni 1996a: 400-406; Ferrarese Ce ruti 1981a: lxv), a link that remains strong in Early Bronze Age times, with the post-Bea ker culture of Polada 1. It also seems that within Sardinia the earlier phase is more intensely represented in the northwest (SassariAlghero area), which is also the closest to the nor th-western Mediterranean shores, whereas the later phase with the development of more region al elements is best represented in the southwest (Atzeni 1995). It is also significant tha t the first Beaker phase is closer to the mainland models, while the second partakes of the g eneral taste but has original stylistic outcomes: this would fit a model of direct overseas contact in the first phase, followed by a more mediated circulation of materials and people, possibly overland or through coastal sailing. However, in the second phase the scanty ev idence from Corsica (Lemercier, et al. in press) suggests some more complex explanation. Bone tools, for the most part simple and not specia lized, are found in moderate numbers especially in settlements, and occasionally in tombs, throughout the period ca. 40001900 BC. Projectile points are documented in the Co pper Age, along with common pins and various tools (Melis 2000d: 79), but items made fro m this material have not preserved as well, and have not received as much attention as po ttery and lithics. The miscellaneous category of ‘personal ornaments’ is documented at all times but in different quantities and materials, which include b one, shell, teeth, stone and metal. Beads, for the most part likely to be elements of necklace s and other personal items, are largely made of shell. Shells found at settlement sites are commonly interpreted as refuse, whereas those provided with suspension holes, or modified i n shapes other than natural, commonly found in burial contexts, can be considered beads. They are not as common in the Ozieri phase, and even less along the post-Ozieri and Mont e Claro assemblages (Contu 1997: 213, 278, 346). Many examples from the north, when they come from reused tombs and particularly if they were not excavated by modern s tandards over fifty years ago, cannot be assigned to one specific phase. It is especially in the last two phases under investigation, the

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89Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro A, that personal ornament s reach an unprecedented appreciation, with consequent archaeological representation, not recorded before, nor afterwards until historic times. This is in direct relationship with the Bell Beaker phenomenon; in southern France this sort of aesthetic taste is remarkable ( Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lxiv; Lilliu 1988a: 192), and this is probably where the new way of per ceiving and displaying one’s bodily image –in the tomb originated. It is therefore pr esumably not due to chance that these bead assemblages appear wealthier in the Northwest (Lill iu 1988a: 193), which as discussed above has been recognized as the area where stylistic exp ressions more closely reflect CatalonianFrench models. Shell beads can be just perforated shells otherwise left untouched, or more defined shapes, and are both made from seashells and landsn ails. Teeth can be human, but more often are wild boar tusks and fox or dog canines (Lilliu 1988a: 193). Atrophic deer canines are typical of the Early Bronze Age Bonnanaro A phase, representing another common element with the Polada 1 culture of northern Italy, and si gnificantly their distribution is centered in the Sardinian South (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981b: lxxv; Lilliu 1988a: 345). Well-documented examples of such assemblages that include pottery, beads, metal and more are Padru Jossu (Ugas 1982b) and Iscalitas (Manunza 1998), which wi ll be discussed more in detail in the description of the burial contexts of the individua ls sampled for stable isotopic analyses. 4.4. Metal The presence of metal items has been observed to in crease generally as the traditional Neolithic stone tools decline. Specifically, the fr equency of flaked implements made of obsidian and chert on the one hand, and of copper o n the other, has been read in terms of an inversely proportional relationship, as if the decl ine of obsidian was caused by the spread of metalworking. Concerning Sardinia, the logical cont radiction that stone tools had already been much scarcer while metal tools did not appear to be yet very common has been highlighted (Lilliu 1988a: 344). Along the assumpti on just mentioned, recycling of metal has been considered the cause for such apparent underre presentation. In reality, metal circulation is poorly documented and even less is it understood in terms of the social mechanisms underlying such circulation and use. The patterns o f metal presence seem to be complex rather than linear, as is clear from the trends bri efly summarized below. An updated list of all

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90metal finds at prehistoric sites up to the Early-Mi ddle Bronze Age transition has recently been published (Usai 2005b); this is the main refer ence for the following data. Typologically, the diversity of metal items varies remarkably over time. In Ozieri and Sub-Ozieri contexts, most broad categories of objec ts are already represented, even though sporadically or as single cases (Lo Schiavo 1989; U sai 2005b: 258-260), and mainly in the South: copper and silver rings and wires, copper pi ns, grains used as beads, silver foil, and knives. This demonstrates, despite the scarce numbe rs, knowledge of all main physical properties of such metals, and active experimentati on of the basic metalworking techniques that imply this knowledge, even though Lilliu (1988 a: 166) hypothesized that the defective technology in Monte Claro knives might be evidence for incipient metalworking several hundred years later. While copper smelting is likely an innovation impor ted from outside, the early chronology and substantial diffusion of silver item s (Figure 29), which declines with the rise of copper, seems an indigenous development. In the following phases of the Post-Ozieri tradition, the copper axe and the bracelet, both of copper and silver, are documented. Bracelets and rings are the most common metal item found in burials at this time, declining afterwards, when different ornaments come into fash ion (Usai 2005b: 261-263). In this Early Figure 29. Barchart showing the relative frequency of different metals in the phases examined (raw dat a are after Usai L. 2005b), with number of artifacts on top of each column. In the last two phases, arti facts defined as copper, bronze-copper and bronze are gro uped together, since no analyses have established r eal proportions. Note the importance of silver in the f irst phases and its decrease and disappearance by t he Early Bronze Age, and the use of lead especially in the Monte Claro phase

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91 Copper Age phase we also have the first evidence fo r the working of lead, both in the form of clamps to repair broken pots and of smelting slag, whereas circumstantial evidence for earlier periods may be represented by similar holes for rep air (Ugas 1993a). A peculiar type of copper knife, leaf-shaped, long between 8 and 20 cm and with a thin tang, is associated with Monte Claro pottery a nd other material culture at several locations in the South, and is sharply different fr om the previous triangular knives/daggers with holes for rivets (Lami 1999). The latter have abundant parallels in the western Mediterranean area, first and foremost in the Rinal done culture of Central Italy, which that the former type lacks. While there may be anteceden ts in unusual foliate points (Usai 2005b: 262), their best matches are interestingly found in the eastern Mediterranean (Lilliu 1988a: 166). In the Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro A phases, kn ife-dagger types realign with western models from Catalonia and France, and from central Europe and northern Italy. Their size, though, is reduced to no more than 15 cm, compared to both previous Sardinian specimens and to the mainland models (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lxiii; Lilliu 1988a: 191-192). While axes seem to be present but not common, items defined as pins and awls are found throughout, and in higher numbers especially after the mid-3rd millennium. In the Beaker phase, they are close to northwestern models and particularly to southern France (Lilliu 1988a: 191-192). In the following Early Bro nze Age, which in other aspects is strongly associated with the Alpine region, there a re metal tools that find their best comparison in Argaric Spain, whereas nothing simila r is found in Polada contexts of northern Italy (Lilliu 1988a: 343). This may be evidence of contacts following different routes and exchange partnerships for specific items, and/or au tonomous local elaboration of aesthetic canons, although it may belong to a somewhat later phase of transition into the Middle Bronze Age. Evidence of metalworking itself is provided by a fe w specimens interpreted as crucibles, all recovered in Post-Ozieri contexts (C ontu 1997: 141; one possibly Monte Claro: Lilliu 1988a: 164). If similar items were used in t he following centuries, as presumably was the case, evidently these were not markers that the value system of those communities considered appropriate to accompany the dead.

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92Looking at the general trend of the frequency of me tal objects (Figure 30), some commonly held opinions about the development of met allurgy in Sardinia can be questioned: first, the gradual, progressive intensification in the use of metal. It appears that a first increase occurred in the Early Copper Age Post-Ozieri contex ts. The Monte Claro phase, rather than representing the inevitable take-over of eastern fo lks bringing ‘superior’ metallurgical skills (as in Foschi Nieddu 2001), represents a decline in metal objects’ frequency. A second peak is to be connected with the Bell Beaker contexts, w hile the following phase is again a decline in the circulation of metal items. If typology over time is considered (Figure 31), ma ny types are sporadically represented, in minimal numbers, in the Ozieri and Sub-Ozieri periods. A dramatic increase in metal body ornaments occurs in the Filigosa-Abea lzu contexts, mostly represented by rings and bracelets, with some sharp-edge tools and a few awls and pins. The latter become more common in the Monte Claro phase, which is part ially contemporary with the chronology of Bell Beaker assemblages, and find lar ge usage in this phase and during the Figure 30. Barchart showing the frequencies of meta l artifacts by cultural phase in Sardinian prehisto ry, calculated as absolute number of items recorded (Us ai L. 2005b) divided by time of duration of the pha se, according to the current chronology (Tykot 1994). T his is the index on the y axis, wheres absolute num ber of artifacts is on top of each column. It appears t hat metallurgy did not have a constant, progressive intensification as previous literature assumes, but a first increase in the Post-Ozieri contexts, and a second peak in the Bell Beaker contexts. The contexts with Monte Claro and Bonnanaro A pottery represent instead a recession in metal use

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93 Figure 31. Barchart showing the number of different types of metal artifacts by cultural phase in Sard inian prehistory (raw data after Usai L. 2005b). Pins and awls seem to reflect a different clothing repertoi re involving woven wool items and pins, as opposed to leather and linen accompanied by silver jewels as i n the indigenous tradition. Bonnanaro A phase. In the Beaker and Bonnanaro A as semblages, a higher proportion of knives-daggers are also documented, with a reductio n in the overall diversity of types in the last period. Items with no practical use, such as rings, bracele ts, and rare metal foil, were the majority of recovered specimens during the Ozieri t radition phases (Figure 32). Associated with the appearance of Monte Claro pottery and the end of the long tradition of female figurines is a sharp proportional increase in coppe r sharp-edged tools and pins/awls. The Bell Beaker assemblages reflect similar ratios, with a f urther increase in the frequency of pins/awls and other personal items, which mirrors t he elaboration of bodily appearance reflected in the large use of pendants and beads ma de of shell, stone, and bone. Finally, purely decorative items almost cease to be document ed for the Bonnanaro A phase, which corresponds with the absence of decoration on potte ry as well. These changes seem related

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94 Figure 32. Barchart showing the relative frequencie s of different types of metal artifacts by cultural phase grouped in broad categories. Raw data after Usai L. (2005b). Absolute number of artifacts is on top of each column. The groups are arbitrary to some degre e, but they are working approximations, considered useful in order to visualize long-term trends. Blad es are labeled as ‘war and sacrifice’ items rather than utilitarian, since most tools were still made of st one. ‘Utilitarian’ includes pins and awls, and ‘ado rnment’ all items with no obvious function as manual tools. Social, symbolic and practical meanings are of cou rse attached to all types in different ways, and imposs ible to isolate to transformations in status symbols, or rather ide ntity markers, as they are presumably connected to both the ways of displaying and constr ucting social inequality, but also different material instruments to define gender identities an d roles, as shown by further elements described below. This and other lines of evidence w ill be used for a tentative outline of such developments in the synthesizing concluding section of this chapter and in the final integration in chapter 8. 4.5. Buildings and Architectural Remains 4.5.1. Settlements Very little synthetic works appear in the literatur e concerning the settlements themselves, their type of location within landscape units or their architectural features in a comparative perspective. A short synthesis summariz es the data available for the Copper

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95Age, including both Post-Ozieri cultures and Monte Claro (Melis 2003a). The density of sites is important as an indicator of demography, if stud ied carefully taking into account potentially different patterns of concentration-dis persion versus absolute numbers, and of archaeological visibility. As explained above, some styles are easier to identify for a denser frequency of decorated, diagnostic pottery. Even if it is a simplification which does not consider many variables, a chart of the index obtai ned dividing the number of sites (as summarized in Lilliu 1988a) by the time each cultur e lasted (according to absolute chronology as in Tykot 1994) gives a rough visual e stimate of these data (Figure 33). The representation of different cultures in caves, burials and open-air sites, based on current knowledge, is remarkably varied in different period s. While caves may have been in some instances ceremonial, burial and living sites, assu ming the basic opposition between funerary/caves on one hand, and open-air on the oth er there was a sensible oscillation in the ratios (Figure 34). In reality, for Late Neolithic Ozieri there are no attempts after Lilliu (Lilliu 1988a) to take into account the huge mass of data o btained if the approximately 2500 rockFigure 33. Barchart showing the density of sites by cultural phase. Raw data after Lilliu (1988), calc ulated as the total number of known sites divided by the t ime of duration of the phase, according to the curr ent chronology (Tykot 1994). This index (on axis y) rep resents a working approximation, considered useful as a proxy for population density and/or population nu cleation: in fact, it includes burials, open-air si tes, cave sites. Consistent bias is due to the different decoration on pottery, which makes certain styles inherently easier to identify. See text for discuss ion.

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96 Figure 34. Barchart showing the relative proportion of burials vs. dwelling sites, by cultural phase. Raw data as in Lilliu (1988). No comparable data on the first phase were available. In reality, a number o f cave sites of the last two phases commonly assumed to be burials may have been also used as dwellings. Nevertheless, the emphasis on tombs in the Bell Bea ker and Bonnanaro A phases is evident. carved tombs, and the countless findspots of diagno stic pottery (Campus 1997; Dettori Campus 1989b; Lilliu 1988a: 73-82) are considered. Also, a number of caves could have been dwellings particularly in the last phases, whi ch show scarce evidence of settled life. The following Copper Age Filigosa and Abealzu phase s are more represented by burials (Depalmas, et al. 1998: 357-363; Melis 2003 a: 737), although several factors need to be considered. The identification and recognition o f the Sub-Ozieri aspect is increasingly pointing out that many sites earlier labeled as Ozi eri had longer spans of occupation into the Copper Age; moreover, a systematic bias must be tak en into account, since Ozieri pottery is often decorated, making even the smallest sherd dia gnostic, whereas Copper Age Post-Ozieri ceramic aspects can be reliably recognized from she rds of identifiable shape (rims, bottoms, handles). A similar bias concerns in the Later Copp er-Early Bronze Age the identification of Monte Claro pottery in comparison with undecorated Bell Beaker and especially Bonnanaro A pottery. This may partially account for the scarc e number of open-air sites attributed to Bonnanaro, which is characterized by almost totally undecorated pottery. Keeping this in mind, we can accept, until we have evidence to the contrary, at least the overall trends, while being aware that they may be overemphasized.

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97Architecturally speaking, the most typical feature of Ozieri and Sub-Ozieri settlements of the southern lowlands is the so-call ed fondo di capanna or hut bottom. They appear as lenses of soil of different color with mo re or less dense elements of material culture, food refuse, and hearths. These have been traditionally interpreted as shallow pits that were covered by perishable walls and roofing. They are consistently round or oval, with a few possible sub-rectangular examples (Contu 1997 : 109). This is the current reconstruction, since the only surviving evidence o f roofing is the occasional find of clay with vegetal impressions. At su Coddu (Selargius), there is evidence that in the Sub-Ozieri phase pits were deeper than before (Ugas 2000; Ugas et al. 1985; Usai 2005b: 258). There is no strong evidence for stone wall foundations in th e southern lowlands: possibly some huts had them at some locations (Atzeni 1958). There is a slightly better documentation regarding houses with stone foundations likely belonging to t he final Ozieri-Early Copper Age, which match the reconstructions based on the architectura l elements reproduced in the domus de janas (Tanda and Depalmas 1997). These houses have a rec tangular plan with a semicircular room where the entrance is placed. Several internal stone alignments partition it into several rooms. To this point, they have only been surveyed and mapped, not excavated, but a great deal of information is expected from them. Several rectilinear huts have been investigated in the village around the temple of Monte d’Accoddi, where interestingly the lower laye rs showed at least one circular hut (Contu 1997: 304-306). A plan similar to those in S erra Linta, which possibly dates to a late aspect of Ozieri, was well documented in the Monte Claro village of Biriai (Oliena). There are also stone foundations, but different construct ion details. In this case, full excavation of several of these houses gave also material culture evidence of a very homogeneous phase (Castaldi 1999), which has been recognized elsewher e (Fadda 1997). As prior to this period, the upper structure must have been made of wood, pl anks and clay, probably with vegetal roofing. A circular hut with higher walls has been excavated at sa Corona, VillagrecaNuraminis (Lilliu 1988a: 203), where Monte Claro po ttery was found, but unfortunately no detailed excavation records have ever been publishe d. The building expression of the Monte Claro pottery users is divergent in the two halves of the island: in the center-south, there ar e more villages with no stone architecture, in the north there are stone foundations and megalithi c walls surrounding some of the houses or special areas. These megalithic structures are comm only defined ‘fortifications’, based on the

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98traditional interpretation of the examples in Franc e and Spain. Whether defense was the real concern, or rather some less strictly functional me aning, remains unexplored. In the Italian peninsula, a rise in weaponry symbolism has been fo und not to match trauma frequency in skeletal remains, and even if there was a clear pos itive correlation, there is not necessarily a single ‘right’ answer (Robb 1997, 1998). Certainly megalithic walls imply a great labor effort, as they can be over a hundred meters long, about 2-3 m thick and as high. They are built on a standard morphological feature, wide, ro ughly flat hilltops, stretching to enclose the side where the slope is gentler, while leaving untouched the naturally defended steeper side (Moravetti 1998a, 2001). At Monte Baranta (Olm edo), the only one that has been investigated and published (Moravetti 2000, 2002), no significant patterns have been recognized in the distribution of material items, b ut a megalithic circle defined by menhirs was right outside, in front of the wall, and a smal ler, thick, tower-like enclosure was in the inner part of the walled area, near the edge of the ravine. It must be said that the sharp distinction within Monte Claro contexts between the southern Campidano lowlands with little stone architecture, opposed to the north with stone villages and walls, had to be corrected in light of the recent documentation of similar villag es in the Southwest (Canino 1998; Usai 1997; Usai and Santoni 1998), where prior evidence consisted essentially in cave finds (Atzeni 1987). No dwelling sites are known with substantial Bell B eaker cultural materials, and their partial chronological and geographic overlap, but n ot clear association with, the Monte Claro assemblages (only a few sherds have been found with in Monte Claro settlements) points to a complex relationship between the two. Differently f rom other areas in southern France, where a differentiated acceptance of Bell Beaker ob jects has been well documented (Lemercier 1998, in press), no clear patterns have yet been pinpointed in Sardinia. The scarcity of finds in open-air sites has led to the inference that, rather than pottery for daily use, Beaker vessels may have been in Sardinia essen tially an element of funerary custom (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lv-lvii). The picture was similar for the Bonnanaro A phase ( Ferrarese Ceruti 1981b: lxviilxviii), until the 1980s and particularly the 1990s Although a number of sites yielded materials that could possibly be attributed to the Early Bronze Age (Webster 1996: 66-67), no more than a few sites yielded stratigraphically reliable evidence of artifacts in a non-burial context. Besides the site of Matzeddu (Ugas 1992), Noeddos (Trump 1990: 3-18) yielded

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99radiocarbon dates covering the Early Bronze Age, al though the relationship with the stonebuilt structures is not clear (Webster 1994). The s ite of Costa Tana was only tested (Santoni 1996), so that only one single-phase Bonnanaro A si te has been excavated, at su Stangioni (Portoscuso). It was an isolated, roughly built, an d irregularly rectangular hut, possibly with a cobbled area in an open space in front of it. Signi ficantly, the excavators recovered the largest vessels known as yet for this ceramic aspec t, which is otherwise known mainly from tombs (Usai 1994). Here I am not considering the site type known as corridor-nuraghi or protonuraghi (Lilliu 1988a: 208-214), a name defining a stone pl atform with a corridor and one or more small rooms within the body of the structure, which are considered the architectural antecedent of the Bronze Age towered buildings know n as nuraghi While previously considered to date to the Early Bronze Age, there i s growing evidence that the large majority date instead to the Middle Bronze Age, or in a few cases to the transitional phase known as Sant’Iroxi, otherwise known as Bonnanaro A2 (Perra 1997: 2-4; Ugas 1990; 1999: 139-140, 169-173). This phase is also not included in this d issertation. 4.5.2. Ceremonial Sites Evidence for ceremonial sites during the Ozieri per iod is scarce. Besides caves, which were used for ritual purposes at least in some case s (Loria and Trump 1978), a possible example may be identified at Puisteris, Mogoro (Lil liu 1988a: 86): a simple slab-altar on the top of the hill where the village lies. It seems th at in the 4th millennium the focal point of ritual activity was increasingly the burial area. R elated to this is the sporadic presence of abnormally enlarged vestibular rooms within the fun erary rock-carved structures, which is quite rare, and has been interpreted as possibly ho using ceremonies beyond the usual cult of ancestors (Montessu, Villaperuccio); their size cau ses some archaeologists to refer to them as ‘chapel-tombs’ (Atzeni 1972), and of course rather than something more, this might indicate precisely how important for those communities the c ult of the dead was. A few cases of large scale ceremonial sites are fou nd in the Copper Age: Monte d’Accoddi and the sanctuaries at the Monte Claro vi llages of Biriai and Monte Baranta. The first is a unique structure in the whole central-we stern Mediterranean; although some comparisons have been made, its clear otherness is exemplified by its being commonly

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100defined as a ‘ziggurat’. In fact, the closest examp les for monumentality and spatial arrangement were, for Old World archaeologists, Nea r Eastern temples (Mesoamerican cases are probably more similar): a rectangular, truncate d pyramid with a long access ramp and a temple on top. The scale is much smaller, though, a nd the stonework quite rough (Contu 1997: 287-302). Different construction phases were recognized, with an earlier, lower platform, replaced by a taller and wider one that c ontained the first, again in a sequence of incorporations as we see in the enlarging of Mesoam erican pyramids. While the village, mostly Ozieri and Sub-Ozieri, ha s pottery dating back to the Early Neolithic, the phases of temple-building are attrib uted to the Filigosa phase, within the uninterrupted Post-Ozieri tradition. A village with menhirs, and an altar-slab existed before the temple, while at least one round hut, and sever al rectilinear huts with stone foundations were built all around the temple at later times, in the very final phase of the Post-Ozieri tradition. The sudden, apparently violent, end of o ccupation is shown by the remarkable preservation of the only excavated hut, which still contained all the utensils abandoned in situ (Contu 1997: 306-309; 2000: 55-56). While no furthe r details are needed here, it is important to emphasize the uniqueness of this site (Tin and Traverso 1992b). Also, it is significant that this site is in the middle of the Sardinian Northwe st where the large majority of complex, elaborate, decorated domus de janas are concentrated, and where the highest number of perforated stone figurines (see below) were found. The association is presumably all but random, suggesting an increase in intensity and com plexity of socio-cultural expressions. In the following Monte Claro phase, the walled encl osures discussed above had presumably also a ceremonial function; unfortunatel y, nothing significant has been recovered at Monte Baranta, where only scarce sherds were ret rieved: Moravetti (2000: 53-57) infers that occupation may have been very short after the building phase. The standing stone circles indicate formalized ritual activity; Castaldi (1999 ) believes that the one at Biriai may have been an astronomical calendar; interestingly, both at Monte Baranta and Biriai, some of the menhirs were brought to the site but never erected, which seems to support the idea that occupation was possibly relatively short, and const ruction itself may have stopped abruptly. Following these events, there is no more evidence f or clearly ritual areas associated with Bell Beaker material culture, nor with Bonnanaro A.

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1014.5.3. Burial Sites Rock-Carved Tombs From this section onwards, a reference scheme repre senting a synthetic summary is provided (Table 4). Architectural remains in Neolit hic and Early Copper Age Sardinia are for the largest portion made up of burials (Contu 1997: 115). This is probably due to practical reasons: the materials used in constructing dwellin gs were mostly perishable, with a few exceptions. The relationship between open-air sites and tombs becomes more articulated geographically and possibly chronologically for the Later Copper Age users of Monte Claro pottery, with more evidence for domestic stone arch itecture. Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro A cultural materials are for the most part again reco vered in burial contexts. The most important type of burial that had intense and widespread diffusion in the Late Neolithic and Early Copper Age on the island i s the domu de janas (pl. domus de janas ). This term is taken from one of the many words, acco rding to the different local variations of Sardinian, used by the communities to indicate rock -hewn cavities that are clearly not the work of nature. It means “houses of the janas ”, the latter term indicating small-sized feminine supernatural beings part of the traditiona l, syncretistic cosmology. This is just one of the several terms that in different regions of t he island are used for the same concept. In scholarly practice, instead, the Latin term (sing. domus used also as plural) is widespread. Since the association with the Ozieri culture is we ll established, they are, besides pottery, the best indicator of Late Neolithic human occupation of the landscape. Opposed to a number of sites known from pottery finds that can n owadays be estimated over 300, there are roughly 3000 rock-carved tombs known on the whole i sland (Tanda, personal communication), although there is no comprehensive ‘catalog’ since the list compiled by Lilliu (1988a), who counted 165 total sites. Most o f tombs, based on current knowledge, are to be considered associated with the societies that made Ozieri pottery. However, due to their long history of reuse after the first phase, those where intact Ozieri contexts were found are extremely rare, and not all those excavated have be en published (S. Benedetto, Iglesias, sampled for human bone isotopic analyses, and tomb 2 at Serrugiu, Cuglieri: Contu 1997: 119; Lilliu 1988a: 91).

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102Table 4. Synthetic prospectus relative to the trend s in site type, landscape archaeology, burial and r itual in prehistoric Sardinia ~4000-1900 BC. Phase Landscape occupation Typical living site House building Ceremonial sites Burial type Burial customs Figurative art LN (Ozieri) 4000-3300 BC Alluvial lowlands, coastal lagoons Open-air village Wattle-&-daub (perishable), sunken floor (rare if any) [ unicum : flat-top pyramid, North?] Rock-carved tombs ( domus de janas ) Collective, dismembered remains Offerings/ Meals Bull heads, human figures and statuettes earlier type ECA (Post-Ozieri) 3300-2500 BC Continuity, + highlands (North) Continuity (also stone foundations) + sunken floor Possibly spaces near tombs, menhirs, cupmark-altars [ unicum : flat-top pyramid, North] ( domus de janas ), dolmens Diffusion bull head, human figures and on rock, statuettes later type (North), statuestelae (center-West) sculpture & painting LCA (Monte Claro) 2700-2300 BC Hills & lowlands no coastal; hilltops Open-air large village (cave?) Wattle-&-daub, + stone foundations Wall-enclosed high places; menhir circle Shaft-tombs (South), reused domus de janas, caves; added corridors elsewhere Single burial, articulated (South); collective, with distinctions elsewhere None [leaflet motif on pottery? Abstract basrelief?] Beaker 2500-2200 BC Occupation break, Mostly lowlands Caves? ? None [maybe open burial pits?] reused domus de janas, reused dolmens, caves, cists, pits Collective, also with distinctions, occasionally single articulated individuals Offerings/ Meals None EBA 2200-1900 BC Lowlands, + highlands Caves? [Open-air farmstead?] ? [wattle-&-daub with stone foundations]

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103 The custom of carving burials in the rock was not n ew to the Late Neolithic: there are examples in the 5th millennium (Santoni 2000), but sporadic compared t o the standardization and diffusion in Ozieri times, when the alternative types mostly cave burials and increasingly common megalithic burials are margin al. Domus de janas are carved in different rocks over the island, proving that the c hoice was not only dependent on the available geo-lithological substrate. If a trend ca n be recognized, it is instead visible in the distribution of megalithic burials (dolmens and cha mbered tombs), which are denser in the north and in the highlands. The only area where the y are very scarcely documented is the northeastern tip of Sardinia (Gallura), close to Co rsica, where apparently megalithic traditions were more rooted early on, apparently be fore Late Neolithic underground burial tradition begun. Domus de janas are varied in their solutions as concerns plans an d articulation in different rooms, a variation that shows also a spat ial patterning: generally, plan complexity is mostly found in the Northwest, as is complexity in decoration and density of occurrence (Tanda 1995b). They are often found in clusters, at a few meters distance from one another, up to around 40 tombs, each containing several room s (e.g. Anghelu Ruju, Alghero; Montessu, Villaperuccio: Contu 1997: 118-119). Their plan (Figure 35) ranges from simple, single-c ell tombs, as small as 1 by 1.5 m, with an immediate threshold between burial chamber and outside space, to more complex types of up to 20 rooms and stretching over areas a s wide as 17 by 20 m, about 340 m2 (Contu 1997: 128-129). More often there is a vestib ular room, called anticella which is a liminal space between the outside world of the livi ng and the burial chamber. In the most complex types, the second room is as well transitio nal, large and spacious, and represents the center where all the openings of the real, smaller burial chambers are located, arranged radially. The shape of the rooms also varies, from circular or elliptical to rectangular, besides several irregularly-shaped examples (Santoni 1976; Tanda 2000). Approximately 70 domus de janas concentrated in the Northwest, show decorative elements that imitate open-air dwelling architectur e, mostly in the more ‘social’ rooms, the anticella and the main chamber (Contu 1997: 111). Besides being relevant per se this

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104 Figure 35. Examples of Neolithic-Copper Age rock-ca rved tombs (domus de janas) from central-southern Sardinia: top left: Scaba 'e Arriu; top right: San Benedetto, tomb II; bottom left: Santa Caterina di Pittinuri; bottom right: Cannas di Sotto, tomb 12 ( only partially excavated). Skeletal remains of seve ral individuals from these tombs were analyzed for stab le isotopes (see chapters 6-8). Black ovals indicat e the position of crania within the tombs. Images are ela borated by Luca Lai based on the original maps: respectively Usai 1998: 51, with permission from th e Soprintendenza Archeologica per la Sardegna, formerly per le Provincie di Cagliari e Oristano; A tzeni 2001a: 27, with permission from the author; Cocco and Usai 1988: 19, with permission from Scorp ione publishers; Santoni and Usai 1995: 72, with permission from S'Alvure publishers. feature is important for the religious meanings and the social aspects it may reflect (Cmara Serrano and Spanedda 2002; Contu 1997: 111-113; Tan da 1984: 52-53), and for the understanding of the domestic structures that were built above ground with perishable materials and are not preserved. Roofs built with s loping planks over beams stretching the

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105length of the roof, pillars sustaining the ceiling, architraves and poles, and several other elements, including what is interpreted as furnitur e (Contu 1997: 113), allowed the reconstruction of nine types of hut plans, represen ting different combinations of semicircular and rectangular rooms with single or double sloped or conical roof (Depalmas, et al. 1998: 352-353; Tanda 1984: 54-55). The labor and organiza tional effort these magnificent tombs entail is substantial. This, coupled with the recur rent association of themes at several locations, has been interpreted as reflecting an au thentic class of itinerant artists-artisans, working in teams and bringing their skills to diffe rent communities (Tanda 1984: 52), upon request by chiefs and leaders (Lilliu 1988a: 92-93) While, based on present knowledge, it seems that the institutionalized social differentia tion implied in the word ‘chief’ is unlikely to have been in place, it is not unreasonable that art isans known for their skills were called for services from nearby communities. As has been pointed out, the most complex outcomes of burial carving and decoration seem to have occurred at the latest phases of the P ost-Ozieri tradition; most areas show a much smaller number of tombs, smaller number of roo ms per tomb, and little or no decorative elements, whether they are architectural or cult-related (see the next section). These elements are also associated with oven-shaped circular or oval plans for each room, which are also considered somewhat earlier. Besides the rectangular or trapezoidal plans documented in late Filigosa-Abealzu phases at Monte d’Accoddi, it is undoubtedly significant that the Monte Claro hut plan recorded at the village of Biriai corresponds perfectly with the combination of rectangular and s emicircular shapes juxtaposed (Tanda 1984: 54-59). This may therefore be a general pheno menon, spanning the island at later times across the boundaries drawn by pottery styles. Geog raphically, more circular taste is found at tombs in the South, Southwest and in the western an d southwestern flanks of the Gennargentu, the central mountain massif (Contu 199 7: 127). This patterning appears highly significant, since rather than following altitude o r valley watersheds, describes a radial divide around the Gennargentu that fits the subdivision in sectors associated to transhumance as described for the early 20th century (Le Lannou 1941: 174-180), with shepherds from the northern flanks moving seasonally mostly northwest, and from the southwestern flanks moving south. The custom of burying the dead in rock-carved tombs lasted up to the Early Bronze Age (Bonnanaro A), but the tradition itself of carv ing them did not die at the end of the Post-

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106Ozieri material culture complex. An evolution, like ly related to the influence of megalithic alles and chambered tombs, already took place within thi s tradition: at several locations in the Northwest there is evidence for more elongated ossuary-rooms, with tombs’ rooms preferentially arranged in length or on the two sid es of the central room, rather than in a radial pattern. One type of elongated plan, apparen tly dating to the late Filigosa/Abealzu phase (Ferrarese Ceruti 1991: 88-89; Santoni 1976), is named ‘T-tomb’ for the presence of two cells on the sides of the central room in a T-s haped arrangement. Access is through a corridor, or dromos which makes the entrance more monumental, in some cases with a large stairway, as at Anghelu Ruju near Alghero, and ofte n with a semicircular anticella the vestibular space typical of Ozieri tombs. These ele ments, together with the occasional presence of figurative petroglyphs, are considered indications of Early Copper Age occupation of the tomb (Lilliu 1988a: 134). The burial customs associated with Monte Claro pott ery show remarkable geographic differentiation, as did most aspects of material cu lture. The only area with newly carved Monte Claro tombs is the southern lowlands around C agliari (Figure 36). Everywhere else, grave goods and skeletal materials are found inside tombs of the Ozieri tradition or natural caves. The ones around Cagliari show characteristic s that are relatively original in Sardinia, Figure 36. Example of plans of rock-carved tombs of Monte Claro period: left, Via Basilicata, Cagliari ; right: Padru Jossu, possibly a pit rather than unde rground room. Skeletal remains from both burials ha ve been analyzed for stable isotopes (see chapters 6-8 ). Images are elaborated by the author based on the original maps: respectively Atzeni 1967, p. 161, Fi g. 3, with kind permission of the Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria, and Ugas 1998: p. 261, Fi g. 1, with kind permission of the Autonomous Provin ce of Trento, Italy.

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107 consisting of a vertical shaft and horizontal ovenshaped rooms, often in groups, with one or a few articulated bodies (Atzeni 1985; Usai 1989b). The few close examples, which are rare, are around Oristano in the Middle Neolithic (Cuccur u sÂ’Arriu, Bonu Ighinu phase: Santoni 2000), and sporadically across the island in the Oz ieri tradition (Serra is Araus, CorongiuPimentel, Marinaru: Lilliu 1988a: 230; Cannas di So tto: Santoni and Usai 1995). However, their plans are not as standardized, nor their dist ribution as clustered, as the examples near Cagliari. The single rooms with shaft access were s ealed with small stone walls, and bodies were consistently laid still articulated, flexed on their left side (Atzeni 1967, 1985). Elsewhere, both in domus de janas and natural caves, there is no evidence for rock-ca rving, but instead the intervention associated with Monte Claro pottery consists in the addition of slabs to create megalithic corridors before the ent rance (Atzeni 2001b; Foschi Nieddu 2001; Pitzalis 1996: 206-218; Usai 1998), or the circumsc ription of a space, or cist, within a larger room (Ferrarese Ceruti and Fonzo 1995; Lilliu 1988a : 146-148). I only mention here the phenomenon of the domus de janas with architectural faade. It is geographically confined to the Northwest, mos tly the area around Sassari, and consists of the association of rock-carved tombs with stelae sc ulpted in the frontal side as to imitate the megalithic monuments that become common at the same time. With little stratigraphically reliable evidence, for long they have been consider ed as the outcome of Early Bronze Age modifications (Lilliu 1988a: 323-330), but as sugge sted previously (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981b: lxix-lxx) and today better documented (Melis 1998b, 2003b), they are a product of Middle Bronze Age communities, so they fall beyond the sco pe of this dissertation. Regardless of this type of tomb, which would anyway be an exception, the general pattern is that the communities associated with Mon te Claro, Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro A material culture buried their dead by utilizing tom bs previously carved or built, or natural caves. Not much labor was invested across the islan d into building burials, while it is grave goods that do, occasionally, show a comparatively h igher expenditure of resources. In most cases contexts are not found in primary conditions due to looting and reuse in historic times, but a tendency is recognizable to define the new bu rial space with rough stone separations on the pavement, or stone middens on which, or near wh ich, certain individuals or some skeletal elements were laid (Ferrarese Ceruti 1974b; Moravet ti, et al. 1998).

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108 Dolmens, Chambered Tombs, Megalithic Circl es, Cists and Pits After early work by Lilliu (1966; 1988a: 214-228, 3 30-336), two comprehensive works on the dolmenic structures on Sardinia have b een published (Cicilloni 1994; Moravetti 1998b). Dolmens have been documented in several typ es, from the simplest and most common, with three slabs defining the funerary spac e and one to cover, to the most elaborate long chambered tomb, referred to as an alle couverte Besides complexity, types are differentiated based on plan (rectilinear vs. curvi linear). Slightly over 200 dolmens have been documented so far (Moravetti 1998b: 25), with a geo graphic distribution neatly cutting the island in two halves: the vast majority are found i n the northern half, while no more than twelve are located in the southern half and only tw o of these in the deep Southwest, the rest are in the central highlands (Moravetti 1998b: 32). This geographic pattern, reflected also in the type of raw material utilized (Figure 37), defi nitely emphasizes highlands, and has been Figure 37. Barchart of relative frequencies of lith ic materials used for dolmen building in prehistori c Sardinia. Data after Moravetti (1997: 25) and Cicil loni (1994: 53-54). The percentages largely reflect the geology of the areas where dolmenic structures are located with higher frequency.

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109commonly interpreted as reflecting a pastoral socie ty (Cicilloni 1994: 77; Moravetti 1998b: 25). Moreover, the region with higher dolmen concen tration extends beyond Sardinia into southern Corsica, showing similar formal traits wit hout any interruption across the Bonifacio Straits: a preference for rectangular plan, an entr ance carved in a slab, and their association with megalithic circles (Moravetti 1998b: 26, 39 fi gure 9). Chronology is not documented for the large majority of megalithic burials, since only a few have been excavated, most of them have been r eused, and their cultural materials are often out of context. Nevertheless, indications eva luated as relatively consistent come from those few, including Montiju Coronas (Ozieri), Moto rra (Dorgali), Corte Noa (Laconi), and Montessu (Villaperuccio), pointing mostly to the po st-Ozieri tradition complex (Sub-Ozieri and Filigosa: Atzeni 1989a, b; Cicilloni 1994: 73-7 4; Lilliu 1988a). The later Copper and Early Bronze Age, in the Monte Claro, Beaker and Bo nnanaro A phases, which havepreviously been considered as the heyday of dol men construction (Antona 2003; Lilliu 1988a: 214-219), appear to represent mostly the age of their reuse. Many dolmens have cupules and some incisions possibly including anthropomorp hic figures (Cicilloni 1994: 6970; D'Arragon 1998a, 1999b), which as discussed in other sections of this chapter seem to be also widespread during the early Post-Ozieri phase, both carved in domus de janas and impressed on pottery (Tanda 1984: 112). The earlies t pottery style that has been found associated with megalithic monuments (Middle Neolit hic, second half of the 5th millennium BC) has been recovered, probably not by chance, in Gallura, the northernmost tip of the island (see also Antona 2003; D'Arragon 1998b, 1999 a). This may fit the reconstruction that this architectural class of burial monuments origin ated in the northwestern Mediterranean, where an extended megalithic area covers wide porti ons of France and Catalonia, and diffused in Sardinia from the North to the South. As for more specific comparisons, Cicilloni (1994: 55-62) has examined thoroughly the occurrence of similarities across the central a nd western Mediterranean. He found partial matches for single sub-types, but no simple pattern s. The simple rectilinear dolmens, the most common, seem to be rare in the French Midi low lands, but more common in the highlands. In addition to the affinity with Corsica mentioned above (de Lanfranchi 1992; Moravetti 1998b: 26), single elements found in Sard inia are in common with the French coast (entrance carved as a hole in the slab), with Pugli a, in southern Italy (circular-polygonal plans, incision of unknown meaning near entrance), with the Pyrenean area including

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110Catalonia, southwestern France, the Basque Country (Guilaine 1992). Furthermore, dolmens in Sardinia show a prevalence for south-eastern ori entations (Figure 38), parallel to suggested centers of diffusion in Catalonia and southern Fran ce (Cicilloni 1994: 74-75). Since the association of ceramic styles with differ ent types of dolmens does not follow chronological patterns, it seems that they reflect variation in complexity with no internal genetic connections (Cicilloni 1994: 75). Of course further data may change this view in the future. It seems that the Middle Bronze Age giantsÂ’ tombs derive from both alles couvertes and cists, by elongation of the chamber into a corr idor, as shown by the modification of some tombs along these lines (Lilliu 1988a: 333-340). In sum, it seems that the origin of the megalithic phenomenon could have arisen from a comm on pool of construction options and shared ritual beliefs across discontinuous areas. A lternatively, it may have diffused more directly through communication, between the end of the Late Neolithic and the Early Copper Age, from the earliest examples on the Atlantic bas in and the western Mediterranean coasts toward the southern Corsica-northern Sardinia area and the Balearics (Moravetti 1998b: 27), and followed specific developments in different are as. Figure 38. Radial chart showing prevalence of orien tation in dolmenic tombs documented in Sardinia. Data from Cicilloni (1994: 71).

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111 A type of tomb recorded increasingly frequently is the domu de janas with megalithic (or dolmenic) corridor. It unites the underground a nd aboveground models in a hybrid type, where in front of the rock-carved entrance two or m ore standing slabs define a sort of corridor (Lilliu 1988a: 226). This type of domu de janas is more often simple, with one or two rooms. Although the data on this type of tomb a re still scanty, based on the few that have been scientifically investigated (Cicilloni 1994: 6 5-66; Pitzalis 1996; Usai 1998) it seems that most likely they are to be attributed to the users of Monte Claro pottery. At Scaba ’e Arriu, particularly, a clear break is visible: later Monte Claro human remains were deposited after clearing the rock-carved room and after building a dolmenic corridor. The corridor cuts through the earlier anthropic layer containing huma n bones, pottery and animal offerings, dating to the previous Post-Ozieri phase (Usai 1998 ). This may indicate an ideological shift that can tentatively be applied to the whole catego ry, although more data are needed for conclusive statements. Their geographic distributio n is discontinuous, with clusters identified in Ogliastra (central-eastern Sardinia), near Perfu gas (north) and near Abbasanta (centerwest). Megalithic circles, common in southern Corsica, are found in considerable numbers only in Gallura, the Northeast, with few examples i n the rest of the island that had very different features besides just circular structures around tombs. While the higher frequency would make sense in the only area over the whole is land with little underground tombs and an uninterrupted record of megalithic burials, star ting from the Late Neolithic with Ozieri pottery (D'Arragon 1999a), a recent reexamination o f the artifacts recovered at Li Muri (Arzachena), the most representative site of the ca tegory, has convincingly led to a placement in the Middle Neolithic (Antona 2003: 267). They ar e therefore not considered here. The only ‘different’ circles are, consequently, tho se of Pranu Muttedu (Goni), which yielded fairly good relative dating. Considering th e features of the ceramic assemblage (such as lack of pyxides coupled with abundant diagnostic Post-Ozieri potte ry), they may be chronologically apart from the early examples in Ga llura from several centuries up to possibly almost a millennium. The site of Pranu Mut tedu seems therefore to gain even more uniqueness than it ever had before, as an independe nt, parallel development out of the common megalithic pool of ceremonial templates and building skills, fused with the local

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112underground tradition. Within a few hectares, this extraordinary site features several tombs showing a mix of the two traditions in both plans a nd techniques, such as a domu de janas carved in a boulder that was brought to the site an d completed with a megalithic corridor. Other elements are stone circles, about 60 standing stones also arranged in long alignments, and the older, traditional, domus de janas carved in a nearby outcrop (Atzeni 1981; Atzeni and Cocco 1989). Cists seem to appear in the Post-Ozieri Copper Age, they never become frequent, and continue to exist marginally up until the Early Bro nze Age. Often found while being devastated by plowing, they seem to be more common in the southern lowlands and hills, and commonly they are not very refined. They may be con nected to the sporadic presence of single burials from the Copper Age onward (see belo w for connected burial practices). They are usually made with large vertical slabs, without variations, or specific patterns apparent from the literature (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lvi-lv ii; 1981b: lxviii-lxx; Lilliu 1988a: 156-158). 4.6. Ideology and Symbols 4.6.1. Figurative Art: Symbolic Decoration, Petrogl yphs, Figurines Most elaborate artistic expressions, excluding dail y-life items such as pottery, are connected to the decoration of burials. Fewer cases are documented in caves and rockshelters. Here I focus on the types of artistic manifestations most frequently represented, whose presence or absence can therefore be consider ed to reflect widespread cultural traits and features, and I leave aside more sporadic kinds of artifacts. The most represented symbol is that of the bovine h ead or horns, which is documented in over 70 domus de janas ; next comes the human figure, which is found in tombs, caves, rockshelters (Basoli 1992; Dettori Ca mpus 1989a), megaliths (Cicilloni 1994: 66-67), and portable objects (Lilliu 1999: 80-107). Diverse geometric figures such as discs (Contu 1997: 144), rectangular partitions (Tanda 19 92a), and others, are occasionally found associated with them. The chronology of the most co mmon of these motifs, and their association with other aspects of material culture has been reconstructed in its main aspects by Tanda (1984), based on research carried out on t he necropolis of Sos Furrighesos (Anela), a work that became a milestone for the understandin g of the diachronic development of

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113decorative funerary art in Sardinian prehistory. Te chniques were the key element for a chronological seriation that could reveal lines of developments, and are therefore briefly summarized here (Table 5). This is also useful for comparison with other aspects of material culture, in order to suggest possible covariations. It seems that during the Late Neolithic Ozieri phase, mostly linear incision and sculpture were used, while the incision through percussion (Tanda 1984: 84-86) is typical of the Fi ligosa phase. Red painting seems likely to belong in the Sub-Ozieri, or Final Ozieri, phase (T anda 1998: 125, 137), besides possible sporadic cases in earlier Ozieri contexts (Basoli 1 992: 502-504). In fact, this technique is also known on pottery, and from the temple at Monte d’Ac coddi on the plaster of its “Red Temple” (Tin 1997; Tin and Traverso 1992b). The i ncision of cupules has been assigned to the Sub-Ozieri phase, which fits their presence as impressed motifs on pottery, whereas their presence on menhirs is less useful to build indepen dently a chronological reference (Tanda 1984: 112). Their carving may have lasted longer, a s suggested by their presence at Filigosa, tomb I (Foschi Nieddu 1986) and several other rockcarved tombs (Contu 1997: 149-150). Table 5. Techniques, figurative art and relative cu ltural phases, as suggested by Tanda (1998). Although it may be a simplification, there seems to be a general trend from curvilinear to rectilinear and from simple to complex. beginning p.137 end p.137 end p.137 end p.137 end p.137, p. 125 p.125 Technique+style* General sequence Features Pottery style Phase SFA** Technique Curvilinear sculpture 1.a Simple curvilinear (A I-II)& rectilinear sculpture (A 1-2), red painting, linear incisions Ozieri*** Linear incisions, bas-relief, cupules, red painting Curvilinear sculpture 1.b Simple sculpture (A III-IV) Ozieri*** Rectilinear sculpture 2.a Transitional both curvilinear (B) and rectilinear (B) Final Ozieri (Sub-Ozieri)*** II martellina + statue-stelae 2.b Complex both curvilinear (C) and rectilinear (C), horn-shaped incisions Filigosa*** III Section b, semiellipsoidal martellina + statue-stelae 2.c Anthropomorphic figures both sculpted and incised, statue-menhirs Filigosa*** IV Section c, hemispherical martellina + statue-stelae 2.d Anthropomorphic and anchor-shaped figures Filigosa*** V Section a, trapezoidal based on comparisons with other figurative exampl es ** Sequence as proposed for Sos Furrighesos (Anela) *** Absolute dates are introduced in the section on pottery and discussed in chapter 8.

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114As concerns the iconography, bovine heads begin bei ng represented in the Ozieri phase, becoming the most common motif in the follow ing Post-Ozieri times. During the Filigosa phase, human figures were probably introdu ced, and they have been documented in over a hundred examples (Contu 1997: 139). So, they likely appeared somewhat later than the bovine heads, and appear remarkably abstract an d linear. On the contrary, bovine protomes, which are by far the most common motif in funerary art, show an articulated evolution that has been outlined through rigorous m ethods based on technology, typology and the overlap of different motifs (Tanda 1984: 13 -27). They can be defined along two main lines of develop ment: on one hand, a trend from curvilinear towards rectilinear figures is connecte d to a shift from naturalistic toward more abstract renditions. On the other hand, there seems to be a trend from lower to higher complexity in the association and repetition of the motifs (Tanda 1998: 137). These two lines of development were likely intertwined in various c ombinations, having one extreme in naturalistic, single representations of bovine head s, well outlined and in some cases even showing their ears, and another pole in multiple bo vine horns in three or more layers, rendered as straight horizontal bands with a rectan gle representing the head (Tanda 1998: 123). The association may also be seen in the gener al preference for round-shaped huts in settlements of the Ozieri and Sub-Ozieri phases (At zeni 1962; Ugas, et al. 1989), versus a preference for rectangular rooms that can be observ ed at the very end of the Late Neolithic or beginning of the Copper Age, possibly in the earlie st examples, at Monte dÂ’Accoddi, Serra Linta (Sedilo), and later, in most Monte Claro hous ing structures (Castaldi 1999: 49-74; Tanda and Depalmas 1997; Usai 1997). Chronologicall y, this means that, generally speaking, simple and curvilinear is more likely to be earlier than rectilinear and complex. There are, however, examples of simple rectilinear or complex curvilinear figures. From a geographic perspective, the variation in fun erary decoration seems to show meaningful patterns. In fact, such artistic express ion is for the most part limited to the northwestern sector of the island, with few excepti ons outside of this area. Whichever meanings were attached to it, they may not have hel d elsewhere, or their medium must have been different. Furthermore, an area in northern-ce ntral Sardinia has been identified, where most multiple horned motifs but scarce curvilinear motifs are located (Contu 1966). In the west, the distribution of tombs with painted decora tion appears in geographic clusters (Tanda 1992b: 88), and in Ogliastra a peculiar version of the bovine horns has been documented,

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115with tips downward instead of upward as in the rest of the island (Pitzalis 1996). These cases highlight that decorative complexity reflects spati al variation besides temporal variation, where common motifs have been elaborated according to local preferences and needs. A model that recalls core-periphery relations has bee n suggested in the identification of three main zones, “distinct but interconnected”: the Algh ero area, which may have been the main center, the Sassari area, as lively in its artistic innovation, and the interior, where motifs would be received and elaborated (Tanda 1984: 115-1 16),. Local archaeologists, following Lilliu’s (1988a: 25 4-259; 2002: 63-175) influential understanding and a long interpretive tradition, id entify the bull as the divine partner of the Mother Goddess represented in figurines. Its messag e, however, was likely to involve social display, and it appears also likely that as other e lements reproduced in tombs, sculpted bovine heads themselves mimick real bull heads or their re productions as decorative elements of houses. Elsewhere, they have been tentatively conne cted to their importance in feasting events that were instrumental for creating and main taining social relations (Robb 2004), whether such relations were of equality and recipro city or of dependence. Otherwise, they may be symbols connected to the creation of power b y means of ritually inducing situations of debt (Cmara Serrano and Spanedda 2002: 377-380) Incised human figures (for the last updated synthes is see D'Arragon 1999b) are present in a few burial contexts in large numbers ( e.g. Sas Concas, Oniferi; Moseddu, Cheremule: Contu 1997: 374-377), while at most of t he sites where they are represented they appear in small numbers. In certain incised human f igures, some have recognized sexual attributes and it is noted that, whenever recogniza ble, the vast majority would be males (Basoli 1992). This is inversely proportional to th e pattern recorded in portable figurines, and directly proportional to that recorded for the stat ue-menhirs. Human figures assume shapes that make them resemble other beings, such as birds spiders, and others, likely expression of shamanistic beliefs. The symbolic importance of cat tle in this framework is illustrated by the exceptional example of a figure merging a human bod y and bovine head (Melis 1998a). A typical posture for incised human figures is with l ifted arms, and certain ensembles seem to represent authentic scenes of collective action (Ta nda 1984: 120-122). Concentric circles and spirals engraved in tombs, boulders and dolmenic sl abs, found at several locations (Fadda 1998, and personal communication 2007; Lilliu 2002: 196-201; Saward and Saward 2005; Tanda 1992a) contribute, with the rest of human and geometric figures, to the evidence that

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116Sardinia participated in a common symbolic code ext ended over most of western Europe. A particularly strong similarity has been pinpointed with the western Mediterranean Iberian examples (Tanda 1992a: 490-491). Human figures are apparently incised in the same pa rt of the tomb, which was used for performance of rituals and offerings, not in th e ossuary rooms, the true burial chambers where the remains of the deceased were permanently deposited. While Contu (1997: 373374) attributes these representations to the Bell B eaker culture, based on his reading of the occurrence of similar types in continental Europe, this operational element seems to support Tanda’s attribution to the Copper Age of Ozieri tra dition. In fact, the trend in the later Copper Age and Early Bronze is instead, as discussed above toward the elimination of such an intermediate, transitional space between the living and the dead, possibly due to new ideas related to the strengthening of the megalithic phen omenon (Pitzalis 1996: 191-193). The Bell Beaker groups seem to have considered rock-carved r ooms as more generally funerary, not unlike natural caves. On the other hand, we also ha ve fewer cases of petroglyphs and rock paintings not related with burials, but their rarit y makes their discussion less important here; they do add a component to our reconstruction of ge nder roles, in that there are some sporadic representations of clearly sexed male indi viduals (Luzzanas: Basoli 1992; D'Arragon 1999b). Figurines of the so-called ‘mother goddess’ are amo ng the most known categories of artifacts produced in prehistoric Sardinia, because of their frequency and the fine crafting of many specimens. While I do not delve into any of th e many details that accurate stylistic analyses have pointed out (Antona 1980, 1998; Atzen i 1975), as they are not relevant to the point and the scale of this dissertation, in 1999 a comprehensive catalog has been published, which provides the most up-to-date overall picture of the phenomenon and a useful reservoir of raw data (Lilliu 1999). Hereafter, I mostly foll ow the descriptive statistics drawn by Vella Gregory (2005: 18-35), based on Lilliu’s data, whic h count 131 figurines including the Middle Neolithic (ca. 4700-4000 BC). The complete typology includes 10 groups, although all but three (Figure 39) are represented by fewer than five specimens, and one h as clearly been attributed to the Middle Neolithic. The most important are consequently the two geometric types, named ‘unperforated plaque’ and ‘perforated plaque’ figur ines. The first, also referred to as ‘cruciform’, is extremely simple in its lines: a ve rtical stick with the head on the upper end,

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117 Figure 39. Examples of Sardinian prehistoric figuri nes of the three most frequent and standardized typ es: from left to right, Middle Neolithic (5th millennium BC), Late Neolithic (early to mid-4th millennium BC), early Copper Age (late 4th to mid-3rd millennium BC). Reprinted with modifications from Lilliu 1999, pp. 24, 38, and 57, Figs. 31, 57 and 67 1999, with kin d permission from Carlo Delfino publisher. no differentiation of legs, and a rectangle represe nting the trunk and arms (Antona 1980). Nose and breasts are the only other elements that a re represented almost always, while the eyes appear often. Only a few examples, all from th e western lowlands, have male attributes and no breasts (Lilliu 1999: 32-54). The ‘perforate d plaque’ figurines are very similar to the former type, but show the profile of the arms detac hed from the body by two empty spaces; eyes are found more rarely, figures tend to be more standardized than before, and there are no male figures (Lilliu 1999: 55-70). Even many of the Middle Neolithic obese figures, traditionally assumed to represent female entities, do not have clear sexual attributes, turning out to be rather undifferentiated (Vella Gregory 20 05: 48), so that a trend appears clear towards a progressively sharper differentiation in gender attributes during the Ozieri and Post-Ozieri trajectory. Figurines of the first type are more evenly distrib uted over the island, while the second type is more concentrated in northwestern Sa rdinia. The trend in the use of raw

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118materials and context of recovery is also significa nt: of the unperforated type, about twothirds are made of clay, one-third of marble, and f ew of other stones, and the majority were found in open-air settlements. The perforated type figurines are almost all made of calcite and marble, and normally found in burials (Vella Gr egory 2005: 34, graph 7; 51, graph 10). Calcite frequency is not surprising, since sources are common in the northwest, where most figurines have been recovered. Marble is present in the central-northern highlands, near Orune (Lilliu 1999: 62). Chronologically, there is a general agreement that most figurines of the first type are to be considered Ozieri, and the second type ‘Filigosa’ and ‘Abealzu’ (Antona 1998). While Lilliu (1999: 68) is persuaded that the unperforated figurines stretch the whole duration of the Ozieri ceramic culture, e vidence is not fully convincing against the possibility that their production and use may have begun in the later ceramic period, in transition towards or even within the so-called Sub -Ozieri. The trend toward a geometric rendition of figures should be parallel to analogou s trends in tomb decoration (as defined by Tanda 1984, see above). The traditional view of these figurines is that of a representation of a ‘MotherGoddess’, connected with an important role of women in a social structure explicitly or implicitly assimilated to matriarchal systems. Diff erent interpretations have been suggested for such a phenomenon, which took different aspects in different times and places. These interpretations emphasize the role of figurines as agents in reproducing gender identities, and the representation of specific individuals (Bailey 1994; 2005a: 66-87). Cmara Serrano and Spanedda (2002: 381-382) have suggested that they w ould mirror gender relations definitely unfavorable to women, underlining how in the Middle Neolithic cases, male individuals were laid in the tomb with a female figurine in their ha nd. This, they suggest, possibly reflected the appropriation of women’s labor related to the polar ization of gender roles following the introduction of plowing. It must be noted, however, that the diffusion of the plow in Sardinia in these times is not supported by current evidence 4.6.2. Menhirs, Statue-menhirs, Statue-stelae Upright stones, or menhirs, another aspect of weste rn European megalithism, are as common as dolmens, especially in highland Sardinia. While the majority are elongated boulders set upright but left in their natural shap e or minimally modified, there has been in

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119the last several decades increasing evidence of typ es representing human figures, many of which with a complex array of symbolic attributes ( Atzeni 1994, 2004). The few comprehensive discussions give us a general idea of the phenomenon: at least 332 menhirs were counted (Lilliu 1988a: 96; 2 002: 189), found in higher concentrations in the central-northern highlands, but extending mo re to the south if compared to the distribution of dolmenic burials. One concentration in the center-south, that of Pranu Muttedu (Goni), is a necropolis that alone contains some 60 standing stones, representing a unique rather than typical case (Atzeni and Cocco 1989). I ntense survey work in several areas on the island in the last twenty years has increased consi derably these numbers, particularly in the east and southeast, which had not been investigated as much previously, possibly because of their distance from the headquarters of the two Soprintendenze In Ogliastra (east-central Sardinia), a high concentration of menhirs, often l ocated close to burials, is accompanied by a high frequency of rock-carved tombs with dolmenic c orridor (Pitzalis 1996: 197-204), and of so-called ‘altar stones’ consisting in slabs and bo ulders with cupules (Frau 1996; Lilliu 1999: 203-207; Pitzalis 1996: 199-200; Sanges 1997). In t he coastal Sarrabus (Southeast), several menhirs, also arranged in alignments and circles, h ave been documented by non-academic amateurs (Ledda 1985: 179-245). They are similar to other menhir groupings, more inland, which are better known to the scientific literature (Pranu Muttedu at Goni, Is Cirquittus near Laconi), although not fully published (Atzeni 1996c : 4-6; Atzeni and Cocco 1989). Sardinian menhirs, or standing stones, show diverse dimensions, from slightly over half a meter to over 5 m, and their prevalent orientation, corresponding to the flat side, seems to be towards the east (Lilliu 1988a: 98). They tend to o ccur alone or in dense groups, less often in twos or threes, and the raw materials utilized refl ect the geology of the geographic distribution, highlighting some discrepancies with the dolmenic percentages (Lilliu 1988a: 96-97) (Figure 40): while granite is the most commo n, due to the granitic matrix of much of the northeastern quarter of the island including Og liastra, basalt is not, since menhirs are less frequent in the central-northwestern highlands. San dstone is instead overrepresented by its widespread use at the unique site of Pranu Muttedu, mentioned above. Typologically, several different groups of menhirs have been defined (Atzeni 1982, 1996c), based on the degree of detail in the expres sion of human-like figures. Most menhirs are rough standing stones hardly shaped at all, and they are found, even if not very

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120 Figure 40. Menhirs in prehistoric Sardinia. Left: f requency of single, double menhirs, and groups of t hree and more (above). Right: frequency of raw lithic ma terials employed. Data after Lilliu (1988: 96-97). frequently, in open-air settlements, near occupied caves, associated to burials, in a few cases even within rock-carved tombs, or as part of megali thic structures. More refined specimens are shaped into oval profiles and accurately smooth ed by sculpting (proto-anthropomorphic). Those that are defined as anthropomorphic show an a pproximate rendition of the human head with two concavities for the eyes and a ridge for the nose (Atzeni 1996c: 4-10). The most elaborate and rich in symbolic attributes are the so-called statue-menhirs These have standardized ways of rendering the human face on the top and have at least one additional symbol in the center of the flat frontal side, which allows us to distinguish clearly gendered figures. Besides a few examples of uniquel y sculpted stelae, they are a highly standardized type repeated in over a hundred exampl es, which has been found within a circumscribed area stretching the belt of hills and low mountains that surround the central highlands on their western and southwestern side. T he highest concentrations seem to be documented near Laconi, but this may be because of the early research following the first occasional finds (Atzeni 2004). Tens of analogous s tatue-menhirs have been found in the last fifteen years near Isili (Saba 1993, 2000), and sev eral more across the land belonging to nine different municipalities, often reused in the const ruction of tombs and nuraghi in the Early and Middle Bronze Ages (Atzeni 1992: 50; Moravetti 1984; Perra 1994). Besides the undistinguished face, feminine menhirs, in small frequency compared to armed masculine menhirs, are indicated by two simpl ified breasts. Masculine figures always

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121show a knife/dagger or objects of unknown meaning, horizontally placed as if held on a belt around the waist. Only some figures, most of which are located near Laconi, show the socalled capovolto scholarly jargon from the Italian word for ‘upsid e down’, since it has been interpreted, based on comparisons with petroglyphs incised in burial contexts, as a humansymbolic figure diving or flying down into the unde rworld (Atzeni 1996c: 10-15; 1998: 71; Lilliu 1988a: 274). In reality, comparison with ste lae from Corsica and the northwestern Mediterranean would indicate more likely the origin of the motif in the representation of a dagger held with both hands. Several combinations a nd variations of presence-absence of capovolto substitution thereof, or modification of the weap on, provide distinctive elements across groups: in some groups, a club-shaped object is found; near Senis and Laconi, the knife is double-bladed, near Nurallao single-bladed ; at other locations there is a tendency for miniature examples, or the knife is replaced with a leaf-shaped object (Atzeni 1996c: 16, figure 2), or with another showing two round ends i nstead of blades (Saba 2000: 147-152). In a few cases, there is a representation of a frame t hat compares with the ‘false door’ motif found in rock-carved tombs of Post-Ozieri tradition (Atzeni 1998: 67). As for chronology, and the association of menhirs w ith other expressions of material culture, the problem of having no data on the vast majority of them has been recognized early on (Lilliu 1988a: 100). Nevertheless, the authors o f the two main syntheses believe that most of the plain ones were erected during the Ozieri ‘c ulture’, continuing in the Copper Age. This is considered to be the case at Pranu Muttedu, wher e along with Ozieri pottery there was also later Post-Ozieri ceramics. However, no stringent s tratigraphic associations with menhirs have been published or demonstrated. Atzeni (1996c: 3) also relates menhirs at Villa Sant’Antonio with the nearby domus de janas but this is only based on spatial closeness. The same argument holds for the attribution to the Copp er Age of final Post-Ozieri tradition of the menhirs near Laconi, since the alles couvertes of Corte Noa and Masone Perdu yielding such kind of materials were spatially close, in wha t may have been a cultural landscape of ritual significance (Atzeni 1989b). The presence of cupules on several menhirs has been recognized early, and since the late 1980s, when Li lliu (1988a: 98-99) counted 13 cases, the number has greatly increased (Atzeni 1996c: 6-7; Fr au 1996: 255-258). These may be used to limit the chronology to the Copper Age; of course t hese rock excisions could have been added at some point to already existent standing st ones, but they provide an approximate chronology at least of the continuity of occupation What is definitely a Copper Age mark in

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122the statue-menhirs are the symbols themselves, part icularly the capovolto which are documented in tombs and have been assigned by relat ive chronology to a full Filigosa phase (Tanda 1998). The symbolism of central Sardinia’s statue-menhirs finds parallels in several areas, and particularly in Lunigiana (Lilliu 1988a: 273: S aba 2000: 156). The knife represented in many of them has been recovered in northern Italy i n contexts of the Remedello culture. During the Copper Age there seems to be a trend tow ard regionalization in the manifestations of material culture. Patches of distribution of sta tue-menhirs and other unique phenomena are recorded within circumscribed ‘districts’ (Robb 200 1a: 190), such as the cited features found in Ogliastra (Frau 1996; Pitzalis 1996). I interpre t this pattern as reflecting autonomous elaborations of a common symbolism, with the caveat that our assessment may be biased by the sharing and transmitting of much cultural messa ges through perishable materials such as wood and textiles. A few important facts to be high lighted are the prevalence of male representations, which has been related to a shift toward more patrilinear and patriarchal ideology, and the identification of males with weap ons, which may reflect an important role of warfare (Lilliu 1988a: 273). Knives would be the symbol of a new ideology of power and wealth epitomized by metal items, intertwined with an emphasis on the cult of the ancestors (Saba 2000: 150). This symbolism may have been rela ted to warfare, or to sacrificial functions, but the link changing gender roles seems reasonable. On the other hand, continuity in collective burial customs should not be overlook ed, and also the continued centrality of breasts in the rendition of women, which seems to i ndicate a long-lasting symbolic emphasis on nourishment as a gender attribute. 4.7. Burial Practices In the period between approximately 4000 and 1900 B C, the most consistent element of burial practices is represented by its being col lective. Only the period characterized by Monte Claro pottery shows a substantial anomaly in this regard, more clearly in the South, while elsewhere there is more a realignment with th e long tradition of communal burial, with some distinctions. Single burials have been documented in the Middle N eolithic (Cuccuru s’Arriu), but only at a specific location, which may well represe nt a local development (Santoni 2000),

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123while there is very little evidence for the Ozieri and Sub-Ozieri culture, involving one case of burial within the hut floor (Tanda 1995a: 38). With in the context of the Ozieri culture, the evidence concerning burial practices and treatment of the bodies is also scarce. This is due to either the uninterrupted utilization of the same to mbs that lasted into later times up to the Copper Age within the same material culture traditi on (Post-Ozieri, from what is labeled in the literature as Sub-Ozieri through Filigosa and A bealzu: see above), or the reutilization of the same burial spaces by later cultures after clea ring from previous bones and items. In several cases, both phenomena are observed, with th e continuous use within the Ozieri tradition and subsequent use by users of Monte Clar o, Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro pottery. This can clearly be inferred from the presence of r esidual sherds from all these phases, either found in small portions of preserved deposits still in situ in the corners and sides of burial chambers (due to inaccurate cleaning), or by their presence outside, in front of the tomb, where they had been presumably disposed of to set u p the interior for reuse. These conditions are shared by the large majority of the domus de janas Finally, we ought to consider the many cases where there has been reuse in later time s, from the Middle Bronze Age to contemporary period, either for burial or often for other purposes, as temporary shelter or to keep livestock. One of the rare rock-carved tombs that was found in tact and preserved a ‘classic’ Ozieri material culture context, and also the only one of them partially published, is San Benedetto (Iglesias). While this was the first inte rpretation of the ceramic style (Maxia and Atzeni 1964), the assemblage has later been assigne d to ‘between the end of the Neolithic and the beginning of the Copper Age’ (Atzeni 2001a: 25). The radiocarbon dating on bone has yielded a date that seems more compatible with the first placement in the middle of the Late Neolithic, or even towards the beginning (Lab # Beta-72233: 4920 70 BP, 3941-3532 cal BC, 2). Unfortunately, the focus on cultural materials i n the very brief published reports does not give any details about burial practices. I t appears that there were no articulated skeletons. Some kind of skull curation must have be en practiced, since crania were prominent. They were stored in the three sealed roo ms accessible from the central one, which in turn communicates with the outside. While this c entral room has been interpreted as a space for ritual rather than permanent burial, at S an Benedetto crania were arranged in it with no clear difference from those in the smaller rooms I suggest that this may reflect a somewhat later period, due to the tendency toward t he disappearance of the intermediate

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124spaces between the outside world and permanent buri al space in the Copper Age (see above). A carefully designed strategy of AMS dates on remai ns from different rooms may help shed light on these aspects in the future. The ritual involving collective burial, according t o current evidence, continued into the Copper Age, parallel to the pattern of gradual change within the same tradition that has been recorded in material culture and settlement pa tterns. Even if the fully published intact burial contexts of Post-Ozieri Copper Age tradition are few, a similar pattern of disarticulated skeletal materials, often described as ‘randomly sc attered’ has been documented at most locations, e.g. Cannas di Sotto, tomb 12 (Santoni a nd Usai 1995) and Filigosa, tomb I (Foschi Nieddu 1986). Other elements of ideology that may have affected r itual at burial sites, if not necessarily burial rituals, are found in the spatia l arrangement of the tomb and in its change over time and space. The Early Copper Age rock-carv ed tombs often show the loss of the anticella the vestibular space dedicated to offerings and p resumably rituals: at the bestknown site of Filigosa, tomb I, the largest room th at gives access to the smaller ossuaries has concentric incisions on the pavement, possibly symb olizing a hearth, but most skeletal remains and most pottery offerings/grave goods were also found in it, similarly to San Benedetto (Foschi Nieddu 1986: 19). As Pitzalis (19 96: 208-209) notes, a change in funerary practices underlies the abolition of the liminal sp ace for ritual between the world of the living and that of the dead, introducing the innovation of a non-transitional, non-mediated separation. One of the few windows into the rituals performed at Post-Ozieri Copper Age graves is offered by the context uncovered at Santa Caterina di Pittinuri: it seems that the role of the transitional room was gradually eliminated o r replaced by the corridor: abundant small cups were recovered, accompanied by pig mandibles, in both the corridor and the anticella showing similar use of the room. In the corridor, t ripods were found still lying on ashes; of the two layers identified in the anticella the lower, besides traces of fire, tripods, and s wine mandibles, yielded fragments of deer antler placed in the center, on a cupulehearth carved in the floor (Cocco and Usai 1988: 14-15). In light of this evidence, I suggest that at San Benedetto the presence of human bones in the centra l room might date to the last phase of use, when ritual offerings were possibly performed outside and consequently the rock-carved space was permanently reserved for select, ‘process ed’ and skeletonized human remains.

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125While there may be some preliminary evidence for ri tual breakage of pottery (Foschi Nieddu and Paschina 2004), something that could app ear as a ritual termination is possibly found at Santa Caterina di Pittinuri: a layer of cl ay and stones was recorded, lying over the anthropic soil containing bones and artifacts as to seal on purpose the remains of the dead (Cocco and Usai 1988: 13). At San Benedetto a layer of culturally sterile soil, less than half a meter thick, was also recorded, and interpreted as naturally leaked sedimentation (Maxia and Atzeni 1964: 124), but in light of Santa CaterinaÂ’s evidence this may have been intentional, when for some reason the burial function came to be considered over. As discussed above, the emphasis on the corridor, w hether it is carved in the bedrock or constructed with megalithic techniques, is presu mably parallel to the decline of the vestibular room in rock-carved tombs, and to be dat ed to the Post-Ozieri and Monte Claro Copper Age, along with the height of the dolmenic m onuments. It is again unfortunate that we do not have any data concerning burial practices and body treatment in any dolmen; in some cases human remains are mentioned, but no deta ils are given. Generally, since a large portion of dolmens are built with granite, the acid ity in most cases has hindered bone preservation, so that the bias in documentation may turn out to be systematic, regardless of the poor publishing of the sites. Cists, as mentioned above, are described but not do cumented in their details; those attributed to the Copper Age, such as that of Serra Cannigas near Villagreca (Nuraminis) contained certainly a collective burial (Atzeni 198 5). Some finds instead, as at MindÂ’e Gureu, Nerbonis (Gesturi), and Pranu Muttedu, tomb III (Go ni) seem to suggest the possibility of single burials, but the contexts are not known or n ot published in sufficient detail (Atzeni and Cocco 1989; Fonzo and Usai 1997; Lilliu 1988a: 156) They would be significant exceptions within a strong collective tradition, reflecting th e same dynamics in action in the social and ideological domains that we see in the Monte Claro, Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro A phases, with well documented single or articulated burials (Lilliu 1988a: 340). In summary, the only data we have do not allow us t o infer details of body treatment and/or manipulation (Contu 1997: 120). Most of the evidence for the remaining phases has not revealed much of the procedures followed betwee n death and the reduction to skeletonized remains, nor are there studies address ing the possible selective storage and curation of specific skeletal elements, as has been ascertained for other areas in Europe and described, non systematically, at some Sardinian si tes. Most data concern the constant

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126presence of ceramics and lithics as grave goods and /or later offerings. In the Copper Age Filigosa phase, to these traditional items, metal j ewels were added, mostly silver but also copper (see above, Usai 2005b). Apparently, burial customs changed radically in the South, in coincidence with the Monte Claro ceramic style. Besides the new tomb typ es discussed above, the permanent deposition of articulated bodies in the grave was i ntroduced and widely practiced. The series of burials in the southern lowlands around Cagliari is a homogeneous group, where the shaft tombs contained one or a few bodies in flexed posit ion per each room, laid on their left side usually facing the entrance and with no regard to o rientation, accompanied by several pots and various objects as grave goods (Atzeni 1967; Li lliu 1988a: 155, 167-168; Lilliu and Ferrarese Ceruti 1959). Even when the tomb type is different, such as lithic cists, or pits in village context, individuals buried in the same are a are similarly articulated, laid singularly or in small groups of two or three (Tanda 1995a: 47; U gas 1982a). Two cases are particularly significant: the cist at San Gemiliano (Sestu) cont ained two adults with a juvenile about 8-9 years old who was buried with a necklace (Atzeni 19 58: 99-104), and tomb 2 at Simbirizzi (Quartu S. Elena), a child burial (Usai 1984, 1989b ). The age of the youths indicates that they were already recognized as holding the right to be buried as an adult; alternatively, if their presence in the grave was due to the familyÂ’s socia l condition, it may be indicative of ascribed status. SimbirizziÂ’s child was buried with ceramic grave goods fully comparable to those found in the adultsÂ’ tombs. Except from the southern lowlands, though, the larg e majority of Monte Claro burials are typically in natural or artificial caves, the domus de janas of Ozieri tradition (Lilliu 1988a: 154). As discussed above, there is some evid ence that several older tombs were modified through the addition of a megalithic corri dor. Even without any change to the outside of the tomb, it has also been recorded in s everal instances the creation, with stone rows, of well-defined spaces within larger burial c hambers. Observed not just in domus but also in caves (Ferrarese Ceruti and Fonzo 1995; Lil liu 1988a: 146-147), this may have served the purpose of establishing boundaries for a single burial or for a certain group of people, or of remains, entitled to special respect or treatmen t. Something similar may be seen behind the custom, documented at Scaba Â’e Arriu, of depositing inside large vessels, some crania and a few other skeletal elements (Usai 1998).

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127Pottery is definitely the main type of grave good p reserved. During the Monte Claro phase, metal is occasionally present but rare, and lithic tools have already significantly declined. The inhumations of the kind just describe d typically contain from one up to eight vessels per individual, placed in the middle of the burial room or around the head of the deceased (Lilliu 1988a: 166-167; Ugas 1993b; Usai 1 989b). Considering the whole island, a vast number of reused tombs all over Sardinia yield ed Monte Claro pottery, but because of later reuse we do not know whether funerary practic es remained unchanged or had already yielded to the old custom of collective burial, whi ch apparently the Bell Beaker groups in most recorded cases observed too. Single burial seems to have been present, but even rarer, in association with Bell Beaker pottery, which is found in distinct contexts but partially contemporary with Monte Claro, depending on the geographic location: one ca se has been reported (Santa Vittoria di Nuraxinieddu) where the skeleton would have been in supine, extended position (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lvi-lvii; Usai 2001a). Other cases of cist burials were collective, with no detailed data on skeletal elements and their spatia l arrangement. The reuse of rock-carved tombs, very common in nort hwestern Sardinia, shows the definition of a circumscribed space for the remains similar to what was described for Monte Claro, with a circle of stones or authentic cists ( Atzeni 1996b; Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lvii; Usai 2001b). Sometimes this was repeated at differe nt stages, so that something similar to middens of small stones formed between layers of re mains, a ritual that is documented also in the following Early Bronze Age at Iscalitas, su Cru cifissu Mannu, t.16, and other sites (Ferrarese Ceruti 1974b: 200-204; Manunza 1998). Si nce single burials in cists and reuse of megalithic monuments are the most typical widesprea d features of Bell Beaker burial customs in mainland Europe, assuming such external practices and symbolisms are to be seen reflected in the recorded cists, it is then clear, on the other hand, that the local tradition of collective burial and manipulation of remains maint ained its overall prevalence in the long run. This is well established at several locations where disarticulated and manipulated remains of tens, or hundreds of individuals were do cumented, only a minority of which were partially or fully articulated (Atzeni 2001b; Ugas 1982b; Usai 2001b). At sa Serra Mas, it has been suggested that the presence of a cist in a context of collective burial may have served to mark the difference of an important buria l (Usai 2001b: 82). This of course does not imply any institutionalized rank, since there i s no other kind of evidence for ascribed

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128social inequality from any Bell Beaker burial in Sa rdinia, but may be a clue to incipient, or short-term cross-generational inherited status, as ethnographically documented in the classic examples of Big Man societies (Sahlins 1963). Beaker pottery users also seem to keep the skull cu ration customs documented in Ozieri and Monte Claro times, in this case expresse d as niches, or spots, where skulls were concentrated and accumulated (Atzeni 2001b; Ugas 19 82b). This pattern, recently recorded also in central Italy at Fosso Conicchio, has been connected with the elaboration of rituals beyond those strictly connected with the burying of the dead, with a feature, interpreted as an altar, that is remarkably similar to one at Padru J ossu (Fugazzola Delpino and Pellegrini 1999). Burial practices in the Early Bronze Age Bonnanaro A phase are very much along a continuum within the Bell Beaker tradition: there is similar ly a small number of single burials with articulated bodies across the island in reused domus de janas and natural caves, but the collective ritual definitely outnumbers these few o ccurrences (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981b: lxixlxx). Cists, pits (Cuccuru Nuraxi: Atzeni 1958: 101 -110; sÂ’Arrieddu: Ferrarese Ceruti 1981b: lxix; Iscalitas: Manunza 1998), and caves, where a large portion of the known cultural materials have been recovered (Lilliu 1988a: 321), complete a picture of relatively eclectic burial customs, which suggests the absence of custo ms and ideologies that could be identified as normative as was apparently the case for the pre ceding centuries. On the other hand, the continuity between the two phases is underlined by spatial continuity: in several tombs that were cleared from previous remains and items by Bea ker users, the depositions were accumulated in layers, with no evidence for removal of the old ones. There is also evidence for sterile layers laid in order to seal the remain s at the end of a cycle of use, or possibly just to even out the ground for an easier use of the spa ce. Trends in the use of personal ornaments (discussed above) are as well substantially shared across the two phases. An interesting phenomenon, relevant to gain insight s in the dynamics of social relations, is the presence of articulated skeletons within contexts of generalized disarticulated, scattered remains: besides Padru Jo ssu, this was documented at Bingia Â’e Monti, where only three individuals, out of an MNI (Minimum Number of Individuals) of over 150, were laid flexed, on their left side, acc ording to the tradition already found in the 5th millennium BC, in both the Bell Beaker and the Bon nanaro A layers (Atzeni 2001b: 6-7). At Iscalitas, several individuals, out of an MNI of about 80, were found articulated; most, but

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129not all of them seem to have been in the top layer, and one infant was uniquely laid on top of a bed of cobbles (Manunza 1998: 77). Several observations can be made from this evidence : while the traditional functionalist explanation would explain the articul ated skeletons as the last ones to be deposited, clearly this is not the case for all of them. An alternative explanation, which has been proposed for analogous evidence in central Ita ly (Dolfini 2004), is that certain individuals did have a special role, and therefore treatment, within the community. While this does not mean ascribed status, the presence of juve niles and especially the child may reveal a trend, or structural episode, toward that outcome, a trend never fulfilled but reoccurring over and over. Such a model fits well that of unstable p ower relations in Big Man societies, where if skills are equal, someone can have a better chan ce of becoming a leader if his father was one. Later, this trend will be reversed, and from t he Middle Bronze even personal adornment will disappear, reflecting a strictly egalitarian i deology or disguising increasing inequality within it. Very few documented cases of partial cremation can be found in the literature, and they are never unquestionable: among the possible c ases is the Copper Age tomb 1 at Filigosa, where human bones were described as showi ng burning, in some cases to the marrow, and deep cutmarks (Foschi Nieddu 1986: 19), but the site had been devastated by looters, and no osteological report authored by a b ioarchaeologist ever appeared. Similar argument holds for Serra Cannigas (Atzeni 1985), wh ere due to the devastation that compromised all possible taphonomic clues, we canno t rule out the possibility that burning happened in later times. A thick layer of burnt bon es recovered in the cave of Baieddus de sa Sedderenciu, near Tan, with Monte Claro, Bonnanaro A and later Bronze Age pottery, was long believed to date to the Copper Age despite no clear stratigraphy having been recorded (Ferrarese Ceruti and Fonzo 1995). In fact, an AMS date placed some of them in a much later time (Sanna, et al. 1999), and regardless of the ch ronology, the unreliable context does not guarantee that burning did not occur much later tha n the deposition, for possibly unrelated reasons.

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1304.8. Concluding Remarks All the elements analyzed in this chapter do show, I believe, how complex a comprehensive and synthetic interpretation of so ma ny different types of data necessarily is. The complexity of cultural changes mirrored in the material culture are important in order to understand how they related to changes in subsisten ce and climate, which are the target of the stable isotopic analyses at the core of this study. Here I mostly point out main features that could be observed, and their possible meaning, so t hat they can be later integrated holistically with the paleoeconomic information. For the Middle Neolithic, Sardinia has some common points with general trends in mainland Europe, such as single burials, but no dit ched enclosures were documented. The Ozieri period as is known today seems to represent a strong normative point, with a similar type of collective burials, presence of open-air si tes, and homogeneous material culture. For the reconstruction of the corresponding social orga nization, burial ritual is crucial. The collective ossuaries, with men, women and children buried together, point to an egalitarian ideology, with use of resources and probably commun al land holding. Identifiers found as grave goods reflect gender and possibly age, with n o exotics as prestige items, in a kind of social organization that is based on kinship (Thoma s 1987). Pottery evidence reinforces this, with prevalence of middle-sized vessels for common consumption. Ritual is centered in the cult of the common ancestors, whose individual iden tity is erased by disarticulation of the remains. In the Early Copper Age, there are signs o f change: first, the emphasis on decorative display in rock-carved tombs in northwestern Sardin ia; the bovine representations have been related to the increased importance of the plow and /or herding as symbols of new ways to acquire wealth and social status, possibly through feasting and inducing the guests into material and social debt (Cmara Serrano and Spaned da 2002). Display of prestige items such as metal ornaments may have been an alternativ e or complementary strategy to the same effect. Change in gender roles, with an increase in male dominance (Hayden 1998; Robb 1999), and the birth of warrior ethics, appear also involved in this process at some locations, as arguable in the phenomenon of the armed and gend ered statue-menhirs (Atzeni 1982, 2004; Perra 1994; Saba 2000). The spread of megalithic monuments particularly in the Copper Age, parallel to mainland Europe, and more specific to Sardinia the omission of the vestibular room for

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131rituals in domus de janas support a picture of conflicting value systems an d mechanisms to maintain or attain power. Spiritual and economic in dividualism would be opposed to the normative and traditional role of religious interme diaries spatially exemplified in the anticella (Sherratt 1991; Thomas 1987: 420-422). If we consi der the distribution in highlands and the almost universally propounded association w ith pastoral areas, they could represent a strategy to break the traditional system by using n ew burial structures to legitimize a familyÂ’s new power and social standing derived from individu al wealth. The adoption of megalithic monuments may on the other hand represent a reactio n to the attempt to erode the age-based old system, by reaffirming the values of the commun ity against a more generalized concept of prestige where the display of material wealth is opposed to specific, non-convertible skills or qualities (Robb 1999: 113-115). In Sardinia, the reaction might chronologically overlap with some Monte Claro aspects, and its material, se condary agents would be the open-air ceremonial centers and the revival of menhir erecti on in a different context (Castaldi 1999: 14-29), a fairly sober personal adornment and decre ased use of metal, in comparison with both some Post-Ozieri burials (Serra Cannigas: Atze ni 1985; Usai 2005b: 736) and the mounting Bell Beaker fashion with its taste for ric h pendants, beads, decorated pottery, copper items and likely elaborate woollen clothing (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lvii-lxiv). The new norm of single burial in the southern lowla nd Monte Claro tombs, on the other hand, seems to indicate just the opposite tre nd, a break with the collective-oriented past and toward individualism, in line with cist burials which probably became common slightly later. While the deposition of offerings may be rea d linearly as reflecting the status of the deceased and increased individualism and inequality such simplistic explanations have been criticized both on empirical-theoretical grounds (B rck 2004), and drawing from ethnographic examples (Carr 1995). In fact, they ov erlook the role of personal identity, as formed by the relationships that the dead as actors had interwoven with other social actors, which can be independent or not included in status and gender. It is with this premise and caveat that the trends outlined in this chapter can be provisionally accepted as working hypotheses to gui de future research, and so their possible meanings in terms of social change. For this projec t, they function both as framework and as an independent qualitative dataset to be compared w ith, and examined for correlations with, paleoenvironmental, paleoeconomic and paleodietary data.

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132 Chapter 5. Previous Data on Diet and Economy in Sar dinia 5.1. Introduction The aim of this chapter is to review critically the published evidence for diet and economy in prehistoric Sardinia, so as to evaluate it in order to recognize possible trends, pinpoint the gaps in our knowledge, the questions r aised, and the limitations. This will allow me to integrate these data with cultural and climat ic data, and particularly to provide at least a qualitative framework for the stable isotopic value s to improve our ability to trace diet. This, in connection with the cultural and climatic contex ts highlighted in chapters 3 and 4, provides a fuller understanding of more complex dynamics, as announced in the introduction to this dissertation. The importance of such synthesis of p revious data is in the fact that they have not been analyzed critically: this contribution is therefore the foundation for both a strong interpretation of the dietary isotopic values, and an accurate integration with broader climatic and cultural patterns of change. SardiniaÂ’s climate and environment are presently Me diterranean, a term which indicates conditions involving winter rainfall and summer drought (the western side receiving more meteoric waters because of Atlantic influxes); temperatures are cool in the winter and hot in the summer, according to latitude and elevat ion (for general reference, see Pracchi and Terrosu Asole 1971), with moderate overall differen ces among different parts of the island. Between 4000 and 1900 BC, though, some variations a nd century-scale phases make climate more articulated (chapter 3). The first half of the 4th millennium seems to have been warmer and rainier, with more widespread deciduous forests while later on, Mediterranean conditions were established, on a north-south gradi ent, by sharper seasonality of precipitation, increasingly long summer droughts, a nd somewhat cooler temperatures. These factors, intertwined with human modifications that affected species competition, also brought

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133about typical Mediterranean vegetation, with preval ence of evergreen species and shrubs better adapted to arid conditions and frequent fire s. Sardinian biogeography was inferred up to the 1990s mostly by analogy with Corsica, since faunal studies were still very few, while tod ay more data are being published for Sardinia as well (e.g. Wilkens 2004). The history o f fauna in Corsica after the last ice age has been outlined mainly by Vigne in several analytical and synthetic studies (Vigne 1984, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1995). The two most important processes informing this history and Sardinia’s as well, whose mutual relationships are still to be understood in detail, are extinction of the aboriginal species on one hand, and introduction of foreign species on the other – a long process of displacement. In the pre-Neolithic period, the only mammals on bo th islands are Prolagus sardus, Rhagamys orthodon, Tyrrhenicola henseli and Episoriculus species, all relatively small sized, carnivores and rodents. In Sardinia Megaloceros cazioti a small deer, is also documented, but it disappeared before the Neolithic Rhagamys orthodon is documented in two Sardinian contexts only, dating to the Late Neo lithic (Sanges and Alcover 1980) and to a generic Neolithic, and there is no evidence thereaf ter, while Episoriculus has been found only in one Early Neolithic context (Wilkens 2004: 182): these two species probably were becoming increasingly rare through the Neolithic. Tyrrhenicola henseli was present throughout the period considered, since it has been documented in Bronze-Iron Age contexts (Wilkens and Delussu 2002). The most common hunted mammal, however, was by and large Prolagus sardus which has been identified in contexts up to the I ron Age in Sardinia and the Roman period in Corsica (Wilkens and Delussu 2002), and makes up the large majority of wild specimens at most Neolithic sites, at a time w hen deer and wild boar were probably not yet very common. It is unclear what the role of humans was in the ex tinction of larger mammals in general within the insular ecosystems, and specific ally in Sardinia as concerns Megaloceros the only medium-sized wild animal that survived int o Post-glacial times (Hofmeijer and Sondaar 1992; Sondaar, et al. 1986; Vigne 1996). Hu mans are more likely to have had a role in the extinction of the smaller species, which dis appear progressively after agriculture and animal husbandry affected the landscape more deeply and possibly also under hunting pressure (Vigne 1988, 1992), since deer was probabl y not very common due to its late

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134introduction, and wild sheep and pig had not drifte d completely into moufflon and boar to create substantial autonomous populations. The complementary side of replacement, introduction and spread, is quite well ascertained (Dobson 1998). The pattern in Corsica i s a first phase with the introduction of sheep, goat and pig, and a second slightly later, c oncerning cattle and dog, within the Early Neolithic, 6th-early 5th millennium BC. By the Middle Neolithic (5th millennium), Erinaceus europaeus (hedgehog) Apodemus sylvaticus (long-tailed field mouse) and Glis glis (dormouse) are documented (Delussu 2000; Vigne 1992 ). Already in the Early Neolithic it has been possible to distinguish Ovis musimon the moufflon, a feral sheep that drifted and speciated from the domesticated stock, and Sus scrofa meridionalis the wild boar, which speciated from domesticated pig (Sanges 1987; Wilke ns 2004). Wild cat is believed possibly to have drifted from domesticated cat in the same w ay (Vigne 1992). Various rodents made their appearance later in the Bronze Age. Deer may have been introduced already in the Early Neolithic (Corbeddu Cave: Sanges 1987), certainly i t was present in the Late Neolithic and Copper Age (Fonzo, personal communication; Wilkens 2004; Wilkens and Delussu 2002). Other species of rodents and small carnivores, such as rats, weasels ( Mustela nivalis boccamela) martens ( Martes martes) and the donkey, were introduced by the Iron Age, but in any case they are not relevant in the period und er investigation. According to Wilkens (2004: 186-188), the first reliable identification of horse would be in the Iron Age. In reality, considering that in the Italian peninsula it was in troduced during the Bell Beaker period in the mid-3rd millennium BC (Corridi and Sarti 1990), a few case s may be reevaluated. One specimen of Equidae was recovered at Filiestru: cer tainly intrusive in the final Early Neolithic layer where it was found, but possibly be longing to Copper or Bronze Age layers documented above (Levine 1983: 125). Another was re covered at Su Crucifissu Mannu, tomb 16, in an Early Bronze Age context (Cassoli 1974), and two more reported in 19th-century explorations at the later Bronze Age sites of Nurag he Don Michele (Ploaghe) and Nuraghe Domu Â’e sÂ’Orcu (Sarroch) (Lo Schiavo 1981: 266). It seems possible therefore that the horse was introduced between the end of the Copper Age an d the Early Bronze Age also in Sardinia, remaining a rare novelty, with no structu ral impact on the economy, for over a thousand years. After this general overview of faunal diversity ava ilable on the island, I discuss all the proxy data available in an integrated perspecti ve, divided, for ease of discussion, into

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135groups: 1) biotic remains; 2) osteology and paleopa thology; 3) settlement patterns; and 4) features, artifacts, figurative arts. Some of these sources are qualitative (figurative art), or indicative of processes hard to pinpoint accurately Others are semi-quantitative but their relevance varies depending on the representativenes s and contextual information, besides all the biases due to sample preservation. Finally, for some specific points different kinds of analogical processes can be used, to widen our hori zons as regards the possibilities that the studied human groups had in similar ecological cont exts, although rarely can these be translated into real testimonies (ethnographic, eco logical analogy, site catchment analysis). Many other methods have never been applied to prehi storic Sardinian contexts. 5.2. Biotic Remains 5.2.1. Botanical Remains Very few studies report on botanical remains (Table 6), and only one is a contribution going beyond the simple list of species. In the Mid dle Neolithic, at the burial cave site of Grotta Rifugio, alongside species more or less adap ted to Mediterranean climate and widely present today ( Quercus, Pistacia, Juniperus, Phyllirea, Arbutus, A cer ), the recovered wood charcoal also indicated mountain pine forests ( Pinus nigra ), which are not found today (Castelletti 1980). This may reflect both cooler co nditions, which would counter what is known about the climatic optimum in the 5th millennium BC, or more likely the remains of original glacial mountain forests before fires favo red the spread of oaks. As discussed above (chapter 3), pines do not recover as easily from bu rning. More information comes from a report on macrobotani cal remains associated with cultural materials dating to the Late Neolithic-Ear ly Copper Age (Sadori and Tanda 1989): the site is a rock-carved tomb at Molia (Illorai), and the charcoal was mostly attributed to evergreen oak ( Quercus ilex ). Assuming that a fire to cook or perform ritual a ctivities reflects the availability of timber nearby, a trend could be reconstructed towards the spread of evergreen oak through drier climatic conditions and the extensive use of fire for deforestation. Such macrobotanical remains provide information on the environment and not only on economy and subsistence. More recently, a f ew botanical remains were analyzed

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136Table 6. Botanical remains at Sardinian sites datin g to the Early Neolithic (EN) through the Middle Bronze Age (MBA). Data from Bakels (2002) wi th integrations from Castelletti (1980) and Celant (1998). Site Filiestru Filiestru Grotta Rifugio Su Guanu Sa Ucca Molia Iloi t.3 Duos Nuraghe s Species Period EN MN MN LN LN LN LCA MBA Hordeum vulgare X X X X Triticum aestivum/durum X X Triticum dicoccum X X X Triticum monococcum X Triticum sp. X Lens culinaris X X Pisum sativum X Pisum sp. X Vicia faba X X Fabaceae X Olea europaea oleaster X Olea europaea X Quercus sp. X Quercus ilex X X Pistacia X Juniperus X Phyllirea X Arbutus X Acer X The three groups distinguished by gray shading repr esent, from top down: cereal grains, legumes, and t rees from a rock-carved tomb reused in Bell Beaker times (Celant 1998), and the identified species were evergreen oak and wild olive tree ( Olea oleaster ). The rest of the evidence is discussed in a syntheti c study by Bakels (2002). Due to the inconsistency in recovery methods and reporting res ults, data are not quantitative but are presence vs. absence lists. The whole Neolithic ‘pa ckage’ was likely introduced in the Early Neolithic, although only wheat and peas have actual ly been identified. In any case, barley, lentil and fava bean are documented in the Middle N eolithic, so they were clearly available for planting after 4000 BC. After the Early Neolith ic, einkorn is not documented until one single grain in the Iron Age, so possibly it was di scontinued as a staple, and other varieties of wheat were preferred. From a survey of data from th e rest of the Western Mediterranean, there is a shift from naked barley to hulled barley around the Early Bronze Age; this may have involved Sardinia, since all specimens from Du os Nuraghes identified to the variety level are indeed hulled barley (Bakels 2002: 7). In terestingly, the Copper-Early Bronze Age is the time of the European-wide diffusion of drink ing containers, such as cups, mugs, and particularly the bell-shaped beakers (Sherratt 1987 1991), and hulled barley is the variety

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137considered best for brewing beer in opposition to t he naked variety which is preferred as food. Most relevant is the absence of any evidence for fr uit trees before the Middle Bronze Age, when the first olive stone is documented (unce rtain whether wild or cultivated olive: Bakels 2002: 6). Evidence from three sites in Medit erranean Spain and France has shown a consistent pattern compatible with olive tree timbe r cutting during the Neolithic and management for fruit exploitation beginning in the Copper Age and increasingly in the Early Bronze Age (Terral 2000). It is therefore reasonabl e to hypothesize that this was the case also in Sardinia. Unfortunately, since we have no botani cal data whatsoever for Sardinia in the whole period after the Late Neolithic and before th e Middle Bronze Age, approximately 3000-1600 BC, these issues will remain unresolved u ntil new analyses are carried out. 5.2.2. Faunal Remains Faunal remains have been studied more, but still in sufficiently for us to get a full grasp of the variation within the 4000-1900 BC peri od and between this period and previous and subsequent times (Figure 41). Wilkens and Delus su have provided in recent years almost comprehensive syntheses of the current knowledge of Holocene fauna in Sardinia (Delussu 2000; Wilkens 2004; Wilkens and Delussu 2002), pinp ointing how the lack of consistency in methods and mostly the silence regarding such metho ds, makes results not systematically comparable. Issues such as whether fragments were c ounted as found or also refitted, and whether the calculation of MNI (minimum number of i ndividuals) was done by adding counts from subunits or by pooling, topics which sh ould be discussed and explicitly mentioned (e.g. OÂ’Connor 2000: 54-81), are largely missing. After over two decades, LevineÂ’s work on the assemb lage from trench D at Filiestru Cave is still the most thorough and detailed study on a long stratified sequence, which spans the Early Neolithic to the Bronze Age and later (Le vine 1983). The sequence at Filiestru is also the only one encompassing all the phases of in terest for this study, and the study of the faunal remains is the only one where statistics is employed to gain insights into taphonomic processes and biases of representation. These aspec ts make it important to examine these data including earlier times and not only the layers ove rlapping with the timespan of interest.

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138 Figure 41. Map showing sites dating ca. 4000 to 190 0 BC mentioned in the text where faunal and/or botanical remains have been analyzed and at least s ome results published. Map by the author, based on cartographic material from S.A.R. Sardegna consorti um, with kind permission.

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139 Based on ethnoarchaeological analogy, the proportio ns of skeletal elements appeared to reflect natural processes. The only human effect de tected was the selection of forelimbs more than hindlimbs, so if animals were killed at the si te, the most meat-rich parts may have been taken away. The population distribution is tentativ ely interpreted as reflecting natural death rather than a consistent killing strategy. Despite the high frequency of Prolagus specimens, there is no indication of human consumption, and du e to its being a burrower, it is possible that these rodents were simply having their dens in the cave, or that predators such as foxes brought them inside as prey (Levine 1983: 123-124). In Sardinia, evidence of Prolagus roasting has emerged at Punta del Quadro (Wilkens 2004: 185), as already documented in Corsica (Vigne 1981), while in Sardinia at the cave of Is Aruttas a pattern of consistent removal of crani al vaults is taken as an indication of brain consumption (German 1995: 64). Unfortunately this site, where Final Neolithic pottery and several remains were recovered (radiocarbon date pl aced them in the 15th-12th century BC), did not yield any stratigraphy due to looting. Furt hermore, there is no specific analysis aimed at evaluating whether similar patterns would result from predators crushing the bones in a similar way. Since for many contexts (e.g. Filiestr u) the shadow of possible intrusion remains, the real importance of Prolagus consumption is not easily quantifiable. Finally, v ery few marine shells testify to the scarce input of se afood in the diet at Filiestru (Levine 1983: 125). Looking at actual economic proxies and specifically at proportions of domesticated animals, and keeping in mind the bias implied in ea ch of the parameters available (Vigne 1992), if the number of identified specimens (herea fter NISP) (Figure 42) is considered ovicaprines are the most represented at all layers. Considering instead the minimum number of individuals (hereafter MNI) (Figure 43), they ar e still the most frequent throughout the Neolithic, but in the Late Copper-Early Bronze Age layer pigs become more important. Cattle increase in the Middle Neolithic, and remain proportionally constant up to the Late Copper-Early Bronze Age layer, while pigs decrease throughout the Neolithic, and after reaching the lowest point in the Late Neolithic-Cop per Age become much more frequent in the Final Copper-Early Bronze Age and later. Additi onally, if meat-yield estimates were considered, cattle would turn out much more importa nt.

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140 Figure 42. Relative proportions of remains of domes ticates recovered at Filiestru Cave (data after Lev ine 1983). Number of identified specimens (NISP); Figure 43. Relative proportions of remains of domes ticates recovered at Filiestru Cave (data after Lev ine 1983). Minimum number of individuals (MNI)

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141The life history of the cave, however, was not cons istent all along the sequence. The charts below illustrate the density of bones and ar tifacts (Figure 44), and of different species (Figure 45), calculated as number of specimens divi ded by volume of soil (Trump 1983: table 12). It seems that the cave was mostly used for kee ping animals in the initial Early Neolithic, and used for increasingly intense human activities from the later Early Neolithic to the Middle Neolithic (layers 5, 6). Trump suggested tha t the main dwelling site of the small community shifted out of the cave already in the Mi ddle Neolithic, to be closer to fertile land and chert sources, while animals were still being p enned inside. I suggest that this may have been later, in the centuries around 4000 BC, as sug gested by the drop in artifact frequency, by the ritual activity documented in another nearby cave (Trump 1989), and by the disappearance of wheat, reported after the Middle N eolithic. At some time during the Copper Age, while human occupation continues at a similar pace, animals were probably not present at the cave in as large numbers or for as much time of the year. Likely it had become an occasional shelter for hunters, as the increase in arrowheads supports (Trump 1983: 87-95). We can go further integrating the information we ha ve on general patterns of establishment of Neolithic economies and on botanic al remains. A new Early Neolithic Figure 44. Stone tools and potsherds divided by vol ume of soil as an indicator of the intensity of hum an activity and/or time, and bone fragments divided by volume of soil as an indicator of animal presence/consumption in the cave. Data after Trump (1983) and Levine (1983).

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142 Figure 45. Absolute number of identified specimens of domesticated species divided by volume of soil ( data after Trump 1983, Levine 1983) community would have relied mostly on sheep herding ; in the following phase, between Early and Middle Neolithic, the introduction of new cultivars such as legumes (Bakels 2002) may have reduced the need for meat and milk and giv en more importance to farming. This picture fits the increase in cattle, and the peak i n human activity revealed by artifact density. At some point in the Late Neolithic-Early Copper Ag e, either the community moved its central dwelling to somewhere else, or a more mobil e pattern of subsistence led to regular but only seasonal presence in the cave. This would be s upported by a slight increase of ovicaprines but not cattle and pig. Cattle, especia lly in the milking period, may have been kept near the village, which would correspond to hi storically-recorded practices (Ferrante and Mattone 2004; Le Lannou 1941: 117), or possibly the y may have become less profitable because of less abundance of pasture due to reduced precipitation, and therefore kept in smaller numbers. Pigs may have been kept for period s of time in the oak forest as historically documented, and this would correspond to the spread of forest due to climate change and fires. The analysis of the age structure, particularly for ovicaprines, is evaluated based on ethnographic models as reflecting a natural populat ion pattern, where animals are not

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143regularly killed as an economic strategy, but just occasionally, or even butchered after their natural death. Such pattern would lead to the infer ence that shepherds temporarily occupied the site, with no regular butchering taking place. However, this is considered between tentative and speculative because the number of ind ividuals is too small when subdivided in phases and groups, and all phases spanning over 400 0 years were therefore added up (Levine 1983: 122-123). In fact, Webster (1996: 60) argues for an emphasis on butchering young animals, which would imply husbandry for meat rathe r than for secondary products. Even if important, it must be underlined that Filie stru is nonetheless a very small sample that cannot be considered necessarily repres entative of different areas of Sardinia, and especially the study area investigated through isot opic analyses. Unfortunately, the remaining faunal assemblages have much shorter time spans, of ten questionable stratigraphies, and as has been already pointed out, the methods of analys is are not comparable because they are not explicitly explained (Wilkens 2004). In other c ases they are ‘preliminary’ notes that instead of anticipating full reports, ended up repl acing them. Such short reports can only be taken as gross approximations of what a standard ar chaeozoological report should be like, and consequently provide only blurred impressions o f the real post-depositional and postrecovery patterns. Two Middle Neolithic cave contex ts list species of small mammals that have been considered suspiciously early, and may be due to burrowing and disturbance from later layers (Wilkens 2004: 184). Excluding the reports with no quantitative informat ion but only lists of documented species and genera (Agosti, et al. 1980; Sanges 198 7; Sanges and Alcover 1980) and looking at all assemblages from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age (Boschian, et al. 2002; Cassoli 1974; Levine 1983; Sorrentino 1982; Wilkens 2004), there is a great variation in the relative frequencies of domesticated vs. wild mammals. Most of these wild mammals are small-sized species, mainly Prolagus, complemented at some site s by moderate occurrences of fox, other rodents and insectivores, and at some sites by rela tively few remains of larger-sized wild mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and fish (Fig ure 46). All sites where Prolagus is found in large quantiti es are natural caves, except one which is a rock-carved tomb (su Crucifissu Mannu, t omb 16: Cassoli 1974). This emphasizes the point that, despite some consumption as food, P rolagus is likely to have been intrusive at many sites, as well as the few remains of birds, fr ogs, snakes, turtles, foxes and other

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144 Figure 46. Barchart with relative proportions of fa unal remains at all Sardinian sites dating from the Ealy Neolithic through the pre-Nuragic Middle Bronze Age (see text for multiple sources). Since published d ata on Padru Jossu are preliminary and relative to grou ps of skeletal elements in association with no defi nite NISP, it is not strictly comparable with the rest, but only provides a rough quantitative approximatio n. mammals that would have found comfortable shelters in sites permanently or temporarily abandoned by humans or would have been brought into such dens as food by small carnivores. Examining separately faunal assemblages in tombs (Figure 47), two can be assimilated to caves, the other one, Padru Jossu (S orrentino 1982), may have had a different post-depositional history and/or utilization patter n, since only offerings of domesticated animals are represented. It is possible to appreciate the presence of biases depending on the site type itself and on its susceptibility to intrusion of small mammals after or during human utilization by looking at the proportion of domesticated and wild species in the three open-air settlement assemblages (Figure 48). These three contexts, desp ite their distinct chronological and cultural diversity, all show percentages of domesti cated animals over 90%. Assuming that daily food refuse should reflect overall economy an d diet better than assemblages that come from ritual, marginal and/or disturbed deposits, th is reflects an economy fully reliant on food

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145 Figure 47. Barchart with relative proportions of fa unal remains at Sardinian burial sites at least par tially included in the Late Neolithic-Early Bronze Age tim espan (see text for sources). Absolute number of specimens is on top of each column. Since published data on Padru Jossu are preliminary and relative t o groups of skeletal elements in association with no definite NISP, it is not strictly comparable with V ia Besta and su Crucifissu Mannu. It only provides a quantit ative approximation. Figure 48. Barchart with relative proportions of fa unal remains at Sardinian open-air settlements dati ng from the Late Neolithic through the pre-Nuragic Mid dle Bronze Age (see text for sources). Absolute number of specimens is on top of each column.

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146 production (of course this concerns primarily prote in needs and possibly lipids, but botanical remains did not yield any evidence for significant wild food sources either). Aquatic resources are very different in their prese rvation potential. Fish, rich in soft tissue, is usually underrepresented in a given asse mblage because of the physical and mechanical features of its skeleton, which is made up of small and fragile bones. Furthermore, since screening was not standard pract ice in most excavations until recently, much of what did not deteriorate for taphonomic fac tors was not retrieved. On the other hand, molluscs have a very low yield of edible tissue, bu t their shell is usually remarkably well preserved. They are often highlighted by archaeolog ists for their use as ornaments. Both marine and land molluscs are documented at virtuall y every dwelling site and many burials, in varying proportions. Rowland (1987) drew a list of sites where marine shells were reported in previous literature, but no attempts to update i t have since been made. This testifies of movements of goods between the coast and the interi or, but no nutritionally significant presence of shellfish has ever been documented. Bes ides unique finds such as whale bones or lobster shell fragments in suspicious contexts (Fer rarese Ceruti and Fonzo 1995; German 1995: 64), fish bones were found in small but signi ficant numbers in the Early Neolithic layers at Filiestru (genus undetermined), at the co astal site of Punta del Quadro, where there is no chronological distinction within the Neolithi c, and at the Copper Age open-air site of Monte dÂ’Accoddi (Levine 1983: 125; Wilkens 2004). A s discussed in chapter 3, sea-level rise must have obliterated or eroded the majority o f Early Neolithic coastal sites. However, it has not been ascertained whether a temporary marine regression during the 3rd and part of the 2nd millennium (as has been well documented in the Tur kish Aegean: Kayan 1997) may have caused also most Copper Age coastal sites to be sub merged in later times. Mollusks and fish could have assumed locally, or at specific ceremonial sites, social importance as delicacies for feasting events: Contu (2000: 55) describes the presence of shells in large quantities, even in small middens n ear outdoor hearths, all around the large temple-platform, and the presence of remains of fis h and sea urchin. Among the rare dwelling sites spanning the Late Neolithic-Copper Age transi tion, the situation described at Cuccuru sÂ’Arriu is extremely important, even though quantit ative data are not yet available: in Late Neolithic hut floors, shell remains are prevalent, while in the Early Copper Age, bones of

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147vertebrate domesticates are more frequent (Santoni 1989). At Su Coddu and Terramaini, there seems to have been a shift from more cattle t o dominant ovicaprines (Melis 2003a: 738; Usai 1987). A similar status of occasional delicaci es may be cited for wild birds; the use of eggs, recognized in the composition of the red pain t used in tombs (Rampazzi, et al. 2002), can also be hypothesized. From the current evidence, the overall nutritional economy on Sardinia between 4000 and 1900 BC was thus mostly terrestrial, and fully dependent on food production. Faunal assemblages are therefore most useful to understand shifts and changes within this framework. Relative proportions among domesticates are of utmost importance to define differences in managing the different livestocks an d their importance in relation to plant foods. Besides the still outstanding case of Filies tru, a general look at the composition of all available assemblages covering the Neolithic up to the Middle Bronze Age shows that ovicaprines dominate most assemblages (Figure 49), with percentages lower than 60% in only one case (su Coloru, Middle Neolithic). Unfort unately only NISP are available, and Figure 49. Barcharts showing relative proportions o f domesticates (NISP): at various sites in Sardinia from the Early Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age ( all sources in text); absolute number of specimens is on top of each column. Since published data on Padru J ossu (in brackets) are preliminary and relative to groups of skeletal elements in association with no definite NISP, they are not strictly comparable wit h the rest. They only provide a quantitative approximatio n.

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148 from Filiestru it appears that this tends to underr epresent the importance of cattle, and particularly of pig, compared to the MNI (see above ). On the other hand, diagenetic and taphonomic processes probably tend to underrepresen t ovicaprines since their skeletal elements are much smaller. So, even if it is presen tly impossible to assess how representative of depositional patterns these proportions really a re, we may reasonably consider them as good working approximations for gross comparative p urposes, without entering the specifics of meat yields (Vigne 1992). Our sample must be considered while taking into acc ount the presence of geographic variation which certainly affected the economic cho ices within the constraints of the communitiesÂ’ system of values. The few multi-layere d sequences are for this reason key testimonies: at both su Coloru and Filiestru (Levin e 1983; Wilkens 2004) there is an increase in cattle from the Early to the Middle Neolithic (F igure 50). Cattle is dominant at both phases at su Coloru, which speaks of a peculiar local econ omic aspect. At Filiestru, the increase in Sus scrofa in the latest phases, when the site had become an occasional shelter or hunting camp, may be due to wild pig, since the report does not mention any differentiation. The lowest proportion of pig and highest of ovicaprines in the Late Neolithic/Early Copper Age Figure 50. Barchart with relative proportions of fa unal remains at Sardinian cave sites dating from th e Neolithic through the Middle Bronze Age (see text f or sources). Absolute number of specimens is on top of each column.

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149 may support the model that pastoralism may have gai ned importance, possibly in coincidence with the beginning of seasonal movements entailing several months away from the village. Proportions of domesticates in burial contexts (Fig ure 51) are more likely to reflect ritual preferences more than economic facts. Whereas the f our assemblages considered are generally parallel to the cave sites, the absence o f cattle and dominance of ovicaprines from the Bell Beaker layer at Padru Jossu (Sorrentino 19 82) are notable. This, compared with the following Early Bronze Age where cattle is present, has been interpreted as reflecting an increase in the importance of agriculture between t he two phases (Ugas 1982b), although the final report is still awaiting publication (Fonzo, personal communication). Two important assemblages from burials have been analyzed but the data are unfortunately not yet published: Scaba Â’e Arriu and Santa Caterina di Pit tinuri, both dating to the Copper Age (~3200-2500 BC). Particularly interesting is the la tter, which contains an unparalleled prevalence of pig mandibles (Fonzo, personal commun ication): needless to say, this rather than nutritional importance reflects a fundamentall y ritual preference, as confirmed by stable isotopy (see chapter 8). Figure 51. Barchart with relative proportions of do mesticates (NISP) at Sardinian burial sites at leas t partially including the Late Neolithic-Early Bronze Age timespan (see text for sources). Absolute numb er of specimens is on top of each column. Since published data on Padru Jossu (in brackets) are preliminary and relative to groups of skeletal elements in associat ion with no definite NISP, it is not strictly compa rable with Via Besta and su Crucifissu Mannu. It only pro vides a quantitative approximation.

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150 Considering the fauna from the few published open-a ir sites (Figure 52), ovicaprines are dominant, above 60% in the two sites from the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, and as well from the 2nd millennium BC site of Bruncu Madugui (Fonzo 1987). However, cattle seem to be consistently present in higher proportions than many cave sites: above 25% of NISP at Late Neolithic Contraguda (Alhaique, et al. 2004: 3 6; Boschian, et al. 2002: 262-263) and Middle Bronze Age Madonna del Rimedio (Santoni and Wilkens 1996). Whereas at Contraguda and Monte dÂ’Accoddi cattle is more commo n than pig, at the later site pig comes second after sheep/goat. Not enough data are available in order to assess wh ether this is a temporal trend reversing at some point during the Copper or Early Bronze Age, or rather a geographic pattern, with northern sites being more amenable fo r cattle raising due to moister conditions and consequently better pasture. This is also a pat tern documented historically. Comparing Sardinian assemblages with those in peninsular Ital y (Figure 53) underlines the strong role of sheep in the islandÂ’s economy and historical ecolog y. Ovicaprines at comparable latitudes in Figure 52. Barchart with relative proportions of do mesticates (NISP) at Sardinian open-air settlements dating to the Late Neolithic and Copper Age, with t wo Middle Bronze Age sites for comparison (see text for sources). Absolute number of specimens is on top of each column.

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151 Figure 53. Barcharts showing relative proportions o f domesticates (NISP) at various sites in peninsula r Italy, from the Early Neolithic to the Copper Age ( percentages after Wilkens 1992). Absolute number of specimens is on top of each column. Central and Southern Italy are more common in the E arly and Middle Neolithic (between 4585%: Wilkens 1992; Wilkens and Delussu 2002), but m uch less than in Sardinia, and they further decrease in the Final Neolithic and Copper Age, when cattle and pig show NISP percentages in some cases higher than 50% (cattle a t S. Maria in Selva, pig at Attiggio, layer 4: Wilkens 1992). In the Italian mainland there seems to be some incr easing emphasis on cattle towards the Final Neolithic and Copper Age, and anyway gene rally fewer remains of ovicaprines, a situation maintained with wide variation through th e Bronze Age. Sardinia instead seems to show possible an increase only in the Middle Neolit hic, and subsequently not earlier than the Middle Bronze Age. Conversely, sheep/goat would app ear to have been even more important in the Copper Age, when pig may also have gained im portance locally and possibly in the later centuries. In Sicily (Figure 54), lesser impo rtance of ovicaprines is documented in the Late Neolithic, with a gradual increase in the impo rtance of pig through the Copper Age, particularly as shown at the multi-layered site of Grotta Chiusazza (Leighton 1999: 60, 90).

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152Sardinia finds instead better parallels in the arid area of Southeastern Spain (Figure 55), where a consistently high proportions of ovicaprine s is recorded (Chapman 1990: 116-118). An important point lies also in the lack of evidenc e for older bovines, which is found instead at some contemporary sites in Italy (Wilken s 2003). This contradicts the hypothesis of use for plowing and transport (Wilkens 2004: 185 ), while ovicaprines seem to have been killed at all ages, so they appear to have been exp loited for both meat and milk, and probably wool, since we know that generally this fabric appe ared in Western Europe between Copper Age and Early Bronze Age, over the course of the 3rd millennium BC (Sherratt 1997a: 180181, 203-205, 233-234). On the other hand, ovicapri nes were tended for milk already in the Early Neolithic (Vigne 1998). As concerns pigs, it has been argued that in Sardinia as in Corsica, they were mostly kept loosely in the fores t, since the morphometry is similar to wild boar: in case of animals strictly controlled near t he dwellings, the two subspecies maintain rather distinct characteristics (Albarella, et al. 2006; Wilkens 2003). Figure 54. Barcharts showing relative proportions o f domesticates (NISP) at various sites in Sicily, f rom the Early Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age (data a fter Leighton 1999). Absolute number of specimens i s on top of each column.

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153 Figure 55. Barcharts showing relative proportions o f domesticates (NISP) at various sites in Spain fro m the Neolithic to the Early-Late Bronze Age (data af ter Chapman 1990). Absolute number of specimens is on top of each column. In conclusion, the evidence of biotic remains, also summarized visually in tabular format (Table 7), suggests: 1. at least from the Middle Neolithic, all main Neolit hic cultivars were present in Sardinia. It is unfortunate that we do not have any data for Copper and Early Bronze Age sites, because hulled barley and olive are documented in t he Middle Bronze but there is no way to pinpoint when they were first used as foods; 2. seafood had an overall negligible nutritional impor tance; coastal sites integrated their agro-pastoral economies with occasional gathering o f molluscs, which may have further decreased during and after the Copper Age; 3. hunting of Prolagus and other mammals was practiced but is hard to qua ntify throughout the examined period, due to possible intrusion at c ave sites in later times and to the scarcity of its remains at open-air villages; 4. ovicaprines were generally prevalent at most times and locations; 5. cattle raising seems to have increased only in the Middle Neolithic, at least in northern Sardinia, while at Filiestru, our longest documente d sequence, an increase in ovicaprines

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154in the Late Neolithic may have coincided with the b eginning of some kind of seasonal movement of the flocks; 6. after the Early Neolithic, ovicaprines probably rep resented the most important domesticate again in the Copper Age (Monte dÂ’Accodd i, Filiestru 4), with possible local and/or later emphasis on swine (Filiestru 3, 2, San ta Caterina di Pittinuri?) through the Middle Bronze Age; 7. age at death of sheep/goat indicates differentiated uses: they were likely exploited for milk already in the Early Neolithic, while we do no t have specific data concerning wool. Elsewhere in Western Europe wool sheep appeared in the Copper Age (Sherratt 1997a: 203-205), and this was likely the case for Sardinia This is supported by the high frequency of loom weights. Since old cattle are sca rce, there is no evidence for their widespread use for traction. Plow and carts may hav e been routinely used in the Bronze Age or later. Table 7. Synthetic prospectus of possible trends in agriculture and animal husbandry in prehistoric Sardinia ~4000-1900 BC, as identifiable from biotic remains and phenomena documented elsewhere in the Western Mediterranean Phase Tree crops Seafood Wild fauna Domestic animal s LN (Ozieri) 4000-3200 BC Probably just figs, wild berries and nuts Occasional mollusk gathering Scarce, occasionally Prolagus Less cattle from MN, ovicaprine dominant ECA (Post-Ozieri) 3200-2500 BC Probable increase in acorn? Quantitatively negligible, progressive decrease? Beginning red deer More ovicaprine Start wool sheep? Possibly more pig (locally)? LCA (Monte Claro) 2700-2300 BC Possible start olive cultivation? ? Quantitatively negligible? ? Beaker 2400-2200 BC More ovicaprine? EBA 2200-1900 BC Possibly hulled barley diffusion? Possibly more pig (locally)?

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155 5.3. Osteology and Paleopathology The study of skeletal remains from Sardinian prehis toric sites started early in the 20th century, following the methods and theoretical assu mptions of the times. Since the 1960s the general approach has not changed radically, and the few scholars who analyzed the collections made available through excavation have tended to focus their attention on cranial measurements aimed at identifying genetic groups cl assified into “types”, with scarce interest for any statistically significant documentation of pathological conditions detectable from the bones. Therefore, to this day, the few studies dealing spe cifically with paleopathology of prehistoric Sardinian populations are only brief reports on ove rall trends recognized without systematic nor quantitative approaches (German 1992a, 1999). A number of researchers from the 1950s and 1960s (Maxia 1964; Maxia and Atzeni 1964; Maxia and Fenu 1962, 1963; Maxia, et al. 1973), and more recently the research group at the University of Cagliari (Cosseddu, et al. 1983; 1994a; 1994b; Floris and Sanna 1999), and Ger man in Sassari (German 1992b, 1995) produced analytical and synthetic studies mai nly focusing on anthropometrics (Figure 56). Additionally, many collections were recovered in contexts that had been looted or not excavated scientifically, and therefore attributed to cultural/chronological phases based on loosely associated material culture. Several attrib utions have been corrected by direct radiocarbon dating of bone, starting in the early 1 990s and continuing up to now, so that much of the (mostly metric) data regarding Neolithi c and Copper Age had to be assigned to the later Bronze and Iron Ages (Cosseddu, et al. 19 94b; Sanna, et al. 1999). The outcome is that whereas until 15 years ago we did not have any comprehensive or at least coherent corpus of data on pathologies but some data on morp hometrics that could be tentatively organized in a sequence (German 1995), now even mu ch of the latter are not useful for the period of interest here, which is 4th-beginning 2nd millennium BC. There are only scanty data from Middle Neolithic sk eletal materials to be compared to later times. The group of Grotta Rifugio (Oliena ), composed of 11 individuals and associated with Bonuighinu cultural markers, has be en evaluated based on dental health as having a balanced nutrition, possibly based on proc essed food and fats (German 1995: 45).

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156 Figure 56. Map showing the location of sites mentio ned in the text, for which some kind of quantitativ e osteological information has been published. Map by the author, based on cartographic material from S.A.R. Sardegna consortium, with kind permission.

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157 Fat is actually one of the factors that can favor t he occurrence of arthrosis (bone formations in the bone surfaces of joints), which is documente d at the site with remarkable frequency, at all levels of the spine. Caries are rare, but serio us, while occlusal wear is more common. Sexual dimorphism was strong, average stature being 162 cm for males and 150.4 cm for females. Two individuals showed bone formation in t he radii related to the intense and specialized use of the arms (German 1981). Three i ndividuals from the Middle Neolithic burials at Cuccuru sÂ’Arriu (Cabras) had statures of 148, 162, and 163 cm and were slightly more robust than the group from Grotta Rifugio; the y had no caries, but some occlusal wear was reported (German 1992b). Concerning the Late Neolithic, out of the three rel atively large skeletal collections still considered pertinent in the early 1990s (San Benedetto-Iglesias, Is Aruttas-Cabras, and Lu Maccioni-Alghero), the last has been radiocarbon -dated to the 12th-9th century BC (Cosseddu, et al. 1994b), the second to the 15th-12th BC (this study). Consequently, the only large population is currently San Benedetto (Maxia and Atzeni 1964), that counts 35 individuals, radiocarbon dated to the first half of the 4th millennium. To this, only three individuals from the cave sa Â’Ucca de su Tintirriol u near Mara (German 1995: 64-65), can be added. Average stature of the group from San Ben edetto is 160.5 cm for men, 151 cm for women. Caries occurrence not higher than 2% is repo rted. This, from large comparative databases to be taken with caution (Larsen 1997: 18 7-189), would place this population at a level slightly higher than foragers. Such low level s are likely to indicate that the consumption of processed cereal products or starchy, sticky foo ds was not very intense. Partial, unpublished data from a systematic study of dental pathologies might indicate, though, higher occurrence (R. Floris, personal communication). Pos sibly the proportions in the original report referred to number of individuals with carie s rather than to number of teeth out of the total. Low consumption of processed foods seems als o supported by the remarkable development of mandible ridge in all individuals, i ndicating heavy masticatory stress. While in the case of occurrence in a few individuals this could be due to specialized activities, such a widespread trait is to be connected to consumptio n of hard or resistant foods, as would be expected in a carnivorous diet. Furthermore, the de mography of the group includes a large

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158percent of elderly (38.9%), which besides the addit ional possible exclusion of children from the burial, could indicate that life expectancy was relatively good. The only collection that has been partially studied dating to the Copper Age, PostOzieri tradition is from Santa Caterina di Pittinur i (Cuglieri), a rock-carved tomb that yielded important evidence for ritual and offerings (Cocco and Usai 1988). The MNI calculated on bone elements is 65, although from loose teeth the represented individuals are over 200. This highlights the long utilization of the tomb, confir med by the two radiocarbon dates, which have non-overlapping ranges and span over a thousan d years (see below, chapter 6). This is particularly important because, since no earlier di agnostic potsherds were recovered, the dates can safely be referred to the Post-Ozieri pha ses, rather than being potentially related to bone remains handled but kept in the tomb from Late Neolithic times. No data are available on the bone elements beyond sex and age counts, whi le the analysis of several thousand teeth revealed very unhealthy conditions, with caries lev els at about 18%. Data on Monte Claro populations are extremely scanty: in a sample of le ss than ten individuals from Serra Crabiles (tomb 2), Padru Jossu and La Crucca, it is remarkab le only that four surgical interventions are documented, at least two following trauma (Germ an 1999). Caries, occlusal wear and pre-mortem tooth loss are also documented in the sa me period (German 1995). Cranial and postcranial measurements were performed on skeletal remains recovered in the early 20th century at Anghelu Ruju (Alghero), a necropolis per taining to the Late Neolithic through the Early Bronze Age period: unfortunately, all remains have been lost, and no contextual data were produced (German 1984). Among the dozen individuals studied of probable (su Crucifissu Mannu, tomb 15) or stratigraphically documented Bell Beaker period dat e, besides some dental problems within the norm, it is important to underline the occurren ce of cribra orbitalia in five cases, which can be connected to several causes, including genet ic anemia, parasitic or infectious diseases, or malnutrition (German 1987, 1999). The Early Bro nze Age is the best documented, since it usually represents the last phase of utilization of the tombs carved since Late Neolithic times; over 190 individuals have been studied. Unfo rtunately, they were recovered at different sites, with the common focus on craniomet rics, so that useful data are less than this number would suggest. The three large collections c ome from sÂ’Isterridolzu (Ossi), Pedralba (Sardara), and Iscalitas (Soleminis, included in th e isotopic study section of this dissertation), with the addition of about 20 individuals from seve ral tombs recovered at su Crucifissu

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159Mannu (Alghero) and other smaller groups (Buffa, et al. 2000; Businco 1934; German 1995: 117-136). The most striking element is the frequenc y of cribra an anomaly of the bone surface that appears pitted by small or larger cavi ties. Including both orbital and cranial, it is found in the groups from northern Sardinia in 20-35 % of the individuals. The presence of at least four cases of cranial surgery in the form of trepanation is also documented. In the group of su Crucifissu Mannu and in the more substantial sample of Iscalitas, occlusal wear was very frequent and often severe; at Iscalitas this w as found even in deciduous juvenile teeth (Usai, et al. 2005: 188-190). An overview on stature based on extant data (German 1998), particularly after excluding the newly radiocarbon dated specimens tha t turned out to be later (Cosseddu, et al. 1994b; Sanna, et al. 1999; this study, for Is Arutt as), would be quantitatively insignificant, because only few individuals per each phase could b e measured. Middle Neolithic males are on average 162.2 cm tall, women 150.4 cm (based res pectively on 13 and 6 long bones). In the Late Neolithic group of San Benedetto, malesÂ’ a verage is 160.5 and femalesÂ’ 151.0 cm (Maxia and Atzeni 1964). All data for the following Copper Age phases are based on five or less long bones, and they are not therefore relevan t even for single groups, while stature of the Early Bronze Age Iscalitas population is 169 cm (average on 8 males) and 154 cm (one female) (Usai, et al. 2005). In addition to this sc arcity of data, we must consider the problem of applying equations for calculating stature to lo ng bones already sexed based on dimensions. This procedure is likely to skew the nu mbers toward an overestimation of sexual dimorphism. Most available data are synthesized in Table 8. Thi s table is to be considered an impressionistic, preliminary attempt to outline tre nds useful to understand possible meaningful patterns, with no pretense of being accu rate due to poor documentation. As far as dental health is concerned, based on San Benedetto (Late Neolithic), Santa Caterina di Pittinuri (Early Copper Age), Pedralba, su Crucifis su Mannu and sÂ’Isterridolzu (Early Bronze Age), there were worse pathological conditions, par ticularly caries, from the first to the second site, and a sharp decrease, possibly indicat ing better health, in the Early Bronze Age groups (Coppa unpublished). German (1999: 29) repo rts the highest frequency of caries during the Monte Claro phase (northern groups), and confirms its scarcer occurrence both before and after (besides collections considered by German, see also Cuccuru Nuraxi and Iscalitas, where caries occurs in ca. 3%: Atzeni 19 58: 103-104; Usai, et al. 2005). Most data

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160 Table 8. Synthetic overview of tentatively identifi able trends in pathologies and other indirect indicators of stress or dietary patterns. Period Caries Occlusal wear Cribra & hyperostosis Stature dimorphism Trauma & trepanation Cranial shape MN-LN 4700-3200 BC Low Higher Low Moderate? ? Longer? ECA 3200-2500 BC High Lower Low? Higher? Low? LCA 2700-2300 BC High (north) Beaker 2400-2200 BC ? ? Higher Moderate? High? Less long? EBA 2200-1900 BC Low High High refer to number of teeth rather than individuals, a lthough in older studies this is not clear. As mentioned above, caries may derive from high relian ce on foods rich in carbohydrates and therefore is generally proportional to reliance on farming. Otherwise, it may also depend upon processing techniques, and even among populati ons of foragers frequent caries have occasionally been detected (Larsen 1997: 68-71; Mei klejohn, et al. 1992). An impressionistic evaluation of the trend in occlusal wear from previ ous observations may confirm the pattern, documented wo rldwide in societies that made use of pottery and therefore presumably cooked thei r plant foods (Molleson and Jones 1991; Molleson, et al. 1993), of an occurrence inversely proportional to caries; this is clearly the case at Iscalitas, possibly also at San Benedetto a nd Padru Jossu. Contu (1997: 426-427) also mentions severe tooth wear in EBA remains. In fact, it appears to be more common and serious during the Neolithic than later; which migh t point out to a more intense consumption of non-processed foods. The only study that address ed dental wear quantitatively (Buffa, et al. 2000; Usai, et al. 2005) found that at Iscalita s wear was angled, a pattern typically associated with agriculturalists who process their grains as opposed to flat, which is typical of foragers (Smith 1984). Lack of explicit attention t o the covariation of dental health and age should be a warning, since older populations should accumulate more pathologies with time, so that dying young could result in a false impress ion of good health (Wood, et al. 1992). On the other hand, it does not seem that Early Bronze Age populations have a higher age at death

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161than Copper Age populations, possibly lower, which if confirmed could make such a pathology even more significant. Porotic hyperostosis and cribra sporadically present during the previous phases, seem to become more common in the Beaker phase of P adru Jossu, and to increase sharply in the Early Bronze Age and later (German 1999: 27; G erman and Ascenzi 1980; see also Moravetti, et al. 1998). Among the limitations of t his marker is the presence of several potential causes for the same symptoms, since infec tions, parasites (hookworms etc.), and genetic anemia leave similar traces on the bone. In fact, while anemia was commonly considered the main cause, increasing evidence wide ned the spectrum of potential etiologies, some of which can be distinguished through microsco py (Wapler, et al. 2004), which would be a fundamental subject for future research, for t he remaining factors the relative incidence depends on environment: in tropical latitudes, para sites are very common, while in areas like parts of Africa and the Mediterranean, genetic anem ia such as thalassemia and G6PD deficiency are genetic traits selected for as they provide resistance to the endemic malaria (Larsen 1997: 29-40; Siniscalco, et al. 1961). In S ardinia, the malarial environment is well documented historically since Roman times, when pol itical adversaries of the empire would be sent to the island with the hope they would die of disease; malaria is believed to have been a major factor hindering economic development until after World War II (Brown 1986; Le Lannou 1941: 72-81; Webster 1996: 43). Besides lack of iron, vitamin deficiency has also been shown to be associated with cribra particularly scurvy, a chronic illness due to insufficient intake of vitamin C (Melikian and Wald ron 2003; Ortner, et al. 1999; Salis, et al. 2005), but vitamin B-12 deficiency also causes anem ia. While arthrosis has been reported only from the Mid dle Neolithic site of Grotta Rifugio, there is some mention of trauma and especi ally cranial trepanation starting in the Monte Claro groups of northern Sardinia and in the Early Bronze Age, in seemingly relevant proportions especially for the small Monte Claro sa mple (German 1999: 31-32); one case is documented also at the Early Copper Age site of Sca ba Â’e Arriu (Fonzo, personal communication). No clear distribution of pathologie s according to sex seems to be discernible, although at Serra Crabiles all cases o f tooth loss and anomalous dentition are documented for females, and at Padru Jossu it seems that cribra were more frequent in females (German 1980a, 1987). This, coupled with t he uneven occurrence of trauma, may

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162fit the pattern of changing gender roles with an in crease in male dominance that material culture overshadows, and/or reflect a different div ision of labor. Decreased sexual dimorphism itself, which can be on e of the consequences of reliance on agriculture with the change in lifestyl e it involves, can be assessed only based on stature (Figure 57) calculated on a small number of remains (Foschi Nieddu 1986: 19; German 1981, 1998; Maxia and Atzeni 1964; Maxia an d Fenu 1962): expressed as M-F/F, it decreases from Middle Neolithic individuals from Gr otta Rifugio to those from San Benedetto, it is higher in the small Monte Claro sa mple of Serra Crabiles, lower in the Late Copper-Early Bronze Age groups of Iloi and Anghelu Ruju, and much lower in the few specimens from Concali Corongiu Acca II. For the Sa rdinian Neolithic, average stature as found in the literature is higher than the average in Neolithic mainland Italy, but the groups are not comparable, since calculations are based on different systems: German (1995: 220) utilized the Manouvrier method, despite more recent ones, yielding lower statures, being shown to be more accurate for Neolithic populations (as in Robb 1994b: 199). Figure 57. Barchart showing sexual dimorphism in st ature in Sardinian human remains dating from the Middle Neolithic (distinguished by the blue color f or being earlier than the studied period) to the Ea rly Bronze Age (data sources in text). Absolute number of elements/individuals the index refers to are on top of each column, males on right and females on left of each pair. See text for explanation of the index.

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163Cranial shape has mostly, even recently, been used as a proxy for ‘racial’ origin and classification. It is clear since the mid-20th century that a major role besides genetics affecti ng cranial shape is played by stress-related muscle st imulation. Nevertheless, the trait most highlighted in the literature is the index of crani al elongation as an indicator of “racial” origin. Additionally, this continuous variable is a rtificially transformed into a discrete one (dolicomorphous vs. brachymorphous). Rather than or igin, it can reflect dietary adaptations related to mastication: in several instances foragi ng has been found associated with more robust and elongated crania, whereas after the onse t of farming and especially of pottery technology, consumption of softer foods is associat ed with reduction of this robusticity, and with faces that are smaller and less protruding (La rsen 1995: 196-197 and references therein; 1997: 226-232). Such an interpretive key has not be en suggested to explain variation in Sardinian cranial shapes. As found in the cited lit erature on Sardinian skeletal remains, from the Bell Beaker phase there would be an increase in newcomers with long heads (Figure 58). While genetics may account for some variation, a re vision of the large mass of cranial measurements, a product of a long-lasting preferent ial interest, would probably reveal much Figure 58. Barchart showing relative proportion of dolicomorphous vs. brachymorphous crania occurring at Sardinian sites between the Middle Neolithic thr ough the Early Bronze Age (data sources in text). Classification is reported according to the sources (see in German 1995: 207-220), which are not methodologically homogeneous and therefore not stri ctly comparable.

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164 about the lifestyles of prehistoric communities of Sardinia, more than it did the quest for evidence of migration. Shorter crania may be connec ted to heavier consumption of processed foods. Beyond the limitations mentioned for specifi c indicators, an important point to consider is also that in general, since most recent paleopathological data come from German’s work, the approximate description may dep end heavily on his particular research interests and strengths. 5.4. Material Culture Evidence 5.4.1. Figurative Representations Much of this section for obvious reasons draws from information already presented in chapter 4 on material culture, and it serves the pu rpose of focusing on the functional and practical inferences that can be drawn from materia l culture. The representation of animals or plants likely to h ave been food sources may be important to understand at least the emic perspecti ve of the community or group that determined their production. This is to say that su ch figurative testimony can hardly ever reflect the bare nutritional importance of what is reproduced, but it is the complex result of the social settings and relations behind it. In a w ay similar to faunal remains, to be considered as eco-artifacts due to their different contexts, w e can consider so-called ‘artistic’ representations. They are, however, extremely rare in prehistoric Sardinia, at least until the Final Bronze-Early Iron Age transition around the 1 0th-9th century BC. As covered in chapter 4, concerning pottery, decoration is in some phases barely present: most of the later PostOzieri tradition and Early Bronze Age Bonnanaro A. In others, it involves impressions, lines and grooves with little indulgence to figurative mo tifs (Monte Claro, Bell Beaker). Following a Middle Neolithic trend, it is mainly in the Ozieri phase and its later tradition that human and animal figures are present on pottery, in funerary art, in rock art, statuettes, or incised on loom weights. While human figures have been mentioned in chapter 4 as cultural elements, here I focus on animal figu res, which, in Sardinian prehistory, are mostly bovine figures. Plastic representations of b ovine heads are found on Middle Neolithic vessels of Bonu Ighinu style, and on handles of cer amic and stone vessels (Lilliu 1999: 108-

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165109). Apart from these sporadic examples, the conte xt where bovine protomes or their abstract surrogates are most common is the burial o ne, clustering in the domus de janas of northwestern Sardinia. The number of occurrences is probably now closer to a hundred, not including multiple representations within the same tomb. The bovine head is clearly recognizable in naturali stic examples, attributed to the Ozieri ceramic phase, while in later developments i t becomes more abstract, and it may itself be an imitation of dwelling architecture and decora tion that is expressed in many other details (Cmara Serrano and Spanedda 2002: 376-379). The ea rs, evidently not as meaningful, disappear, while the horns are simplified into line ar motifs or merge with the geometric motif of the spiral, so that often it is not possible, no r possibly meaningful, to distinguish them (Tanda 1984, 1998). The geographic distribution, co rresponding to the overall distribution of funerary art beyond the simple carving of tombs, co vers the northwest corner of the island, with significant extensions toward the central high lands and the coastal west, apparently following a distribution that in some areas is roug hly complementary to the areas of densest megalithic burials. Possible outliers may be seen i n the more abstract motifs decorating tombs in the Southwest (Montessu and others), aroun d Pimentel (Usai 1989a), and in the East, where they seem to occur in a specific versio n (Ogliastra: Pitzalis 1996). The importance of bovine representation has been co nnected to a new mythology and ritual connected to the rise of pastoral practices (Usai 1992: 382-383), and to the productive potential involved in the ox-drawn plow in the expl oitation of marginal land with further opportunity to increase wealth inequality. This wou ld have given a powerful symbolic role to the animal that was responsible for wealth producti on, and as documented in several East African societies, may also have been important to acquire wives (Cmara Serrano and Spanedda 2002: 379-380). Comparatively few cases ha ve been interpreted by some scholars as representing ovine protomes (e.g. the so-called Domus dellÂ’Ariete, the Tomb of the Ram: Lo Schiavo 1982, and a few others), but some disagr ee on the identification, and their style is so simple and geometric that it may be impossible t o agree on a single match; in any case, they would be a slim minority compared to the wides pread and intense phenomenon of bovine heads spanning the whole duration of the nor thwestern Ozieri tradition. It must be underlined that not only does the freque ncy of bovine representations not match our current knowledge of its economic importa nce as a direct food source that we have from faunal analyses, but in fact it may possibly b e a symptom of the opposite trend. In

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166southern Italy, bovine representations have been fo und to increase precisely when their dietary relevance – as shown from faunal remains – declines in favor of ovicaprines (Cassano 1993: 229), and a similar trend is documented in Sa haran Africa. In Sardinia, after the first cases dating to the Middle Neolithic, the highest f requency dates to the Final Neolithic-Early Copper Age, and the scarce faunal data currently av ailable may well be compatible with a trend similar to the Italian peninsula. While there are some decorative motifs defined or d escribed in terms of ‘leaflets’ and ‘branches’, mostly in the Monte Claro phase, to my knowledge there is no undisputable representation of anything identifiable with plants or plant foods in Sardinian prehistory before the bronze figurines in the later Bronze and Iron Ages. On the other hand, indirect evidence of the production and processing of possib ly both vegetal and animal textile fabrics, has been identified in the representation of clothi ng items and decorative textiles on pottery and tombs (Lilliu 1999: 92-102; Tanda 1988, 1995a). 5.4.2. Lithic Implements for Food Production, Proce ssing, Consumption Simple flaked tools, mostly made of obsidian, have been common on the island since the Early Neolithic. However, the microlithic retou ched flakes typical of these early times are not as common in the Late Neolithic Ozieri phase. U sually these instruments have been interpreted as elements for sickles and other compo site tools, but this would not explain their drop in the Late Neolithic, since regardless of the prevalence that pastoralism may acquire, farming should have remained one of the pillars of subsistence. The prevalence of obsidian from the SB Monte Arci subsources could account for the small size of tools in the 6th and 5th millennia BC, since this kind of obsidian is mostly found as cobbles of small dimensions; the exploitation of SC and particularly SA subsources a llowed an easier, more standardized, production of longer blades (Cappai, et al. 2004: 2 29; Lugli 2000a: 23-25), which could have replaced the small elements for the same pract ical applications, while possibly increasing the range of uses. The increase in arrow points through the Neolithic (Lugli 2000a; Lugli and Sebis 2004), if they are function ally, beside symbolically, connected with hunting, would make sense in an island where the fi rst Neolithic settlers only had small mammals to hunt. The multiplication of introduced d eer, and of wild boar and moufflon after

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167their drift and speciation from sheep and pig (see above), must have gradually increased the pool and relevance of potential game, while the soc ial significance of hunting was probably enhanced by its association with maleness in the co ntext of increasingly defined gender roles. To my knowledge, no specifically functional or econ omic meaning has been suggested for the peak in foliate points in the fin al phases of the Post-Ozieri assemblages (phases C and D: Melis 2000d: 67-68). Considering s ome evidence for an increasingly difficult acquisition of obsidian (Cappai, et al. 2 004) and apparently also chert (Melis 2000d: 67), a higher relative proportion of very specializ ed and standardized tools may make sense as the best realization of their potential, for mat erials that were starting to become rarer, and consequently less utilitarian and more symbolic. In other words, raw materials whose appreciation had become very high were not used for a wide variety of daily tasks as much as before, but reserved for the manufacture of valued status symbols. Therefore, I believe that no linear correlation with economic facts lies behi nd these trends. In fact, in the following phases, Monte Claro, Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro A, f ormal tools found in burials represent the majority of the flaked lithic industry. Conversely, a specific type of large, flaked adze, mostly made of volcanic rock, that has been convincingly shown to date to the Sub-Ozie ri and particularly to the Monte Claro phase (which in the southern and western lowlands d irectly follows Sub-Ozieri: Lilliu 1988a: 163-164; Lugli 1988, 1992, 1999), due to its less formalized aspect and its recovery in openair settlements, may mark either a new activity or a different way of performing the same task: in order to understand such function, microwe ar analyses, which has been undertaken up to now only on obsidian assemblages (Hurcombe 19 93; Hurcombe and Phillips 1998; Setzer 2004), would be extremely useful. As discussed in chapter 4, there is not much system atic, quantitative information regarding grinding implements, and no broad investi gations on their variation over time in terms of type, size, frequency, and context. While being represented at all phases included in this dissertation, and often recovered through surf ace collection at sites with long occupation periods, an impressionistic reading of the literatu re seems to pinpoint that at some Copper Age sites their frequency was remarkably high. This involves both sites of the Post-Ozieri tradition such as Su Coddu, Monte dÂ’Accoddi, sa Cor ona (Lilliu 1988a: 127, 141; Melis 2000d: 69), and Monte Claro; in this last phase, th ey also appear to be on average larger than before. Despite the wide variation, overall shape s eems to change from more oval with a flat

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168grinding surface in the Neolithic, to more elongate d with a concave top in the Copper Age (Atzeni 1981: xlii; Contu 1997: 344-345; Lilliu 198 8a: 164). At Biriai (Oliena), thousands of grinding implements have been found, either exhaust ed, broken and reused in walls, or still in use at the time the site was abandoned. The main ob servation resulting from the small sample of 85 specimens studied is that despite the large s ite (about 300 houses), grinding stones are rarely larger than 50 by 40 cm, and most of them ca n only be used with one hand (Neuville 1999). No large-scale food processing was evidently carried out, and apparently the grinding of cereal and other foodstuffs was performed at a h ousehold level. This seems to suggest that daily food processing activities were not organized by a managing power and probably were not even done communally in larger kin groups as in the Bronze-Iron Age Nuragic villages. Concerning the Beaker and Bonnanaro A phases, since they are represented mostly by funerary contexts, it is no surprise that food-p rocessing implements are not known in the literature. In fact, two fragmentary grindstones we re retrieved at Costa Tana, one of the few known dwelling sites (Santoni 1996). Interestingly, from the isolated hut excavated at su Stangioni (Portoscuso) several pestles are reported but no millstones (Usai 1994: 242). Such small implements fit the reconstruction of the site and of the material culture as that of a temporary or seasonal campsite for mobile herders. Generally, what was ground in the millstones is alm ost certainly for the most part cereal grains, as most of the evidence shows in Med iterranean prehistory as a whole. Lewthwaite (1982), however, notes the large amounts of acorns recovered in southern France at Copper Age walled settlements, to which the nort hern Sardinia Monte Claro sites have commonly been compared. The increase in evergreen o ak in the pollen diagrams across the Western Mediterranean (see chapter 3), already evid ent in the early 1980s and even better ascertained today, may therefore have been delibera tely favored as an advantageous, unintentional byproduct of clearing through fire. B esides human consumption, this would also fit the possible increase in swine tending tha t has been observed at many locations also in the Italian peninsula in the Copper Age. What may have been the function of the so-called “t esta di mazza” (Italian for “clubheads”) remains unclear. If their use was indeed as weights for digging hoes, their intensification through the Copper Age and later (C ontu 1997: 205, 344-345; Lilliu 1988a: 122, 140; Santoni 1996; Usai 1994), especially from the Monte Claro phase, may be connected to an intensification in farming practice s. If at least some of them were used as

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169weapons or ceremonial objects, their frequency may be also connected with the increase in trauma and organized ritual activity that the impre ssionistic overviews of osteological and artifactual data reveal. No synthesis about the fre quency of hardstone axes is available in the literature. While the miniature ones could hardly h ave had a practical function, the larger specimens may have served to clear vegetation and v arious domestic tasks, and were present in the whole western Mediterranean area. Their appa rent decrease in the Copper Age (Melis 2000d: 70) could be part of the same shift in the s ystem of values that is reflected by the emphasis on maleness and herding as opposed to farm ing. The remains of a sui generis lithic-earth implement has been identified in stru ctures on the island of Lipari, which were made of stones, some of which are somewhat aligned around the feature. They are inside and on top of p its with traces of combustion (Bernab Brea and Cavalier 1960: 10-13), and have been inter preted as earth ovens, or pits for the slow cooking of large quantities of meat, possibly whole animals, at special feasting events (Robb 2007: 148-151), in a way that was still practiced u ntil a few decades ago. In Sardinia, to my knowledge there are no structures that have been in terpreted this way, and it would certainly be useful to review the reports on some of the hund reds of excavated fondi di capanna looking for similar atypical characteristics. 5.4.3. Ceramic Implements for Food Processing, Stor age, and Consumption Ceramic ware shapes and sizes have been used in arc haeology to infer function since the birth of processualism and mostly up to the 198 0s. The recognition that especially in less complex societies implements are often multitask ra ther than specialized warns against any kind of simplistic conclusion. Vessel shapes and di mensions have been characterized through ethnographically documented associations with speci fic uses, which did enable the identification of some general predictors to be uti lized in interpreting function in archaeological artifacts. Parameters such as the op enness of the vessel (ratio between rim circumference and vessel surface), the rim diameter and the volume, have been shown to be to a certain extent related to function (Sinopoli 1 991: 80-98; Smith 1988). This type of inference is much more productive when applied as p art of a direct historical approach, since where some degree of continuity can be reasonably d emonstrated, analogy becomes more reliable since it is supported by the duration of s tructural cultural phenomena, rather than

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170being based on generic convergence in human behavio r. While vessels for processing, washing and cooking tend to be more similar and oft en multitask, serving vessels may be more commonly recognized for being finer and more d ecorated. Individual consumption, dry and liquid storage and/or transport are usually mor e distinct, and have been statistically predicted with more success (Smith 1985). However, there is clearly a wide range of possibilities that need to be taken into account; l arge vessels, for instance, can be used for storage but also in feasting contexts, so that they are not necessarily a linear measure of wealth and surplus. They can also be borrowed for s pecific occasions, so that status cannot be easily detected through their presence (Nelson 1985 ). In Sardinia, the tripod is one of the most common a nd distinctive types of the Late Neolithic Ozieri period, it lasts in different vers ions and decorations until the Early Bronze Age. As mentioned in chapter 4, its frequency decre ases in the Early Copper Age, Filigosa phase (Melis’s phase C), but is still present in Mo nte Claro contexts, especially in the South. Its revival during the Bell Beaker and Early Bronze Age Bonnanaro A phases (Atzeni 1995, 1996a; Contu 1997: 180, 313-314, 342, 362-363, 429431) may be due to different functions. Trump (1990: 41-42) relates tripods to heating porr idge made of cereal and milk. This practice would have been replaced, after the Early Bronze Age, by bread baking on low pans and platters on one hand, and milk processing in ta ll, large vessels with an internal ledge on the other, marking the shift towards more specializ ed processing of resources. This interpretation would fit the higher frequency of mi llstones at Monte Claro sites, indicating that possibly grains were then increasingly ground into flour while milk was separately processed, instead of eaten together with less proc essing. The increase in cupules or cupmarks small concavities created in the rock or on menhi rs, seems also significantly parallel to the decrease in tripods: even though cupules seem to be documented in Sardinia particularly at burial sites, their frequent presen ce on ‘altar slabs’ in the center-East of the island, and their suggested association with cereal grains in Corsica (Frau 1996; Lilliu 2002: 206-207, footnote 96 and references therein) could be an indication of specific preparation habits. It is important to note that Trump considers all tr ipods from the Neolithic through the Early Bronze Age as fulfilling a similar function, which was replaced by baking on the low pans that become widespread at that time. However, taking into account the discontinuity between Copper Age and Bell Beaker tripods, their d ifferent shape and contexts, it seems that

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171rather than cooking vessels, the latter were mostly components of ceramic sets related to specific drinking practices, likely connected to th e consumption of alcoholic beverages (Sherratt 1987, 1995). The Bell Beaker and Early Br onze Age tripods are mainly found in burials along with the remains, as grave goods or o fferings, whereas tripods in the Ozieri tradition seem to be more common in dwelling sites or related to cooking and consumption in the anticelle the liminal rooms of the rock-carved tombs (Santa Caterina di Pittinuri: Cocco and Usai 1988). Common shapes in funerary contexts are instead the so-called vasi a cestello and pissidi (Pranu Muttedu: Atzeni 1981; San Benedetto: Maxia and Atzeni 1964), also found in open-air settlements, which are peculiar t ypes apparently linked to personal consumption, possibly including narcotic substances Some vessel shapes with internal rims, typical of t he Monte Claro phase, have traditionally been attributed to milk processing, a nd labeled as milk-boilers (Contu 1997: 339; Lilliu 1988a: 172). Their more intense distrib ution in the central belt and in the Sardinian Southwest (Lilliu 1988a: 171-174; Usai an d Santoni 1998), areas with strong contemporary pastoral tradition if compared with th e plains of the South and Northwest, may provide some indirect support, although residue stu dies are showing in recent years how such inferences may turn out erroneous (Craig, et al. 20 03). From the Copper Age Sardinia certainly partakes of the general change in ceramic repertoires that characterizes most of Western Euro pe: the diffusion of containers for liquids (bottles, jugs) and the increase of vessels for ind ividual consumption (chapter 4). This is again likely to be related to social and symbolic b ehaviors rather than mere subsistence practices. Chronologically, such changes, which in continental Europe have been interpreted as reflecting alcohol consumption (Sherratt 1987) t ake off in Sardinia in the advanced PostOzieri (Filigosa, phase C: Melis 2000d), continuing in the Beaker phase and in the Early Bronze Age. A conspicuous increase in brewed alcoho ls may have affected the cultivation of grains, as suggested by macrobotanical evidence (Ba kels 2002: 7). Keeping in mind the caveats discussed briefly above we can also consider the functional meaning we can draw from vessel size. Wh ile Ozieri and Post-Ozieri ceramic pots typically are less than 500 cm3 in volume, it is in the Copper Age, including the Post-Ozieri assemblages but particularly the Monte Claro phase that the largest vessels are documented. Some of the tall ziri (jars) and situlae were so large as to be used within tombs, broken, as a burial bed (Lilliu 1988a: 148, figure 42). Vessels around 90 cm tall and 40 cm wide (Contu

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1721997: 338), in some cases with an internal volume o ver 3000 and nearly 4000 cm3, found mainly in the southern lowlands, seem compatible wi th human groups that produce and/or concentrate surplus beyond the needs of a household However, it is uncertain whether this was wealth in the form of surplus foodstuffs, or in stead surplus collected occasionally for social gatherings. In the hut ps at Monte dÂ’Accoddi, large jars were recovered (Mel is 2000d: 55), to my knowledge the largest ever found in the long Post-Ozieri tradition: significantly, this building was near the well-known temple-platfo rm that represents a unique ceremonial site in Sardinian prehistory. It is important that several Monte Claro sites, at least in the center-north of the island, also include ceremonial areas clearly identifiable and distinct from the dwellings, a fact that may fit the interpretati on of large jars (which are not as large as in the south) as feasting utensils rather than storage implements, which is documented elsewhere (e.g., Mills 1999; Nelson 1985). Similarl y large storage vessels are not documented among the known Beaker assemblages and f rom the standard Bonnanaro A repertoires, which are almost all funerary or cave sites. Typical volumes do not exceed 500 cm3 (tripods), although a type of large jar over 1600 cm3 in volume was actually found at the only Early Bronze Age dwelling site that has been s ystematically excavated (Usai 1994). These large jars continue through the different pha ses of the Bronze Age, as the typical biconic jars with inward ledge ( a tesa interna ) and other large containers (Campus and Leonelli 2000: 602-612). Important, non-alimentary secondary vegetal and ani mal products are also textiles and basketry: impressions of mats on vessels, forme d when the clay was still soft, are reported in sherds from several locations dating to the Neolithic and Copper Age (see also: from Via Basilicata, in Atzeni 1967; those listed i n Lugli 1988; and from Cuccuru sÂ’Arriu, in Santoni 1989), whereas proper textiles are more rare (Vittoria di Nuraxinieddu: Tanda 1995a: 40, possibly linen). Due to the sharp season ality of Mediterranean climate with moist and dry conditions alternating every year that favo r decay of organic materials, no remains of textiles were preserved. Among non-vascular ceramic items, loom weights and spindlewhorls represent, if not a dietary practice, an eco nomic one which is important for the integrated reconstruction of prehistoric systems of production and consumption. Besides the few impressions on clay, and figurative art (see ab ove), they are therefore the main indirect testimony for weaving. Spindle whorls are present t hroughout the period but there are no specific studies on them. Loomweights are common in the Late Neolithic, and especially in

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173the Copper Age. The latter are the only ones that h ave been systematically studied, and this has allowed the documentation of their variation, s ophistication, and in some cases remarkable dimensions and weight, which all point t o a flourishing activity (Melis 1993). Their recovery in groups in domestic contexts has p rofound implications. Even though similar objects made of wood and perishable materia ls could have existed, so biasing our judgment, we can relate this florescence to the use of wool, possibly in coincidence with the diffusion of woolly sheep. This increase in loom we ight presence is documented elsewhere, and the increase in the symbolic importance of deco rated textiles suggested for the 3rd millennium has been also connected to the Bell Beak er decorative motifs. Among the types found in Sardinia, the kidney-shaped ones are frequ ent in Late Neolithic Ozieri contexts, while at least three types are documented in severa l Copper Age contexts. Some loom weight types find comparisons in mainland Italy, whereas a t least one, with several fine holes in rows, seems peculiar to Sardinia (Melis 1993: 150-1 52), pointing to some kind of local technological specialization. 5.5. Landscape Use and Occupation 5.5.1. Broad Patterns Landscape archaeology in Sardinia is still moving i ts first steps. Very few projects have been undertaken that had, as one of the primar y goals, that of systematically investigating the change in the occupation and use of landscapes across time within a given area. Many projects aimed at cataloging all the arc haeological sites in a townÂ’s territory, which produced a large mass of data that do not hav e common methodological standards, thus preventing full comparability. Moreover, since the rationale for many such projects was more or less explicitly cultural resource promotion for touristic purposes, monumental architecture became the focus, while settlements, c eramic and lithic scatters, and less evident signs of human presence were likely overlooked. In the last fifteen years, the only two largescale systematic projects that stand out for their thoroughness and scholarly organization are the Rio Mannu Survey Project (van de Velde 2001; va n Dommelen 1998), focusing on Iron

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174Age and Roman sites, and the Progetto Iloi (Tanda 1 996a, b), which will be mentioned below. This premise makes it clear that much of the eviden ce we have for settlement and landscape use patterns is likely not to be homogene ous, accurate and systematic, but rather “impressionistic”. The advancement of research show s over the course of the years how many such impressions and patterns may be changed. In this section I examine broad patterns as they have been identified in the literature, and then sample a few areas that have been investigated and reported on relatively well. The first synthesizer who attempted to outline the spatial patterning of human presence on Sardinian land is Lilliu (1988a). His g eneral description is still valid today, although later research has added to his dataset, e nriching and correcting it. The Late Neolithic characterized by Ozieri pottery marks the moment of densest occupation of the island before the Middle to Final Bronze Age. The t otal number of sites was 165 in the mid1980s (Lilliu 1988a: 69-70). Considering as a site one where Ozieri pottery was found, the count may now be over 250, but I am not aware of a later update that aims at being comprehensive. If we also attribute to this period all rock-carved tombs found on the island, which are over 2500, the count is much higher, desp ite the fact that many of the tombs are in groups within the same site. It has been observed that the highest density of si tes is found in the plains around the main Gulfs, Cagliari and Oristano, and in the Sassa ri-Alghero area. In Lilliu’s statistics, which are still a fairly good rough indicator of pa tterns, 43% of all sites were within 10 km of the present-day coastline. What is important, thoug h, is also that signs of human presence are found for the first time in all regions of the isla nd, and also in the central mountains, with pottery found at altitudes over 800 m asl and obsid ian up to 1400 m. The typical location for open-air living sites is on low elevations in or ne ar alluvial plains. It must be underlined that these data merged together Ozieri sites and others that are now considered Copper Age PostOzieri sites, two phases that show remarkable conti nuity at many locations. Keeping this in mind, site size is also to be considered the sum of areas occupied in Late Neolithic times, in Early Copper Age times, and in both. Villages seem to be on average large in the Campidano plains, where they have been investigated: between 2 and 4 hectares (Lilliu 1988a: 83-86). In one case of extensive investigation some hut floors were found to show possible evidence for

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175specialized craft manufacture, with large quantitie s of pottery and obsidian, respectively (Puisteris, Mogoro: Lilliu 1988a: 86). As concerns the domus de janas the rock-carved tombs typically associated with Late Neolithic pottery even if later reused, they a re particularly frequent in the Sardinian Northwest, near Sassari, Alghero and in an area tha t extends to the South near Cuglieri and Asuni, and into the central highlands in the region s of Goceano and Barbagia. Other denser clusters are found in the Southwest (Sulcis) and in the East (Ogliastra). Densities are particularly remarkable in the highlands, where the typology is simple and often involves a single room: in the Barbagia Ollolai approximately one tomb every 5 square km. Within this region, the territory of Fonni, which includes the highest elevations on the island, has a density close to one tomb every two square km (Fadd a 1989a; Lilliu 1988a: 90). All these, however, are for the largest part not excavated, so that we cannot be certain of how many belong to the Late Neolithic and how many were firs t carved in the Post-Ozieri Copper Age. Since cupules, which have been shown to be most com mon in the Copper Age, are often the only decoration, even if they may have been added t o pre-existing tombs, it seems that many domus de janas were carved in the 3rd millennium. As already mentioned in chapter 4, tom bs reach remarkable complexity in plan and decoration mostly in the Northwest corner of Sardinia during the Copper Age; in the hundreds of tombs in the highlands, both bovine representations and portable human figurines are ex tremely rare (Fadda 1989a). Since Lilliu merged Ozieri and Sub-Ozieri ceramic s tyle into one aspect, and the latter is only found in the South, and also considering that the l ate Post-Ozieri sites are known mostly from burials, the demographic trend between Late Neolith ic and Copper Age seemed to be a sharp decline. Only 24 sites were then known, versus 165 from the former phase (Lilliu 1988a: 133). In reality, considering the Sub-Ozieri as a d istinct phase within a continuum, and the much shorter duration of the late Post-Ozieri phase s (Melis 2000d), this trend is not as evident anymore. A systematic study of geographic p atterning of Copper Age sites within the Post-Ozieri tradition shows a progressive shift of the location choice at higher average elevation (Figure 59). Also, the ratio between dwel ling sites over burials decreases through MelisÂ’ pottery-based phases A-E: open-air settlemen ts are dominant in the Sub-Ozieri (A) phase, they are in equilibrium in the B phase, and become rare in the C and D phases, which are documented mainly by tombs. From a geographic p erspective, most phase A sites are

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176 Figure 59. Barchart illustrating the trends in the elevation of archaeological sites in different cult ural phases within the Post-Ozieri tradition (data from Melis 2000x). The proportion of lowland sites decli nes, and inversely the proportion of highland sites incr eases. southern, most C-D are northern, so rather than onl y chronological phases the effect may be enhanced by geographic variation, but no statistica l tests for covariation have been attempted (Melis 2000d: 93-94). The change in average elevation is correlated to a parallel shift from lowland areas with good agricultural potential to hills and highlands, toda y for the largest part covered by scrubs; this may reflect either a different economic strategy wh ere herding and/or farming in marginal lands became more important than in the past due to climate change, or that non-economic factors were favoring the selection of areas for th e intensification of economic activities that were less practiced in the past. It is important th at closeness to ore deposits has not been found to be a relevant factor in site location. Sit e location has also been analyzed as concerns hydrology: average distance from coasts and coastal lagoons increases over time, whereas distance from springs decreases (Figure 60). Again, the statistical significance of these findings has not been tested for covariation: param eters such as altitude, distance from coasts and from lagoons, and closeness to springs (Melis 2 000d: 93-108) are likely to be positively correlated, so these crucial descriptive data may r each their full explanatory potential in the future with multivariate statistical methods.

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177 Figure 60. Barchart illustrating the trends in the distance of archaeological sites from freshwater sp rings in different cultural phases within the Post-Ozieri tradition (data from Melis 2000e). There is a decr ease in the proportion of sites further than 2 km from fres hwater springs, and an increase particularly eviden t in the proportion of sites within 400 to 1000 m from s prings, a comfortable walking distance. However, th e problem of correlation with altitude has not been a ddressed. Site catchment analysis, despite the many underlyin g assumptions that have generated increasing doubts on its usefulness after the 1960s and 1970s (Bailey 2005b; Depalmas 1996: 34) has in Sardinia a somewhat late florescence, and has been often applied to Sardinian prehistoric sites (Foddai 2001; Melis 2000d: 111-119; Melis and Vacca 2000; Onesti 2001; 2002: 12-19). Its contribution has gen erally been that of confirming the shifts in site selection outlined above. Interestingly, this approach has been limited to single-site analyses, whereas a consideration of the several ge ological and pedological parameters in a matrix including large numbers of sites could give deeper insights into overall, broader patterns of variation. The Monte Claro ‘culture’, which as discussed in ch apter 4 has been commonly considered brought to the island by outsiders due t o the sharp distinctiveness in material culture features, is present all over Sardinia, and the number of recorded sites, 90 in the mid1980s (Lilliu 1988a: 143), could probably be today over 150. Their distribution is particularly

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178dense in the Sardinian Southwest, in the southern l owlands, and in the hills, located between the southern plains, Monte Arci and the central hig hlands (particularly the regions named Marmilla and Trexenta). In the former, the typical site-type is the cave burial, whereas in the Campidano, Marmilla and Trexenta, Monte Claro potte ry is rather found in open-air villages (Dess 1989; Lilliu 1985). In the northern half of the island, Monte Claro settlements are built at higher elevations, with stone foundations for ho uses, and in some cases massive megalithic walls were constructed around part of the village. As compared to the Ozieri and Sub-Ozieri settlement pattern, where over 40% of sites were lo cated within 10 km from the coast, there is a clear shift inward, with less than 20% being d ocumented within the same belt; on the other hand, 91% of sites (lowlands and Marmilla) ar e on areas historically cultivated for cereal (Depalmas 1989; Lilliu 1988a: 143-149), leav ing unsubstantiated the hypothesis that an increased economic emphasis on animal husbandry could be at the root of this cultural change. Research in the last decades has shown that some of the sharp contrasts documented in the prevalence of a certain site type in any giv en region may be due to lack of research. In the islandÂ’s southwest, large villages, comparable to those in the north, have been identified, with similar megalithic architecture and rectangula r hut plans (Canino 1998; Usai 1997; Usai and Santoni 1998). No clear data on site size are available for Monte Claro villages: in the most investigated area, settlements were often inhabited in the preceding phases, and not always a quantitative assessment of areas occupied in each p hase can be found in the reports. At the site of San Gemiliano (Sestu), often cited in the l iterature as an example, only eight huts yielded Monte Claro pottery, in contrast to several tens from earlier phases. This and other settlements have an area ranging from about one to a few hectars, and in the north distinct areas, interpreted as ceremonial or defensive, are defined by megalithic walls or standing stones (Lilliu 1988a: 149-153). The problem of the nature of the Monte Claro aspect s and its relationship with previous phases is a crucial issue for the understa nding of the dynamics underlying the observed changes. This is in turn fundamental for a holistic interpretation that may overcome the common place of migration and replacement often perpetuated acritically in the literature. Lilliu (1988a: 148) calculated that about one-third of Monte Claro sites, most located in the southern and western plains (Atzeni 1981), had been occupied also during the Ozieri/Post-

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179Ozieri phase. In the western plains, there is a cle ar occupation break at some sites, whereas others have a Monte Claro phase strongly represente d. Some continuity in ceramic style has been recognized at Conca Illonis by Locci (1988), w ho suggested that rather than cultural factors, environmental change possibly related to t he nearby Cabras lagoon may have led to the progressive abandonment of different sites at d ifferent times. Other elements of similarity have been identified in the apse-houses, documented in villages of both Monte Claro and Post-Ozieri tradition, as well as in the plan of ro ck-carved tombs of the latter phase (Pitzalis 1996; Tanda and Depalmas 1997). Rather than migration of newcomers into the island, therefore, patterns of occupation in the landscape are as much compatible with a chan ge in site location preferences by the same groups, which coincided with a change in potte ry style. If sites on the lowest coastal areas were progressively abandoned and higher densi ty is recorded on higher plains (Middle Campidano) and low hills (Marmilla, Trexenta), this may coincide with a lowered water table due to increasing aridity (see chapter 2). In econo mic terms, this may be interpreted both as an increase in emphasis on animal husbandry, or rat her as a necessary means to have agricultural land with more viable rates of precipi tation and maintain, rather than change, previous subsistence practices. A similar argument holds in general for the shift towards higher elevations in the whole Ozieri/Post-Ozieri s equence. The Bell Beaker phase, chronologically overlapping with Monte Claro and evolving into the following Bonnanaro A, is known mostly fro m tombs, while just a few sherds have been found in Monte Claro open-air sites (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a). The overall number of sites is the lowest of all phases in the 4th and 3rd millennia (36 in the mid-1980s: Lilliu 1988a: 185). However, its geographic distribution is quite different: a stronger presence is recorded in northwestern Sardinia (one-third of all sites), where the earliest style is also represented, and in the southwest, where the later style seems m ore frequent and shows a more gradual drift towards and into the later Early Bronze Age B onnanaro A pottery (Atzeni 1996a; Ferrarese Ceruti 1989; Lilliu 1988a: 185). While Mo nte Claro pottery is also well represented in these areas, the sharpest contrast is in the hil ls of Marmilla and Trexenta mentioned above, where very few finds are recorded in contrast with the high density of Monte Claro sites. The Bell Beaker style is the first clearly intrusive el ement in a long indigenous autonomous ceramic tradition, and it coincides with the increa se in the use of metal. Considering that the southwestern and northwestern regions of the island are rich in metal ore, such distribution

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180may reflect the main interests that such groups had on the island. Rather than being related to primary, food-production choices, closeness to raw materials better explains such patterns. In the Early Bronze Age, a similar distribution pat tern is recorded for the Bonnanaro A ceramic phase, which evolves directly from the Be ll Beaker. The densest occupation is still in the Northwest and Southwest (Lilliu 1988a: 320), but the whole island is better covered, including the highlands, where Beaker finds are com paratively rarer (Fadda 1989b; Ferrarese Ceruti 1978). The emphasis on caves, for the most p art believed to represent burials, could also involve a return to cave dwelling, which would be compatible with the lesser investment on house structures typical of seasonally mobile gr oups; this, along with coarse pottery, and the only investigated open-air site being a roughly -constructed single household structure, are all elements that have been recognized as reflectin g mobile animal husbandry (Abdi 2003: 405-407). 5.5.2. Case Studies A closer look at a few sample areas can better illu strate some of the problems highlighted above on a smaller, more localized scal e. This will provide real cases and show the complexity of drawing inferences from non-syste matic or non-comparable data. An area including several towns in central-western Sardinia (Borore, DualchiNoragugume, Aidomaggiore, Sedilo), approximately 12 0 square km in size, has been investigated, providing relevant data for the 40001900 BC period (Depalmas 2001; Tanda 1996a), as part of a larger project, the Progetto I loi, which is one of the few accurate, systematic and comprehensive archaeological project s ongoing in the last decades. On the central altiplano, both rock-carved tombs, mostly c urvilinear and simple, and megalithic tombs are found (Moravetti 1985: 6-7). In the contr ary, near the creeks connecting it with the lower fluvial valley and with the higher terraces t here is a clear prevalence of megalithic tombs. This may be a confirmation of the associatio n between megalithism and pastoralism, very common in the literature: megaliths would repr esent symbols of land-use rights in passes important for seasonal mobility of the flock s, whereas the rock-carved tombs would represent more sedentary, farming communities. The largest settlement in the area, Serra Linta (Sedilo), dates to a late phase of the Late N eolithic Ozieri (Tanda and Depalmas 1997) or possibly to the transition to the Early Copper A ge, although dating is based on lithics, no

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181pottery is published from the site. It is located i n the alluvial valley of the main river, the Tirso; its location has been interpreted in terms o f economic strategies emphasizing farming land (Depalmas 1996). Megalithic walled hilltops, n ot yet excavated, are attributed to the Copper Age, between the final Post-Ozieri and Monte Claro. Only three of them, at about 1015 km from each other, seem to reflect needs of def ense and visual control (Depalmas 2001: 102-104). The only two alles couvertes (see chapter 4), that the author seems to place in the Early Bronze Age, are found on the main riverÂ’s bot tom valley, not far from the largest rockcarved necropolis in the area and from the open-air site of Serra Linta. This seems more compatible with the Early Copper Age chronology for dolmenic monuments as suggested by Cicilloni (1994), since it would fit the NeolithicEarly Copper Age cultural and spatial continuity already discussed. These, and the small dolmens (see also Depalmas 2001), are interpreted as reflecting a phase of intensificatio n in the exploitation of productive lands, which seems an important point if attributed to the Copper Age. The Bonu Ighinu valley, where many early discoverie s crucial for Sardinian prehistory were made, has been researched thoroughl y in the 1970s and 1980s through survey and excavation: the caves of sa Â’Ucca de su Tintirr iolu and Filiestru yielded some of the earliest stratigraphic sequences (Loria and Trump 1 978; Trump 1983). At the beginning of the history of the human landscape, Filiestru, the largest cave in the valley, is the only inhabited site, housing an estimate of 20-30 people Population seems to have increased in the Middle Neolithic, after which the site identifi ed at Monte Noe became the main settlement, whereas the caves became occasional she lters or cult sites. A smaller open-air site has also been documented. The communityÂ’s burial gr ound has been recognized in the rockcarved necropolis of Bitti, completing the picture of the human landscape in the Late Neolithic (Trump 1990: 49-50). Among the problems w ith the data is that the open-air sites were attributed to the Late Neolithic only based on lithic scatters, since no sherds were found. Moreover, the next phase mentioned is the Middle Br onze Age (after 1900 BC). The 1300year hiatus may have occurred but seems unlikely; a ssuming that the Post-Ozieri Copper Age is included in what is identified as Late Neolithic Ozieri thins the gap to possibly 500-600 years. Some admittedly atypical features documented at the Nuraghe Noeddos village (both pottery and architecture, for which see Webster 199 4), could be attributed to the Monte Claro period, which in the 1970s and early 1980s was not as thoroughly known yet.

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182The territory of Bonarcado, on the foothills of Mon te Ferru, to the north of the Western plains around the Cabras Lagoon, seems to h ave weak evidence for occupation even in the Late Neolithic; no rock-carved tombs are fou nd, nor dolmens or menhirs. Three openair sites are attributed to the transition Late Neo lithic-Early Copper Age, and five megalithic walls to the later Copper Age (Manca 2002: 26-35). The following phase documented is marked by corridor nuraghi, a building type that is currently dated to the Middle Bronze Age. The geographic position on the border of the Wester n plains where Neolithic communities prospered, and the first traces of human presence d ating to the Early Copper Age, support the reconstruction of a shift in residential preference s towards higher elevation, and a sharp decline in human impact on the landscape in the Ear ly Bronze Age. The territory of Gesturi, in Marmilla, was systemat ically investigated in the early 1980s (Lilliu 1985). The area includes part of the flat basalt altiplano known as sa Jara with scarce evidence of human occupation before the Midd le-Late Bronze Age, and a fertile hilly area to the southeast, with several streams running through it, where all Neolithic and Copper Age sites are found. The first human presence docum ented dates to the Late Neolithic-Early Copper Age, consisting of four rock-carved tombs an d a few megalithic monuments, with the addition of the burial at MindÂ’e Gureu (Fonzo and U sai 1997), part of the sample for isotopic analyses. Two alles couvertes are the only pre-Middle Bronze Age structures on t he altiplano. If pertaining to Copper Age groups, they would reflect the trend for expansion into higher elevations considered as a general feature o f this phase. Only one site yielded Ozieri pottery, while Monte Claro sherds were recovered at 14 locations, witnessing to the first intense presence on this landscape currently charac terized by cereal cultivation and pasture. The Monte Claro sites are on hills, separated by st reams that deeply incise the landscape, and a few km apart from each other. After that, no evid ence of Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro A finds is mentioned, so that if not a hiatus at leas t a contraction in density of settlement seems to be likely up to the transition Early-to-Middle B ronze Age, when the large structure of Bruncu Madugui was built (Lilliu 1985: 298), markin g the beginning of a new phase of expansion and control of the landscape. Again, the first occupation is documented in the Late Neolithic-Early Copper Age, followed by intensifica tion in the later Copper Age Monte Claro, and by subsequent contraction. Economically, this seems once more to indicate an interest for agricultural land that increases durin g the Monte Claro period.

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183Somewhat similar to the landscape history near Bona rcado is that of the territory of San Sperate, about 25 km2, which instead is located in the southern lowlands. In fact, no signs of human presence dating prior to the Early C opper Age have been identified (Ugas 1993b: 205). Neolithic sites are known farther nort h, east and west; the extremely low elevation, nowhere higher than 70 m asl, may have o bliterated through erosion and flooding possible older settlements: no prehistoric material s were identified at elevations lower than 40 m. The only six sites attributed to the 4th and 3rd millennia, mostly located in the northeastern and eastern area where the altitude is over 40-50 m, pertain to the Sub-Ozieri and Monte Claro ceramic aspects. Again, a hiatus ch aracterizes the area up until the end of the Early Bronze Age. Importantly, of the three Mon te Claro sites (Ugas 1993b: 98-101), one continues a prior Sub-Ozieri site, and two are loca ted near the few available freshwater springs (Piscinortu), where currently lies the only forested portion of San Sperate’s territory. Some similarities are found in the territory of Dec imoputzu, more to the west; main discrepancy is the presence of several sites dating to the Late Neolithic Ozieri, some larger than others, on low hills in the midst of flat lowl ands (a typical geomorphologic feature known in Sardinian as ‘ cuccuru’ ). Two out of five are still occupied in the Early Copper Age, while two new sites in the western hills confirm th e discussed trend upward (Ugas 1990: 2123). Here, Monte Claro pottery is only found on alr eady existing sites, which strengthens the impression of continuity from the initial Copper Ag e developments of the Ozieri tradition, in contrast to models arguing for intrusion and cultur al break. Continuity remains a constant even through the Copper-Bronze Age transition: Bell Beaker pottery was found at one site, and Bonnanaro A pottery at the same three sites whe re human groups had been living for roughly a thousand years. The spatial continuity of Monte Claro-period presence is confirmed, although burials change location (Ugas 1 990: 21-23). In the contiguous territories of Iglesias and Villa massargia (southwestern Sardinia), over a vast area of more than 100 km2, surface collections and non-systematic archaeolog ical surveys provide some data to investigate spatial pa tterns. The area has at its center a long plain, roughly 10 km wide and oriented E-W, which c onnects the larger lowlands stretching from Cagliari to Oristano with the coast and plains of the southwest. It is bordered by hills and mountains, which in the northern section open u p in valleys and creeks. The whole area is very rich in natural caves. The human presence i n the landscape is well rooted into the Early Neolithic and Middle Neolithic phases. The Mi ddle to Late Neolithic transition

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184definitely follows the general pattern already iden tified, with the occupation of highland areas that were possibly previously unexploited. In terestingly, the Late Neolithic Ozieri pottery is present at 14 locations all in the Igles ias area, and no mention of Ozieri-tradition Copper Age sites is made (Alba 2001a; Canino 1998). Since the Ozieri label could include later development of the same style, such pattern m ay be parallel to what has been observed elsewhere, with a shift to higher elevations in the Copper Age (the area near Iglesias is higher than the plains). However, it may just reflect the impact of construction works near the town; moreover, geomorphological processes still to be co nsidered may also have contributed to systematic bias. The Monte Claro phase seems to hav e represented in this region the highest population density, if we accept site number as a p roxy: open-air villages and particularly burial caves add up to some 30 sites, over twice as those of the previous phase. Parallel to the general counts discussed above for the whole island, Bell Beaker pottery is found at only four sites, and its presen ce becomes more intense in the Early Bronze Age Bonnanaro A (16 sites, all burials). Interestin gly, the highlands north of Iglesias are not occupied before nor after the Ozieri phase (Alba 20 01b; Canino 1998). This increase in site density in the caves just bordering the central pla ins with no penetration in the uplands seems to indicate preference for locations close to farmi ng land rather than an increased focus on herding as has been claimed for the Monte Claro pot tery users. Concluding this sample of local-scale landscape occ upation patterns is the territory of Villaperuccio, covering an area of about 25 km2. Human presence based on open-air sites seems relatively thin: there are only one Late Neol ithic-Early Copper Age settlement in the bottom valley, and one later Copper Age Monte Claro on a steep slope (Melis 2000a). The concentration of menhirs at su Terrazzu probably pe rtains to the Late Neolithic-Early Copper Age (the cupules recorded at another site may indic ate a later phase), as does the large necropolis of Montessu, among the largest on the wh ole island, located uphill from the village to which it has been attributed. Another cl uster of rock-carved tombs to the southwest must indicate an additional human group, and both n ecropolises show reuse through all phases of the Copper and Early Bronze Age (Filigosa Monte Claro, Bell Beaker, Bonnanaro A) (Melis 2000b, c). Here there seems to be a shift from the plain to the hillslopes at the Early-to-Late Copper Age Monte Claro transition. In reality, as the author notes, another nearby Monte Claro site is at a lower elevation: th is indicates specific histories for

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185individuals sites, and possibly different cultural and/or economic choices in different contexts, so warning against excessive generalizati ons. 5.5.3. Summary of General Trends This synthetic overview of general patterns and loc alized case studies can be summarized in a few important points: 1. the intensification of human presence in the highl ands apparently began already in the Late Neolithic Ozieri, and continued in the Early C opper Age; 2. several lowland sites show continuity between the Late Neolithic and Early Copper Age, with a subsequent occupation break; others sho w continuity into, or contraction from, the Monte Claro phase; still others appear to be occupied for the first time in the Early Copper Age; 3. there is an overall shift to higher elevations in the Early Copper Age, which may reflect increased importance of animal husbandry an d seasonal mobility and/or a strategy to maintain viable agricultural outputs in changing environmental conditions; 4. in the Monte Claro phase, along with continuity at some lowland sites, there is an intense presence in the hilly areas of the South be tween plains and highlands, with high potential for cereal cultivation: this may indicate substantial reliance on cultivating grains; 5. an increase in hilltop walled settlements – which may indicate defensive and/or ceremonial purpose is documented in the northern half of Sardinia during the Copper Age; 6. wide areas experience an occupational break or at least a demographic decline after the Monte Claro culture, particularly in the south; 7. Bell Beaker presence, much sparser than the earlie r Monte Claro, seems more intense in the northwest and southwest, possibly due to the rich ore deposits found in those areas in a period of increasing use of metal items; 8. in the Early Bronze Age, human presence in the lan dscape follows Bell Beaker patterns with continuity, while becoming more inten se and widespread.

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186In conclusion, regarding specific variation within a mixed agro-pastoral system, there seems to be a decrease in settlement in alluvial lo wlands from the Late Neolithic to the Copper Age, which means a detachment from the typic al pattern of Neolithic riverbed farming and from the nearby aquatic resources. The trend to higher elevations could be interpreted as increased reliance on animal husband ry with occupation of marginal land, and this in turn could be due to new needs and exigenci es of fundamentally cultural character, rather than related to changing environmental const raints. Alternatively, in the case of increased aridity striking the lowlands, it could b e a strategy to maintain viable agricultural outputs where rains make it possible, or to facilit ate the survival of the herds suffering from water scarcity. Cattle are particularly dependent o n the availability of large quantities of water, more than swine, which have a metabolism sim ilar to that of humans, and much more than ovicaprines, which are moderately drought-tole rant, being able to survive for weeks without water more than the leaf water from plants (Adebayo 1991: 14; OÂ’Connor and Kiker 2004; Schmidt-Nielsen and Schmidt-Nielsen 1952). Research on soils and land use potential in the are a surveyed within the Progetto Iloi shows that besides the colluvial fans in their bord ers (Melis 1996a: 30), the plains can be exploited more productively through animal husbandr y than through farming. Interestingly, the best geomorphologic-pedologic unit for farming is instead the altiplano, while some land optimal for herding is found everywhere (Melis 1996 b). On the altiplano, small depressions favored the accumulation of deep soils that can kee p moisture longer than well drained bottom valleys (Melis 1996a: 29). Consequently, taken as such, the best evidence for a more mobile lifestyle in the Early Copper Age of northern Sardinia and in the Ea rly Bronze Age remains the higher relative ratio of burials over open-air sites, whic h should reflect less populated and less sedentary communities, rather than the average elev ation of sites. During the Monte Claro phase, lifeways were definitely sedentary, with sto ne-based dwellings, megalithic walls in the north, and preference for land good for growing cer eal in the south. Defensive concerns may also have played a role in hilltop sites, and possi bly closeness of metal ores was also a relevant factor in determining human landscapes in the Bell Beaker and Early Bronze Age phases. One indirect way in which aridity could have induce d the intensification of animal herding, although not necessarily an increased reli ance on them for nutritional purposes,

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187could have been the accumulation of stock as an ins urance against drought. There is some ethnographic evidence that at the household level, herd accumulation is beneficial for the conservation of the herd when droughts occur unpred ictably (McPeak 2005). This on the one hand was likely the case for cattle, which are more susceptible to climate vagaries due to their high water needs. The social and symbolic imp ortance of cattle cross-culturally is well known (Abbink 2003; see among others Crandall 1998; Robb 2007: 142-144 discusses its role in peninsular Italian Neolithic), and their pr eservation, or the attempt to increase oneÂ’s herd for heightened social competition, fully indep endent from changes in the outer environment, are also plausible rationales for a pr ogressive occupation of highlands, which can be seen since the Late Neolithic. An integrated perspective should finally consider the option that such probably gradual, long-term cultur al changes may have interacted with similarly long-term environmental change or with ce ntury-scale climatic change, as shown for the 3rd millennium BC. 5.6. History and Ethnohistory The direct historical approach has been successfull y applied to the understanding of societies where there was clearly some degree of co ntinuity. For societies sans documents whose knowledge is fully based on material remains, and already extinguished (in their material features) thousands of years before any wr iting was used, some have expressed the opinion that much of their meaning systems will be forever out of reach (Fowler and Hardesty 2001: 84-85; Hawkes 1954), although it has been pointed out (Robb 1998: 330-331; Sherratt 1999) that the dichotomy between technolog y and symbols is a fallacy, an abstraction of modern minds trying to categorize pa st lives and their material remains. Whatever the case, if taken in a generic sense (Uck o 1969), analogy can at least help widen our perspective of potential behaviors behind mater ial culture patterns. Ethnohistoric comparisons have been made on specifi c practices. For instance at Scaffa Piana, in Corsica, the remains of wild olive s associated with unusual features have been interpreted as evidence of oil-making on the b asis of present-day practices (de Lanfranchi and Thi Mai 1998). Rather than persisten ce of the same practices since prehistory, it is of course possible that in similar ecological and environmental conditions simple and efficient techniques were forgotten and reinvented several times over the course of six

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188thousand years. Similar hypotheses have been made o n the use of both wild olive and lentisk berries ( Pistacia lentiscus ) to obtain oil (Lilliu 1988a: 146; 2002: 207), a p ractice documented in Sardinia until a few decades ago, but with no archaeological correlate. The direct or indirect nutritional use of oak acorns ha s been suggested with stronger arguments. The main diffusion of evergreen oak in the Western Mediterranean dates precisely to the 4th and especially 3rd millennium. Acorns have been recovered in Corsica, at later archaeological sites in Sardinia (Contu 1997: 468) and in large qu antities in Copper Age walled settlements in southern France that show resemblance to the Mon te Claro sites in northern Sardinia (Lewthwaite 1982). While the use of acorns to feed pigs is widespread in the Mediterranean, their utilization for bread-making, though rare, wa s common over wide areas of Sardinia still in the 1700s, and is still known today (Usai 1969). The hypothesis that middle to long-distance seasona l mobility with the flocks (transhumance) was practiced in prehistory is as we ll based on ethnographically-documented practices. While in a few cases it has been reasona bly traced archaeologically, through faunal analyses (Courty, et al. 1992) and biochemistry (Ba lasse, et al. 2002; Bentley and Knipper 2005), for most of the prehistoric Mediterranean it is mostly assumed due to its persistence in later history and to its alleged ‘perfect fit’ to p articular climatic conditions characterized by sharp seasonal variation. According to Lewthwaite ( 1981), short-distance mobility with the purpose of fertilizing the fields after harvest wou ld be more likely and convenient than longdistance transhumance following the best pastures. Since transhumance and pastoralism are generally di fficult to detect archaeologically as compared to settled lifestyles, several studies involve an ethnoarchaeology approach to investigate patterns of material culture in modern Mediterranean groups that can be related to such economic practices. Some carried out in Sardin ia focused on intra-site spatial patterns and economic phenomena. Unfortunately, rather than providing clear analogues with the archaeological evidence, these studies showed inste ad that no easy comparisons can be made, and that all modern pastoral systems are structural ly embedded into a market economy matrix, turning out to be influenced by global dyna mics (Mientjes 2003, 2004). Adaptation is embedded in cultural systems that are sometimes arb itrary to ethnocentric eyes, and conditioned by specific historic events that may be impossible to detect archaeologically. An illuminating example is found in Ogliastra, on the mountainous east coast of Sardinia: transhumance to more southerly lowlands, apparently embedded in the ecology of the region,

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189may instead have started in the Middle Ages, when t he disappearance of several towns caused the allotment of the deserted land for the c ommon use to certain communities in the 15th century AD (Cannas 1997). In fact, there are other strictly pastoral towns that do not move their flocks from their territory and cope wit h seasonal variation with small-scale displacements, with territories that sometimes stre tch in elongated shapes between mountains and lowlands (Lai 1998; Le Lannou 1941: 177, 205). 5.7. Summary and Conclusions This critical review of the evidence for paleoecono my makes it clear that from the Neolithic through the Early Bronze Age food acquisi tion was grounded on the same pool of elements. It was consistently based on terrestrial ecosystems and specifically on food production in the form of agriculture and animal hu sbandry involving wheat, barley, lentils, peas, fava beans, cattle, sheep, goat and pig. Whil e fishing and gathering of molluscs was not common especially after the Early Copper Age, the r ole of hunting, even though nutritionally marginal, may have remained constant or increased, since the decrease in Prolagus paralleled the increase in red deer and presumably boar. This means that the main economic, nutritional differences across this period are to be understood in terms of relative importance of agricultural versus animal products. Regarding the use of secondary animal products, She rratt’s (1983) early influential model placed it in the mid-4th millennium for western Europe as a consistent suit e of innovations somewhat similarly to the Neolithic ‘ package’. As elsewhere in Europe, a more articulated picture is emerging for each one of the elements (Sherratt 1997b): while sheep, goat and cattle were probably already kept for milk throughout the Neolithic (Craig, et al. 2005), there is no clear evidence for the generaliz ed use of bovines for traction until later in the Bronze Age. The plow may have been used from th e Copper Age, possibly by a minority in each community, but cultivation by hoe appears t o have been prevalent. No evidence is available for the presence of bulk transportation m eans (carts), while the increase and elaboration of loom weights does suggest the flouri shing of weaving, which is possibly related to the beginning of wool production. The importance of cattle seems to have decreased fr om the Middle to Late Neolithic, possibly for its being less suited to endure summer droughts than sheep and goats are. This

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190seems to correlate with bovine heads becoming a pow erful symbol in the course of the Late Neolithic and Copper Age, possibly exemplifying str ength and wealth, and associated with funerary decoration. Ovicaprines are dominant at al l times, with a possible peak in the Copper Age, when pig also becomes important, possib ly in connection with the exploitation for acorns of the spreading of evergreen oak forest s. While it is unquestionable that agriculture was fundamental in the Late Neolithic, the change in location preferences and site type in the Copper Age may reflect an increase in t he importance of mobile animal husbandry, but also the need for land less suscepti ble to crop failure if there was a highly seasonal and more unpredictable rainfall, as could have been the case in the lowlands. The agricultural focus seems particularly clear for the Monte Claro sites. Agricultural intensification is indicated by the apparent increa se in grinding implements in the Copper Age. Stable isotopic analysis seems particularly ap propriate to gain independent and quantitative insights regarding these problems. Besides the staples, cereal and legumes, for which we do not have any data regarding their importance relative to one another, we can hy pothesize, based on general trends in the Western Mediterranean, the beginning of production and consumption of fruits. Among these are acorns, which were spreading during the 4th and 3rd millennia BC due to progressive aridity and likely forest fires; still today, mashe d acorns are mixed with clay and made into bread in Ogliastra, eastern Sardinia. Hulled barley may have replaced naked barley during the Late Copper and Early Bronze Age as more suitable f or brewing alcoholic beverages, a practice indicated by multiple kinds of evidence. B esides other crops such as figs, dates, and berries, management or even cultivation of olive tr ees, in the wild or domesticated variety, was likely introduced or intensified during the 3rd millennium, if not as a staple, as a valued complement to the diet. It remains uncertain, and represents a crucial poin t in the biocultural history of the island, whether some symptoms of anemia, increasing substantially in the Late Copper-Early Bronze Age (German 1999), are to be considered evi dence for malnutrition or rather the establishment of deficiencies adaptive to malaria. The latter hypothesis would likely account for the progressive abandonment of sites on coasts and on the shores of the large lagoons on the lowlands during the Copper Age, in contrast wit h the occupation of well-drained, good farming land on fertile hills. Tracing malaria seem s to be a fundamental research direction for the understanding of Mediterranean prehistory and t o explain genetic adaptations that still

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191exist today (Webster 1996: 43). The peak in frequen cy of dental health problems does not match the peak in hyperostosis and cribra in the Early Bronze Age. I argue that this is best explained if nutrition was not the cause for this p henomenon, which makes parasites and genetic anemias the most likely candidates. The non-systematic, rarely quantitative and very sm all amount of data on all the proxies for prehistoric economy and practices exami ned in this chapter make the availability of quantitative data very important. Among the seve ral other avenues that still need attention, the method used here to provide information on clim ate and diet is that of stable isotopic analyses. This is what the operative section of thi s study is about, and this is the subject of the next chapters.

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192 Chapter 6. Isotopic Analyses: Materials and Methods 6.1. Introduction Isotopic analyses of human skeletal remains have be come in the last decade very common as tools to investigate dietary variation, a t least in Britain, the US, and South Africa. The use of this method has expanded, both in the nu mber of researchers involved and in the degree of specialization. In fact, investigating pr inciples and particular archaeological contexts is becoming increasingly difficult due to the complexity of the interactions between dietary signature on one hand, and environmental, p hysiological, and cultural factors on the other. This means that a combination of all these f actors is to be accounted for in interpreting isotopic measurements. Human physiological mechanis ms at least are applicable to all humans. Environmental conditions, ecological system s, historical trajectories, and cultural preferences differ remarkably across time and space representing sources of variation to be investigated in each different context. Consequently, while the natural mechanisms of selec tion of certain isotopes by living organisms are being investigated through experiment al, controlled study of humans and animals, archaeologists apply this knowledge to spe cific questions in order to understand practices that are embedded in biological and cultu ral contexts. Due the complexity of interaction among these factors, I believed it was necessary to analyze all other sources of information while focusing on stable isotopic analy ses to provide new, more quantitative data to reconstruct economy and climate in Sardinian pre history. This holistic perspective involves the acquisition of all possible coordinate s to triangulate diet and to better understand the identified nutritional patterns within social a nd practical settings. Food production, processing and consumption have never been bare sub sistence and nutrition, but rather

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193human actions where individual and collective choic e is always at play within certain constraints, and in turn modifies such constraints. 6.2. Principles and Methods 6.2.1. Collagen 13C and 15N Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic analyses of hum an bones are a well established method in the United States and several other resea rch institutes worldwide. Conversely, in many areas of the world, it is only recently becomi ng part of the standard toolkit of bioarchaeologists interested in investigating diet in prehistoric and historic times. The quantitative nature of stable isotopic analyses, co ntrasting with the traditional approaches to diet reconstruction long established in archaeology that are qualitative or at best semiquantitative, makes them a powerful and unique tool About three decades have passed since stable isotopy was first used to assess the proport ion of maize in pre-contact North America (van der Merwe and Vogel 1978), and countless studi es have since looked at important nutritional transformations around the world involv ing radical changes in food procurement: the most successful examples, and still most common applications (Katzenberg and Harrison 1997), are those involving transitions between diet s holding a very distinct signature, such as the transitions from Mesolithic fishing to Neolithi c farming in Atlantic Europe (Lubell, et al. 1994; Richards and Hedges 1999e); from foraging to maize farming in the Americas (Ambrose 1993: 61-63; Schoeninger and DeNiro 1984; Schoeninger, et al. 1983); the beginning of millet, sorghum, and rice agriculture in Asia and Africa (Pechenkina, et al. 2005; Schoeninger 2005; van der Merwe and Vogel 198 3). The principle on which bone chemistry studies are g rounded is that, generally speaking, “you are what you eat”. In other words ou r body composition is made up by, and reflects, the food we consume. Isotopes are differe nt atoms of the same element that have different mass; this is because they have all the s ame number of protons and electrons (which have equal but opposite charge), but a different nu mber of neutrons. While electrons have a minute mass, often rounded to none for brevity, neu trons have approximately the same mass as protons, and consequently the total atomic mass changes enough so as to modify the rates

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194of uptake during reactions. Therefore, each biologi cal organism, directly or indirectly uptaking carbon, has one (or several, depending on different tissues) specific ratio of lighter vs. heavier isotope(s), which is part of its peculi ar signature. Certain isotopes are stable, which means that their atomic configuration is not susceptible to change under normal conditions, while others, as 14C, are radioactive, which means that since their at omic configuration is unstable, a neutron will be lost a t a regular pace with the release of energy as radiation (so-called -particles). Carbon (C) has two main stable isotopes: 12C and 13C, of which 12C represents the most common (98.89%), and similarly nitrogen (N) is mostly found as 14N and 15N, where the former represents 99.63% of all nitrogen found in nature (Sharp 2007: 8). This has the practical implication that to express meaningfully such minute quantities in ratios that can be accurately recorded and intuitively grasped, rather than using the ratio itself, the conventional way is that of expressing the difference () from a standard value in the ratio of the of the least vs. most frequent isotope. The standards are agreed upon internationally by the scientific community: they are the Pee Dee Belemnit ella (PDB) for carbon and the atmosphere (AIR) for nitrogen (Hoefs 1997: 22-24; S harp 2007: 28-29), and the measurement unit is the parts per thousand or ‘perm il’ (‰): d13CPDB ‰= [(13/12Csample /13/12CPDB) 1] 1000 d15NAIR ‰= [(15/14Nsample /15/14NAIR) 1] 1000 Since both standard material and measurement unit a re established and implied, it is not uncommon to omit them so that the typical notat ion for stable isotope ratios in bioarchaeology turns out to be simply 13C, 15N. The macronutrients we consume (protein, lipids and carbohydrates), are digested, metabolized and used by the body to build tissues, and through this process they carry along the isotopic signature of their origin. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in all organic tissues (including hair, nails, bone, tooth dentine and ena mel, flesh, all internal organs) change predictably from source diet to tissues because of differential fractionation. This term refers to the process whereby chemical reactions involving these elements determine the selective uptake of heavier and lighter isotopes in specific ratios. This is due to different atomic mass,

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195which causes the reactions to occur at different ra tes. The isotopic signature of different tissues is unique, and the tissue turnover is also different: for instance, while bone is constantly replaced (one of the rare specific asses sments is on human femurs: see Hedges, et al. 2007), so that its isotopic composition reflect s dietary intake over several years before an individual’s death, other tissues as tooth enamel a re not replaced after formation, still others as nails and hair are replaced much faster. Consequ ently, depending on the target period and research question, different tissues can be used – provided they are available: stable isotopes of bone (both collagen and apatite) have the advant age that rather than mirroring the last meals or the last seasons as do gut contents or hai r stable isotopes. Bone allows us to assess quantitatively the components of a standard diet fo r a long period of time, reflecting a practice as opposed to a temporary behavior or an o ccasional act, and is thus best suited to trace long-term economic adaptations and trends. As concerns 13C, the single largest difference found among food c ategories worldwide, which is maintained up the food chain, i s related to two plant groups: C3 and C4. These groups differ in their photosynthetic pathway s, or the way of absorbing carbon and using it to build tissues (Farquhar, et al. 1989: 5 08-515; Gillon, et al. 1998). This results in two very distinct signatures, averaging about -26‰ in the former and -12‰ in the latter (Ambrose and Norr 1993). From an evolutionary stand point, C3 plants are the most common, and dominate plant communities in temperate environ ments at medium to high latitudes. C4 plants are mostly grasses that developed specific t raits to adapt to arid, tropical environments. While they were limited to tropical latitudes for m ost of the Holocene, some of them, due to their nutritional significance, have been utilized and domesticated by humans and spread into new territories. Worldwide, the most relevant subsi stence crops pertaining to this group are maize, millet, and sorghum, but other plants have h ad important nutritional roles in past economies and still do in present ones, either as f ood or animal fodder (sugarcane, switchgrass, amaranth; for the latter, see Tucker 1 986). Variation of a few points per mil from the approxim ate values of -26‰ and -12‰ depends in 13C on environmental factors such as latitude, altitu de, and the location’s slope. Significant geographic 13C variation across different areas of Europe has be en documented (van Klinken, et al. 2000; 1994), such that would e nable us to set apart prehistoric individuals who lived in the Mediterranean from those who lived in the British Isles. Overlain onto these wide patterns, a more locally-based enrichment of a few points per mil has been documented

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196across altitudinal belts within the same region (K rner, et al. 1988; 1991). Variation has also been documented between different C3 species, in different parts of the plant (leaves, seeds, etc.), different heights of the same plant (Leavitt and Long 1986), and in different microenvironments, identified by the amount of wate r supply, light, air circulation and soil hardness (Araus, et al. 1997a; Araus, et al. 2003; Brugnoli, et al. 2003; Brugnoli, et al. 1998; Di Matteo, et al. 2005; Farquhar, et al. 1989: 517520). Example of variation related to these factors is the ‘canopy effect’, which makes values lighter near the ground in thick forests (Heaton 1999; van der Merwe and Medina 1991). Much of the premise above concerns all stable isoto pes on many kinds of tissue. Bioarchaeologists, with the exception of cases of e xtraordinary preservation, rarely deal with soft tissues because they are unlikely to survive t he attack of microorganisms. Bone and teeth instead are often preserved for thousands of years, in favorable conditions. Concerning collagen, it has been shown by controlled-feeding e xperiments on mammals that 13C of organic and mineral portion of bone (respectively c ollagen and hydroxyapatite or briefly apatite) does not reflect the same macronutrients i n the same way (Ambrose and Norr 1993; Tieszen and Fagre 1993). Bone collagen, in fact, is mainly an expression of the protein portion of the diet, because it is mainly synthesiz ed from ingested protein, whereas bone apatite is a more comprehensive indicator of diet s ince it is produced from all macronutrients. This means that if there is no severe protein short age (Schwarcz 2000), collagen in humans will mostly reflect foods of animal origin, which a re much richer in protein. It will reflect vegetal foods only if alternate sources of protein as meat, dairy and fish were so scarcely available that the organism had to use plant protei ns to synthesize tissues. Linear regression applied to the relationship between dietary protein and collagen values showed in this regard a strong relationship, with r2=~72%, and p =0.001(Jim, et al. 2004: 68). In addition to plant photosynthetic pathway and env ironment, a further process determining the isotopic signature in human tissues is fractionation due to physiology: the selective isotopic uptake in consumers varies by ti ssue. Collagen 13C values shift about +5‰ from the vegetal food source; therefore, from s tandard plant values of -26‰ in C3 ecosystems, herbivores are around -21‰ for collagen and pure C4-feeders show collagen 13C values around -7‰, about 5‰ from -12‰ in plants; a wide range of values depends on more complex diets (Ambrose and Norr 1993: 22-26; L ee-Thorp, et al. 1989). Going up the food chain through carnivore species, 13C values show a much smaller difference, not more

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197than 2‰, so that this element is not the best trace r to quantify the importance of nutritional resources from different trophic levels for human d iet. Human values for fully terrestrial C3 ecosystems fall approximately around -19‰ (collagen ), with differences related to the importance of animal vs. vegetal foods that must be added to the environmental variation discussed above. Nitrogen represents the best choic e for this purpose, since average differences between consumed and consumer are usual ly larger, around 4‰. Nitrogen is fixed or absorbed by plants, and its va lues are also passed on up the food chain. Since there is no fractionation in nitrate a bsorption, values for plants are relatively similar to those in the atmosphere, between 15N -5 to + 5‰. The main relevant difference in plant physiology is for nitrogen the one between fi xers and non-fixers. The former, represented for instance by legumes, are characteri zed by remarkably depleted (lighter) 15N values, whereas non-fixers are much higher and, wit hin the same ecosystem, non-overlapping (DeNiro and Hastorf 1985). Environmental factors af fect nitrogen isotopic ratios in soils and plants, and consequently in the whole food chain, e ven more than they affect carbon. After early localized work in Kenya documenting how varia tion correlated with elevation (Ambrose 1991), recent research has attempted to pr oduce an estimate of several elements. Climate resulted to be the single most important fa ctor, accounting for a range of over 12‰ from circumpolar regions to the Sahara: both temper ature and precipitation are strongly related with 15N, but temperature appears to have the strongest re lationship (Amundson, et al. 2003: 31/4-6). This has been studied by Schwarc z et al (1999) at Dakleh Oasis, Egypt, where 15N values were enriched despite availability of wate r and irrigation. This implies that climate change at any given point is also a source of variation, as it is for 13C (Stevens and Hedges 2004). Parent lithology, topography, cultiva tion and age, all affect 15N soil between 3-6‰ each, with the relative variation transferred to a great extent to the rest of the food chain (Amundson, et al. 2003: 31/6-31/8). Cultivati on raises 15N values both by depleting the soils of nitrates and so leaving them 15N-enriched, and by adding manure fertilizers that are rich in ammonia and as well 15N-enriched (Amundson, et al. 2003: 31/8; Bogaard, e t al. 2007). From whichever starting values in soil and plants, at every trophic level fractionation raises the isotopic ratio of about 4‰ (Ambrose 1991 : 298-299), so that from plant values around 2‰, herbivores will be at about 6‰ and carni vores at about 10‰ (values that roughly approximate those documented archaeologically in Eu rope and the Mediterranean). While

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198these represent organisms in normal conditions, des pite some negative evidence in laboratory experiments on mice, there is indication that, trop hic level being equal, larger mammals under stress for high temperature and/or starvation may show enriched 15N values (Ambrose 2000). Marine ecosystems have much longer food chai ns, so that the range of variation in 15N is much wider. Marine predators show values up to 20‰ in collagen, while fish signatures are generally higher than those of terre strial animals (Richards and Hedges 1999e; Schoeninger and DeNiro 1984; Schoeninger, et al. 19 83). Marine 13C values also are often enriched, resulting in overlap with the C4 plants range, so that the best way of setting them apart, and the standard way of presenting the value s, is by means of a plot where 13C and 15N are the x and y coordinates (Figure 61). High 13C and low 15N indicates C4 plantbased diets, while high 13C and high 15N indicates marine protein-based diets. The evidenc e that plants in coastal environments can also be 15N enriched, possibly due to marine nitrate deposition (Heaton 1987; Virginia and Delwiche 1982 ), by several points per mil, is Figure 61. Standard reference values for collagen 13C and 15N plotted as x and y; values are broadly applicable to prehistoric Western Europe. Values fo r C4 plants, such as millet, which was not important until the end of the Bronze Age and possibly only l ater, correspond roughly to those of marine crustac eans and molluscs. Illustration by the author.

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199 surprisingly little considered in many investigatio ns of coastal subsistence; in fact, in some contexts this could explain what is interpreted as a slight seafood signature (Craig, et al. 2006). Riverine, lacustrine and lagoonal ecosystems, due t o reservoir effects that are particular to individual water bodies, tend to have high 15N but low 13C (Fry 1991; Katzenberg and Weber 1999: 654-655; Lanting and van der Plicht 1997: 498-499; Smith and Epstein 1970). They show some variation, though, wh ich can potentially overlap with both marine and terrestrial values. The reservoir effect applies to some extent also to smaller circumscribed seas such as the Mediterranean, and a ppears impossible to assess accurately without contextual archaeological samples. 6.2.2. Apatite and Tooth Enamel 13C Since the beginning of dietary research through sta ble isotopes, the main focus has changed with the refinement of our understanding of the processes governing their ratios. In the late 1970s, following the observation of consis tent offsets between radiocarbon dates obtained on C3 plants versus those obtained on maize, estimating maize contribution to diet was the first anthropologically important goal to b e addressed isotopically (Tykot 2006: 132135), rapidly followed by the estimation of marine contribution to diet (Ambrose and Krigbaum 2003; Katzenberg and Harrison 1997: 267; T auber 1981). It soon became clear, however, that reconstructed diets fully and exclusi vely based on protein-rich animal foods were not nutritionally viable (Noli and Avery 1988; Speth and Spielmann 1983), which supported the hypothesis that different macronutrie nts were routed preferentially toward the formation of different tissues. This problem had become crucial and was addressed d uring the 1990s: the early linear model (‘scrambling’ model) suggested that al l macronutrients contributed to the synthesis of collagen, which therefore represented the whole diet, while apatite, the mineral component of bone, reflected the energy portion (va n der Merwe 1982). Apatite, short for hydroxylapatite, is a carbonate and does not contai n nitrogen, so only 13C is available for dietary reconstruction. Through experimental effort s it became apparent that in reality collagen tended to be preferentially built from pro tein intake, whereas apatite and tooth

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200enamel included, and therefore reflected, all compo nents (Ambrose and Norr 1993; Tieszen and Fagre 1993). This selective routing model stood later tests being refined and complemented by the assessment of the relationship of diet with bone cholesterol (Jim, et al. 2004). It has therefore been established that bone apatite will reflect well the values of the whole diet ( r2=0.99%, p =0.001), including therefore all three macronutrien ts depending on their relative proportion (Jim, et al. 2004: 68). However, the details of the mechanisms regulating t he isotopic fractionation among diet on one hand, and collagen and apatite on the o ther, are complex and not fully understood; for apatite, besides methanogenesis, wh ich is relevant for ruminants but not for humans, there is still a shift of 2-5‰ that waits f or an explanation (Hedges 2003: 74). It appears that the lower the amount of protein in the diet, the more carbohydrates and lipids will contribute to collagen composition, so that it s isotopic values (Hedges and van Klinken 2000; Schwarcz 2000) may in some cases be a combina tion of both ‘scrambling’ and selective routing. Such model is confirmed by the n arrowing of the range in the difference between diet component and corresponding bone compo nent ( 13Cdcomp-bcomp), which is narrowest in the whole diet to bone apatite fractio nation (2.6‰ vs. 7.3‰ in dietary protein to collagen fractionation: Jim, et al. 2004: 69). Other observations and experiments show that the fr actionation documented in mammals between diet 13C and bone apatite 13C ranges widely from +9.1‰ to up to +14‰ where generally herbivores, and among these ruminan ts, have higher differences (Ambrose and Norr 1993; Kohn and Cerling 2002). Humans are c onsidered omnivores, so that their diet-to-apatite fractionation may be somewhere in b etween: for diet 13C around -26‰, apatite should be near -14‰, and for diets around 14‰ (such as in C4 ecosystems) apatite will result close to 0‰. All the same dietary information holds for tooth en amel, which is as well a carbonate. There are two main characteristics that differentia te it from bone apatite, one involving its structure and consequently its preservation potenti al, another its growth rates and pattern with the implications for dietary interpretation. Since its crystalline structure is much tighter, enamel resistance to diagenesis is much stronger: i sotopic signal can be modified (Kohn, et al. 1999; Wang and Cerling 1994), but is likely to remain unaltered especially as the tooth surface is intact (Lee-Thorp 2000). The incremental growth of tooth enamel, its formation within the individual’s youth and its lack of tissu e replacement (no turnover) makes it an

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201indicator of diet in the years of formation, which vary for the different tooth types (Reid and Dean 2006). This can be used to compare with bone v alues and so doing detect dietary variation by age (13C), and residential change (by comparing 18O and 87Sr/86Sr in tooth versus in bone). The use of tooth enamel from the s ame individual as bone apatite can also be used to validate values of the latter, which as dis cussed above does not have the same resistance to degradation and is thus more likely t o show a contaminated isotopic signature (Koch, et al. 1997; Kohn, et al. 1999; Wang and Cer ling 1994). 87Sr/86Sr analyses of tooth enamel, performed in order to trace change in resid ence, are not included in this study, but being performed by Mrs. Michelle Markovicz at Flori da State University, Tallahassee, on the same samples. 6.2.3. Collagen 13C-Apatite 13C Spacing Related to both collagen and apatite 13C is the spacing between them, a parameter that is increasingly used to explore diets that int egrates the information provided by both bone component. Lee Thorp et al. (1989), based on a nalyses of fauna from southern Africa, first documented that herbivores had a larger spaci ng than carnivores. However, the processes behind such phenomenon were unclear and p robably complicated by the variety of environments that included both C3 and C4 plants. Since the experimental studies during the 1990s showed that there was differential routing of dietary macronutrients into collagen and apatite (Ambrose and Norr 1993; Tieszen and Fagre 1 993), the data for further investigation and modelling increased. Hedges (2003) has addresse d very clearly the separate and connected questions that understanding such differe nce between 13Ccol-apa in herbivores and carnivores implies: is it due to the isotopic value s of the diet or to uneven fractionation due to different physiologic processes, or both? Is variat ion in 13Ccol or variation in 13Capa responsible for the spacing, or is it both? The rol e of methanogenesis might possibly affect such values in ruminants, but no more than 2‰ has b een explained, whereas documented difference in carnivores and herbivores 13Ccol-apa is up to 3-4‰, and even 13Cdiet-apa difference seems to be consistently 2-5‰ higher tha n modelling predicts (Hedges 2003: 7376). Data are not fully explained, but the differen ce in apatite seems to be the main factor determining the spacing (Hedges 2003: 67). However, collagen may also have an effect in herbivores, since a diet scarce in protein could in duce the organism to use carbon from lipid

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202and carbohydrate to synthesize them (Schwarcz 2000) Human diet, fundamentally omnivorous, is assumed to lie between plantand me at-consumers. For dietary interpretation, it is important to note that 13Ccol and 13Capa taken singularly are directly affected by environmental f actors other than diet, since such factors influence the whole food chain, whereas 13Ccol-apa, as a mathematical number that transcends direct, non-measurable sources, provides a powerful tool to compare diet across sites. 6.2.4. Apatite 18O Oxygen has three stable isotopes, 16O, 17O, and 18O. Their abundance in nature is respectively ~99.760%, ~0.038% and ~0.200%, with th e lightest isotope being by far the most common, as observed already for C and N (Sharp 2007: 8, 65). 18O, similarly to C and N signifies the difference from a the 18O/16O ratio of a standard, which in this case can be either the same as 13C, PDB carbonate, mostly for oceanic, freshwater or biogenic carbonates, or SMOW, Surface Mean Ocean Water, comm on in most geochemical reports. The notation equation, and the conversion equation between these systems are: d18OPDB ‰= [(18/16Osample /18/16OPDB) 1] 1000 18OSMOW= 1.03091 (18OPDB) + 30.91 In this dissertation, 18O with no further notation indicates 18OPDB. The relationship between rainwater 18O on one side, and geographic and climatic factors on the other, has long been recognized. A series of factors including temperature, distance from the ocean source, altitude and latitude, and intensity of rai n all interplay in its determination (Fricke and O'Neill 1999; Fricke, et al. 1995; Sharp 2007: 80-8 6). While temperature was found to be the most important determinant of rainwater 18O in temperate regions, in the tropics precipitation appears to be stronger, as suggested for 15N (Schwarcz, et al. 1999). The equation relating 18O and temperature has been estimated in ~0.6‰ = ~1 C for areas between 0C and 20C mean annual temperature, where as the equation relating 18O with rainfall in the tropics is ~–0.013 = ~1 mm (Koch 19 98: 596-600; Rozanski, et al. 1992). The location of Sardinia is at the border of the temper ate and sub-tropical climate areas, with

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203mean temperatures between 10C (on the highest moun tain tops) and 18C (over the lowlands and most of the island), and mean annual r ainfall between 1200 mm and 400 mm (with similar geographic distribution): since they are also both likely to have oscillated in the past, it is consequently particularly hard to asses s the relative contribution of either factor to the 18O composition recorded in archaeological specimens: although temperature should account for more variation, the degree to which rai nfall does is not known in detail. However, a strong linear relationship with annual precipitat ion has been detected and measured in the Eastern (Bar-Matthews, et al. 2003) and Western Med iterranean (Drysdale, et al. 2004), and both the seasonal climate characterizing Sardinia f rom the mid-Holocene and the relative similarity of present-day seasonal variation in the Mediterranean supports the choice of assimilating Sardinia to such examples for this pur pose. Animal bone and several materials other than human tissues are used to assess paleoenvironmental conditions, and are increasingly considered as a proxy for paleoclimatic reconstructions. From rainwater, oxygen isotopic si gnature is transferred to drinking water, which is how most of this signature is absorbed by living organisms, and goes into the composition of tissues, including bone apatite. 18O is measured on both phosphate and carbonate, although the method to isolate phosphate is more difficult than apatite extraction (Iacumin, et al. 1996; Stephan 2000). Since the str ong linear relationship between them has been demonstrated, their use as paleoenvironmental indicator can be considered virtually interchangeable (Kohn and Cerling 2002): fractionat ion between 18Owater and bone 18Ophosphate is 1.0176, and between 18Owater and 18Ocarbonate 1.0263; (as measured in horse, expressed in SMOW standard, but large mammals are a ssumed to function the same way because body temperature is similar: Bryant and Fro elich 1995). This allows full comparability of the two measurements. Despite the several factors listed above that contribute to specific 18O values, an overall linear relationship has been c onfirmed by studies on the global, continental and local scale (Longinelli and Selmo 2003; Stephan 2000). While carbonate (as phosphate) 18O in animals can depend on several factors and foremost temperature and humidity, it seems that th e more drought-tolerant the species is, the more fractionated the values appear, possibly becau se a large portion of water is ingested through leaves, which are isotopically enriched (Br yant and Froelich 1995; Sponheimer and Lee-Thorp 1999). Large mammals that are obligate dr inkers, as elephants, horses and cows,

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204and moderate drought-tolerant species as sheep and goat, have values that are related linearly with the isotopic ratios of water (Kohn and Cerling 2002: 465-466): 18Ophosphate = 0.9* 18Owater + 23 (18OSMOW) Bentley & Knipper (2005) in their extensive mapping of paleoisotopes in southwestern Germany used Longinelli’s equation rel ating 18Owater and 18Ophosphate, rearranged and modified by adding 8.7‰ according to Bryant’s calculations to convert phosphate values into carbonate, with measurements from pig tooth enamel (Bryant, et al. 1996; Longinelli 1984): 18Ocarbonate = 18Ophosphate +8.7‰ (18OSMOW) 18Owater= 1.163*18Ocarbonate 39.07 (18OSMOW) Specific archaeological applications using human bo ne and tooth enamel include the assessment of mobility, patterns of residence and w eaning (White, et al. 2004; Wright and Schwarcz 1998). In this project, potential seasonal mobility and climate change were expected to be the two main determinant factors and relatedly the questions to address. 6.3. Stable Isotopes and Diet in Western Mediterran ean Prehistory A correct interpretation of the isotopic values in dietary terms, in the particular context of western Mediterranean prehistory, necess itates the consideration of the specific resources available, and especially those that arch aeology has documented as being used as food items. Food production and consumption between the 6th and the 2nd millennia BC is characterized by the spread of the Neolithic suite of domesticated animals and crops, which apparently were adopted in different tempos and com binations in different regional contexts across Europe (Bogucki 1996; Price 2000). While som e areas apparently relied on foraging until relatively late, others seem to have adopted quickly and thoroughly the Neolithic economic patterns (Richards, et al. 2003c). There i s evidence that, in the Mediterranean, reliance on fishing never approached the importance it had in the Atlantic coasts and the

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205Baltic area (Lubell, et al. 1994; Richards and Hedg es 1999e; Richards, et al. 2003b), although the quality of the evidence is not homogeneous. Domesticated animals and crops spread from the Near East, mostly through coastal routes along Greece, the Italian Peninsula on both the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic sides, and then down the coast of the Iberian peninsula and the Cor sican-Sardinian complex. Due to environmental factors, on the African side Neolithi zation took the form of a shift to reliance on pastoralism rather than on agriculture (Phillips on 2005: 165-181; Smith 1992). It seems that at several locations domesticated animals, nam ely sheep, goat, pig and cattle, were adopted before farming. The importance of agricultu re was still variable in the 6th and 5th millennia BC, and became more generalized only late r, while in some areas pastoralism possibly became more important starting in the 4th millennium. This trend may have been favored by climate change, and/or by the exploitati on of secondary animal products such as milk and labor in the form of plow traction (Sherra tt 1981, 1994), at different paces and in different ways across the western Mediterranean and Europe, in turn according to the local environmental and socio-cultural contexts. Based on lack of evidence in material culture and o n a growing body of isotopic measurement, it seems established that in the Late Neolithic through Bronze Age exploitation of seafood was nutritionally negligible. Measuremen ts of 13C and 15N as documented in present-day western Mediterranean marine ecosystems (Badalamenti, et al. 2002; Pinnegar and Polunin 2000; Pinnegar, et al. 2003; Polunin, e t al. 2001) appear to be variable but comparable to those in the Atlantic Ocean (synthesi zed by Richards and Hedges 1999e), ranging from human-like to more enriched values, up to 13C= –16‰. Thus, if fish consumption was substantial, it would result in eve n more enriched values, due to trophic level effect, as is the case for Mesolithic populat ions in the Atlantic (Garca Guix, et al. 2006; Richards and Hedges 1999e; Richards, et al. 2 003c). Such distinctiveness makes it relatively easy to pinpoint the presence of a subst antial contribution of seafood, a presence that has not been found in the prehistoric Mediterr anean. It is true that coastal marine ecosystems are affected by a variety of variables: the importance of freshwater discharge is even shown by research in the Baltic, which documen ted substantial variability in 15N values in different areas, related to closeness to a power plant (Hansson, et al. 1997). Even if there were of course no power plants in prehistory, some variation near river mouths is expected due to the local ecosystems being affected by water discharge. However, no radical

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206variation that can be related to substantial relian ce on seafood has been ascertained in human isotopic values from prehistoric Mediterranean site s (Figure 62). This is not surprising in inland mediterranean and Near Eastern sites, as in Neolithic Anatolia at atalhyk (Richards, et al. 2003a) and Neval ori (Lsch, et al. 2006), in inland Greece both in the Neolithic and in the Bron ze Age, at sites as Spathes, Rymnio, Makrigialos (Triantaphyllou 2001: 133-141), Theopet ra, Tharrounia, Kouveleiki (Papathanasiou 2001: 75-78, 38-39; 2003), Tzamala ( Tykot 2003). However, this appears to be the case also in insular and coastal settings su ch as Bronze Age Crete and the Aegean, as Gerani, Armenoi, Mycenae (Richards and Hedges 1999a b, c, d). At Mycenae, which can be considered virtually coastal (van Andel, et al. 199 0: 385), only the few individuals buried in monumental tombs show values compatible with some c onsumption of fish (Richards and Hedges 1999c, d). In Greece, PapathanasiouÂ’s (2003) research, explicitly addressing Figure 62. Map of the central Mediterranean showing the location of Sardinia and the prehistoric sites that have been analyzed for 15N and 13C in the area. Sites considered range from the Pale olithic to the Early Iron Age.

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207variation between inland and coastal areas spanning the Neolithic (late 7th to early4th millennium BC), revealed that the protein portion o f the diet was consistently based on terrestrial plants and animals, with some possible evidence for a very limited importance of marine resources. Further preliminary evidence from Hagios Kharalambos, as well in Crete (Richards, et al. 2007) yielded similar results. In the central-western Mediterranean, similar 13C and 15N values compatible with terrestrial C3 protein have been documented in coastal environments such as the Maltese archipelago from a round 4000 BC to the 3rd millennium BC (Richards, et al. 2001; Stoddart, et al. in pres s). Similar data have been produced from the Balearic islands between the 4th millennium BC to the 1st century AD (Davis 2002; Van Strydonck, et al. 2002), from Middle and Late Neoli thic France (Le Bras-Goude, et al. 2006a; Le Bras-Goude, et al. 2006b) and from several locat ions on the Italian peninsula dating to Neolithic through Copper Ages, including a substant ial group from the site of La Selvicciola (Tykot and Robb in preparation). In conclusion, the overall evidence is that the consumption of seafood ranged from limited to none. Besides small differences, it is evident that overa ll quantity of marine food can be estimated to be negligible (Craig, et al. 2006), in line with archaeological evidence, up to historic and especially Roman times. Only possible exception for post-mesolithic prehistoric times is Gatas, in Almera (Spain), a Bronze Age si te whose average 13C value, -18.1‰, has been related to some consumption of seafood (Craig, et al. 2006). However, only 13C is reported: besides the admittedly unlikely possibili ty of millet, whose presence is documented in central Europe as early as the Early Bronze Age (Le Huray and Schutkowski 2005: 143), considering the geographic pattern detected in Euro pe of enriched 13C on a north-south gradient (van Klinken, et al. 2000), which broadly corresponds to rainfall patterns, I believe that this result could be rather attributed to the extreme aridity of southeastern Spain, particularly in the coastal area. In fact, average bone and wood 13C from Spain as a whole has been measured to be between about 2‰ lighter th an in Great Britain and the Netherlands, and 1‰ lighter even compared to that of Italy and f ormer Yugoslavia (van Klinken, et al. 1994). Given the small range of isotopic values, it is ver y difficult and probably unreliable to assess the contribution of animal versus plant food s to the diet analyzing collagen alone. Apatite is still seen as suspicious by many researc hers because it lacks accurate quantitative indicators of preservation (see above). However, un like East Asia, Africa and the Americas,

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208where the presence of C4 plant species makes it easier to trace the take-of f of economically important domesticated crops, the cereals cultivate d in prehistoric Near East and in the Mediterranean have 13C and 15N close to wild plants. This, coupled with the litt le exploitation of marine resources, makes most late p rehistory western Mediterranean collagen values cluster within 15N 9.0 2.0‰ and 13C 19.3 1‰. Broadly speaking, 15N are more depleted in the Aegean area than they are in the ce ntral-western Mediterranean, which could reflect a more plant-based agricultural diet vs. hi gher portion of animal protein. However, the effects of climatic variation have not been systema tically incorporated in the interpretive efforts. Apatite 13C and the spacing between collagen and apatite are consequently indispensable to detect significant dietary change, and specifically the question that becomes the main nutritional and economic issue in Mediterr anean prehistory: the relative importance of plant vs. animal foods, of farming vs. herding, and the role of secondary products. The 13Ccol-apa spacing allows us to complement different dietary components, and so ‘triangulate’ a reconstruction with distinct and integrated kinds of information. As discussed above, larger spacings correspond to plant-based diets and smalle r spacings to carnivorous diets (Hedges 2003; Jim, et al. 2004; Lee-Thorp, et al. 1989). Th e clustering of collagen values also means that variation due to environment may be more impor tant than the dietary signature, and without control samples that allow to detect ecosys tem-wide shifts in isotopic ratios (faunal and vegetal samples from the same contexts), it is impossible to rely on them to assess dietary variation between populations –whereas intr a-site patterns remain as valid. 6.4. The Project: Materials and Sampling Criteria In order to address the research questions outlined above, the first step was by necessity a careful sampling strategy. A necessary condition for a good sampling strategy was a good knowledge of the available and accessibl e skeletal collections and relative contextual information. Preliminary work was theref ore aimed at documenting skeletal collections’ existence, location, conditions and ph ysical accessibility. This was done through research in different ways and directions: the main local archaeological journals ( Studi Sardi Quaderni della Soprintendenza Archeologica per le P rovince di Cagliari e Oristano Quaderni della Soprintendenza Archeologica per le P rovince di Sassari e Nuoro Nuovo

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209Bullettino Archeologico Sardo ) and main synthetic volumes (Contu 1997; Lilliu 19 88a; Webster 1996) were systematically examined as a sta rting point. More information was identified in extensive “snowfall” bibliographic re search (branching from source to source). During the research stays in Sardinia, unpublished inventories at the archaeological resources state agencies ( Soprintendenze Archeologiche ) in Cagliari, Sassari and local facilities, were used when available. More inventories of available collections and rare publications were provided by Dott.ssa Rosalba Floris, at the Departm ent of Experimental Biology, Anthropology section, of the University of Cagliari For key sites, the archaeologists who directed the excavations, often unpublished, were c ontacted for information on the collections and contexts. This served as groundwork to design the overall sampling strategy appropriate for our questions. Furthermore, it laid the foundations for the prehistoric section of a comprehensive catalog of Sardinia’s human rema ins collections, which should become an important research tool for future scholars. Thi s project, supervised by Prof. E. Marini and Prof. G. Floris and in collaboration with doctoral student Dott. M. Lodde (Dept. of Experimental Biology, University of Cagliari), aims at rendering the database available online for retrieval and sharing of scholarly data. Few publications by local archaeologists are availa ble in electronic format. So, besides those available at the USF Library and the privately-owned resources, most information was obtained at university libraries an d public libraries in Cagliari, and through the USF Interlibrary Loan service. Site sampling, s ample selection and collection, despite the planning efforts, was not always sequential, and in volved some adjustments due to unpredictable conditions. For instance, some collec tions were formally held at public institutions but actually inaccessible, some collec tions were not found where they were supposed to be stored, others were unexpectedly fou nd where they were not. Sites with reliable stratigraphy and/or secure cult ural attribution were selected, the majority coming from collective rock-carved tombs, and fewer from caves, pits, and cists. Wherever possible, sampling was also done by age an d sex subgroups, so as to generate information on social aspects within populations an d avoid bias from differential sampling of such subgroups in different collections. In one cas e, despite the collective nature of the burial, the presence of reliably associated grave g oods has allowed me to discriminate diet by status (Iscalitas). As the main target of this proj ect is detecting change over time, the sampled area was limited to southern Sardinia to avoid vari ation related to geographic distance. High

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210altitude, a source of isotopic variation particular ly for 18O, but also for 13C and 15N, is not an issue, because all sites are lower than 500 m as l. To account for the intake of seafood, and as a further control for local-scale geographic var iation, one inland and one coastal site was selected for each phase (only for the Bell Beaker p hase there were no coastal sites available). A total of 171 human individuals have been sampled from 14 burial sites (Table 9) from the southern half of the island (Figure 63), for analys es of bone collagen and apatite. Human tooth enamel samples were analyzed (from 32 of the same individuals), for comparison with the bone tissue. Since most samples were part of co llections composed of disarticulated remains from collective burials, one skeletal eleme nt was selected, in order to insure that I was not sampling the same individual more than once Cranial bones were preferred in most cases because they can provide a wealth of addition al information on sex, age, and health. Exceptions are the group of Scaba Â’e Arriu A, where the cranial specimens were limited in number, so pelvic bones were chosen, and the groups of Seddas de Daga and sa Duchessa, which were represented by femurs. Taking advantage of the fact that teeth grow increm entally in layers (Figure 64), research on animal teeth in order to trace seasonal variation in diet has seen recently a fast progress (Balasse 2003; Balasse, et al. 2002; Balas se, et al. 2001; Balasse, et al. 2003). While little has been done on human tooth microsampling, a pilot study designed to detect shortterm dietary variation has shown the potential of s uch method (Wilson, et al. 2001). Therefore, a pilot section of the dissertation proj ect aimed at further testing the method applied to the detection of possible patterns of va riation compatible with seasonal mobility. Physiology has been shown to be important in affect ing 15N isotopes during adolescence (OÂ’Connell and Prentice forthcoming; White and Schw arcz 1994: 177), but no such evidence exists for 13C, therefore I assume here that it should indicate a change in diet. Variation in 18O could reflect the difference in temperature at th e time of formation and the duration of breastfeeding. In fact, due to the trophic level ef fect, 13C is expected to be enriched in earlier teeth, and 18O is too, because the motherÂ’s milk is a large prop ortion of ingested water, and its signature is heavier (Roberts, et al. 1988; Wri ght and Schwarcz 1998: 3-4). Four third molars were selected from different individuals wit hin the Early Bronze Age layer of the Padru Jossu burial, since this is the phase when, b ased on the archaeological literature, heavier reliance on herding and mobility would have occurred.

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211 Figure 63. Map showing the location of sites where the analyzed skeletal remains were excavated. Map b y the author, based on cartographic material from S.A .R. Sardegna consortium, with kind permission.

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212 Table 9. Human bone samples per each site. Full inf ormation on the specific burial is here provided, while it is omitted for brevity elsewhere Site n Period Cultural Phase Burial Type S. Benedetto, tomb II 16 Late Neolithic Ozieri Rock -carved tomb Montessu, tomb XV 1 Late Neolithic (?) Ozieri Rockcarved tomb Total Late Neolithic 17 Cannas di Sotto, tomb 12 6 Early Copper Age Filigos a/Abealzu Rock-carved tomb ScabÂ’e Arriu corridoio (A) 14 Early Copper Age Fili gosa/Abealzu Rock-carved tomb Serra Cannigas, tombs A and B 5 Early Copper Age Fi ligosa/Abealzu Cist MindÂ’e Gureu 1 Early Copper Age Filigosa/Abealzu C ist S. Caterina Pittinuri 10 Early Copper Age Filigosa /Abealzu Rock-carved tomb Total Early Copper Age (Post-Ozieri) 36 Via Basilicata, tombs I and IV 2 Late Copper Age Mo nte Claro Rock-carved tomb Via Trentino tomb I 1 Late Copper Age Monte Claro R ock-carved tomb Seddas de Daga, cave II 7 Late Copper Age Monte Cla ro Natural cave Su Stampu Â’e Giuanniccu Meli 9 Late Copper Age ? Na tural cave ScabÂ’e Arriu cella (M) 13 Late Copper Age Monte Cla ro Rock-carved tomb Padru Jossu (M) 1 Late Copper Age Monte Claro Rockcarved tomb Total Late Copper Age (Monte Claro) 33 Padru Jossu (A) 19 Final Copper Age/ Early Bronze Age Bell Beaker Rock-carved tomb Total Final Copper Age/ Early Bronze Age 19 Padru Jossu (B) 15 Early Bronze Age Bonnanaro A Roc k-carved tomb Iscalitas 29 Early Bronze Age Bonnanaro A Cist Concali Corongiu Acca II 5 Early Bronze Age Bonnana ro A Natural cave Total Early Bronze Age 49 Montessu, tomb X 1 [Middle Bronze Age] Bonnanaro B Rock-carved tomb Is Aruttas 11 [Late Bronze Age] Nuragic Natural cav e Montessu, tomb XXXIII 3 [Middle Ages] Giudicale Roc k-carved tomb Montessu, tomb XXXII* 2 ? ? Rock-carved tomb Total later periods 17 TOTAL INDIVIDUALS 171 *These individuals were dated by associated materia ls to the Early Bronze Age as those found in tomb X XXIII; since the AMS date from tomb XXXIII turned out to be medi eval, the date for tomb XXXII is unreliable. To start constructing a local isotopic baseline in addition to faunal analyses from elsewhere in the Mediterranean, 30 terrestrial faun al samples from some of the archaeological sites have also been collected (Tabl e 10). Nine marine animal and eight botanical modern samples were taken as a proxy for categories not available as

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213 Figure 64. Tooth enamel growth pattern, showing the increment by layers. The original drawing pertains to animal teeth, but human teeth are similar in the process; therefore only the growth timing has been erased. Reprinted with modifications from Kohn and Cerling 2002, p.464, Fig. 4, in Kohn et al. (eds.), 2002, with kind permission from the Mineralogical Society of America. archaeological specimens, to integrate modern data from other locations with at least a small sample of local values. Radiocarbon dating of several bone samples is anoth er important part of the project (Table 11). The relevance lies in obtaining direct dating of samples from collections recovered in contexts stratigraphically suspect, or from collections that had only a relative chronology based on reliable stratigraphy, and/or f or better resolution in case of multilayered archaeological deposits. The importance of these dates is, however, much more substantial, since absolute chronology of Sardinian prehistory, particularly before the Bronze Age, is extremely loose due to the lack of measurem ents and to the different material culture aspects within the period 4000-1900 BC. These dates increase substantially the total 14C dates previously available for Sardinia for the whole tim espan (Contu 1998; Cosseddu, et al. 1994b; Sanna, et al. 1999; Tin 1992b; Tykot 1994). Part of the samples was sent and part was prepared with my collaboration through an inter nship at the University of Arizona, where I have worked in May 2005 supervised by Dr. G Hodgins. Among the results of dating, part of the original s ampling design was modified. The eleven individuals from Is Aruttas, considered Late Neolithic based on pottery association, turned out to belong to the Middle-Late Bronze Age, consequently falling out of the range of

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214 Table10. Faunal and botanical samples Site n Period Species Common Denomination S. Caterina di Pittinuri, corridor 5 Early Copper Age Sus s. Pig 2 Early Copper Age Ovis/Capra Sheep/Goat 2 Early Copper Age Prolagus s. Prolagus 1 Early Copper Age Cervus e. Deer 1 Early Copper Age Vulpes v. Fox Scab'e Arriu 5 Early Copper Age Bos t. Cattle 4 Early Copper Age Sus s. Pig 5 Early Copper Age Ovis/Capra Sheep/Goat 2 Early Copper Age Prolagus s. Prolagus 1 Early Copper Age Canis f. Dog 1 Early Copper Age Vulpes v. Fox Iglesias-Via Eleonora 1 19 th century AD Sus s. Wild boar TOT. Terrestr. Animals 30 Cabras lagoon 1 Contemporary Mugil Gray mullet Gulf of Cagliari 1 Contemporary Merluccius merluccius Cod Sardinian coast 1 Contemporary Mullus barbatus Red mullet Corsican coast 1 Contemporary Aristeus antennatus OR Aristeomorpha foliacea Squid Matzaccara lagoon 1 Contemporary Mytilus galloprovincialis Mussel Matzaccara lagoon 1 Contemporary Chamelea gallina OR Tapes decussatus Clam Sardinian coast 1 Contemporary Alloteuthis media OR Loligo vulgaris Clam Sardinian coast 1 Contemporary Anguilla anguilla Eel Sardinian coast 1 Contemporary Xiphias gladius Swordfish TOT. Marine Animals 9 Abba Â’e Perdu (Tertenia) 1 Contemporary Triticum d. Wheat Abba Â’e Perdu (Tertenia) 1 Contemporary Ordeum v. Barley Sarrala (Tertenia) 1 Contemporary Faba v. Faba bean Tronciu (Tertenia) 1 Contemporary Pistacius Lentisk Tronciu (Tertenia) 1 Contemporary Quercus i. Oak/Acorn Tronciu (Tertenia) 1 Contemporary Olea Wild olive Tronciu (Tertenia) 1 Contemporary Myrtus c. Myrtle Su Tettioni (Tertenia) 1 Contemporary Avena s. Oat TOTAL Plants 8 this study. A similar outcome was produced by the d ating of one of three individuals from tomb 33 at Montessu, which were considered to date to the Early Bronze Age and turned out to be Medieval. This also cast doubt on the two ind ividuals from tomb 32, for which similar relative chronology had been suggested, and therefo re these were not considered in discussing the prehistoric dietary reconstruction. Instead, an unpublished date from su

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215 Table 11. AMS 14C dating of the sites in the project with original attribution based on contextual data Site Attributed period Sites already 14C dated (2) Samples radiocarbon dated S. Benedetto Late Neolithic (Ozieri) 3941-3532 cal. BC (Sanna et al. 1999) 0 Montessu Late Neolithic (Ozieri) layer 0 (no collagen) Is Aruttas Final Late Neolithic (Ozieri) 1 Cannas di Sotto Early Copper Age (Filigosa/Abealzu) 1 S. Caterina di Pittinuri Early Copper Age (Filigosa/Abealzu) 2916-2153 cal. BC (Marini et al. 1997) 1 MindÂ’e Gureu Early Copper Age (Filigosa/Abealzu) 1 Serra Cannigas Early Copper Age (Filigosa/Abealzu) 1 ScabÂ’e Arriu Early Copper Age (Filigosa/Abealzu) la yer 2 ScabÂ’e Arriu Copper Age (Monte Claro) layer 1 Seddas de Daga Copper Age (Monte Claro) 1 Via Basilicata Copper Age (Monte Claro) 0 (no collagen) Via Trentino Copper Age (Monte Claro) 0 (no collagen) Su Stampu Â’e Giuanniccu Meli Early Bronze Age (Bonnanaro A) 2847-2459 cal. BC (unpubl., raw data from R. Floris pers. comm.) 0 Padru Jossu Copper Age (Monte Claro) layer 1 Padru Jossu Copper to Early Bronze Age (Beaker A) l ayer 2 Padru Jossu Early Bronze Age (Beaker B/Bonnanaro A) layer 2 Iscalitas Early Bronze Age (Bonnanaro A) 2290-1899 cal. BC (Manunza 1998) 1 Montessu Early Bronze Age (Bonnanaro A) layer 1 Concali Corongiu Â’Acca II Early Bronze Age (Bonnana ro A) 1 TOTAL SAMPLES 16 Stampu Â’e Giuannicu Meli, kindly shared by Dott.ssa Rosalba Floris after sampling, pushed back the chronology of the collection, which was as sociated with Early Bronze Age pottery but turned out to belong fully to the Copper Age. 6.5. The Sampled Populations and Their Context All collections sampled are listed in the table bel ow (Table 12). They were collected with the collaborators who facilitated on-site samp le removal by providing advice in order to be as least destructive as possible to the skeletal remains for future osteological analyses. Their role was also crucial in supplying first-hand osteological information, necessary to sample meaningfully based on the availability of se x and age subgroups. When the remains had not been analyzed, this was particularly import ant, though in other cases such information was as well very useful in order to int egrate or rectify data that were already available but obtained using older methods.

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216 Table 12. On-site collaborators, site excavators, a nd site references Site Collaborator Institution Excavator Institution References Is Aruttas Dr. J.F. Beckett (& Dr. O. Fonzo) UCam Prof. E. Atzeni UCag-Arch German 1980, German 1982, German 1995:55-64 S. Benedetto Prof. R. Floris UCag-Bio Prof. E. Atzeni UCag-Arch German 1995: 51-2; Maxia & Atzeni 1964, Floris 2001 S. Caterina Pittinuri Dr. El. Usai UCag-Bio Dr. L. Usai Sopr.SS Cocco & U sai 1988; Buffa et al. 1995, Marini et al. 1997a & 1997b Cannas di Sotto Dr. J.F. Beckett UCam Dr. V. Santoni & Dr. L. Usai Sopr.Ca Santoni & Usai 1995 ScabÂ’e Arriu Dr. O. Fonzo LArcV Dr. Em. Usai Sopr.Ca Badas & Usa i 1989, Usai 1998; Ragucci & Usai 1994; Serra Cannigas Dr. J.F. Beckett UCam Prof. E. Atzeni UCag-Arch Atz eni 1985; Usai 2005 MindÂ’e Gureu Dr. O. Fonzo LArcV Dr. Em. Usai Sopr.Ca Fonzo & Usa i 1997 V. Basilicata Dr. J.F. Beckett UCam Prof. E. Atzeni UCag-Arch Atz eni 1967, 1985, 1986 V. Trentino Dr. J.F. Beckett UCam Prof. E. Atzeni UCag-Arch Atz eni 1967, 1985, 1986 Seddas de Daga Dr. J.F. Beckett UCam Prof. L. Alba President, ASI Alba 1999 Padru Jossu Dr. J.F. Beckett (& Dr. O. Fonzo) UCam Prof. G. Ugas UCag-Arch German 1987, 1995: 90 91, 101-4; Ugas 1982, 1988, 1998 Su Stampu Â’e Giuanniccu Meli Prof. R. Floris UCag-Bio Dr. D. Salvi Sopr.Ca Unpub lished data Montessu Dr. J.F. Beckett UCam Prof. E. Atzeni & Dr. R. Forresu UCag-Arch Atzeni 1972, Forresu 1993; Atzeni 2000 Iscalitas Dr. El. Usai UCag-Bio Dr. M.R. Manunza Sopr.Ca Buff a et al. 2000, Manunza 1998, 2000, 2005; Usai et al. 2005 Concali Â’e Corongiu Acca II Prof. R. Floris UCag-Bio Prof. C. Maxia Former UCag Maxia & Floris 1961, Ferrarese Ceruti 1981 UCam = Department of Archaeology, University of Cam bridge UCag-Bio = Dipartimento Biologia Sperimentale, Univ ersit di Cagliari UCag-Arch = Dipartimento Scienze Archeologiche e St orico-Artistiche, Univ. di Cagliari LArcV = Laboratorio di Archeologia, Villanovaforru, Sardinia Sopr.Ca = Archaeologist, Soprintendenza Archeologic a province Cagliari e Oristano Sopr.SS = Archaeologist, Soprintendenza Archeologic a province Sassari e Nuoro ASI = Associazione Speleologica Iglesias Following the table, I summarize the contextual inf ormation relative to each of the sites, in order to provide details on material culture, chron ology and specific aspects of preservation and ritual.

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2176.5.1. Is Aruttas (Cabras) The site is a small natural cave accessible by mean s of two modified entrances (its meaning is “the caves” in Sardinian), located at a few hundred meters from the Sardinian Sea and a few miles from the currently brackish water C abras Lagoon. Thorough archaeological information regarding the site of Is Aruttas is yet to be published and likely never will. The context was looted and its cultural-chronological a ttribution was drawn from the apparently homogenous cultural materials that were associated with the skeletal remains. In reality, only a 20-cm-thick layer containing human bones is repor ted, which was probably not undisturbed, and the artifacts, assigned to a late phase of the Ozieri period, were admittedly few (Atzeni, pers. comm. in German 1995: 61). This cultural phase, in the late 1970s when the attribution entered the literature, included al so what is now referred to as Sub-Ozieri, the Copper Age southern Sardinian evolution of the Ozie ri ceramic style; the artifacts, unpublished, are therefore likely to belong to this later time. Remains of 25 individuals were found in burial arrangements evaluated by Atzeni to be both primary and secondary. The population of Is Aruttas (German 1980b, 1982a) inc luded 28% immature individuals. Six cranial remains (24%) showed cribra orbitalia. Occlusal wear is reported in 25% of the individuals in direct relationship with age, and ca ries occurrence was documented at 3.7% (German 1995: 64). The general picture the paleopa thologist has drawn of this group is that of a healthy population, with balanced and rich nut rition. Among the faunal remains – as well unpublished – several specimens of Prolagus were identified, and one vertebra of whale (German 1995: 55-64). The importance of this colle ction lay in its being the only large collection attributed to the Late Neolithic other t han San Benedetto, but one AMS date obtained directly on bone, compatible with the Late Bronze Age Nuragic, puts such attribution in question (1433-1130 cal BC 2). Therefore, the isotopic data are reported but not considered in the reconstruction of the economy between 4000-1900 BC. 6.5.2. San Benedetto (Iglesias) The tomb II of the rock-carved necropolis named San Benedetto is of utmost importance for the Neolithic of Sardinia, because i t is the only published intact burial that belongs reliably to the Ozieri phase (Maxia and Atz eni 1964). Most tombs of the domu de janas type, as explained in chapter 4, have been utilize d by the same groups for centuries

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218well into the Copper Age, and in most cases even la ter. AMS dating confirmed the chronological placement in the first half of the 4th millennium BC (raw date in Floris 2001: 3941-3532 cal BC 2). In 1961, the site was discovered and partially d amaged by excavation for agricultural improvements on a schist hill slop e at approximately 500 m asl (although no maps in the literature mark the exact location). Af ter archaeologists documented and recovered contexts and materials, it was re-buried, so it is no longer accessible. Tomb II consists of three rooms arranged in an irregular cr oss pattern around a central space connected to the entrance; all rooms still had the sealing slabs in situ in the original placement or slightly moved (Atzeni 2001a; Maxia an d Atzeni 1964). The disarticulated remains of 35-40 individuals were recovered in all rooms, with crania and long bones placed in evidence and along the sides. Occlusal wear was present but not frequent, while caries occurrence (7%: German 1995: 51-52) is within the range typical of agricultural societies. This site is important for the whole picture of the isotopic record, due to its being the only collection dating to the Late Neolithic Ozieri (ca. 3850-3300 BC). 6.5.3. Montessu (Villaperuccio) One of the largest rock-carved necropolises on the whole island, the site was used for burial and ceremonial purposes from the Late Neolithic thr ough the Middle Ages; all prehistoric cultural phases are represented among the approxima tely 40 tombs, many of them articulated in several rooms: their plans are either circular, with “oven-shaped” curved ceiling and the intermediate ceremonial room ( anticella ), or roughly rectangular, with long access corrido r, representing the two phases of the continuum along the Ozieri/Post-Ozieri tradition of domus de janas (Atzeni 1972; Forresu 2000). Peculiar to this site which represents one of the rare clusters of complex and decorated tombs in southern Sardinia if compared with the North, is the presence of three larger tombs (so-called “tomb -sanctuaries”: tombs 7, 10 and 33), where the entrance and the vestibular room is expanded in to wide spaces for ritual activities, with cupules and hearths carved in the rock pavement (At zeni 1981; Forresu 2000: 83). While human remains are barely mentioned in the brief pre liminary reports that unfortunately make up all the literature on this outstanding site, acc ess to the recovered skeletal remains, and information on their context, were obtained by visi ting and interviewing Dott. Remo Forresu, co-director of many excavations at the site, curren tly director of the nearby Museo

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219Archeologico di Santadi. The skeletal materials hav e not been analyzed and in some cases they have not been cleaned yet, but human bones fro m four contexts, judged potentially reliable based on such oral information, were sampl ed in 2004 for isotopic analyses. AMS dating devoided these remains of their informative importance relative to the present dissertation (Table 13): the attribution of the ind ividual from tomb 10 to the Middle Bronze Age (out of the 3850-1900 BC range and included onl y for the purpose of comparing different phases at the same site) was somewhat con firmed, although it appeared slightly later than expected; one out of five attributed to the Ea rly Bronze Age turned out to be Medieval (cal AD 888-1151 2), so casting doubt on the reliability of the rest; the one attributed to the Late Neolithic did not yield any collagen and remai ns therefore as well uncertain. Therefore, these were also not taken into account in the paleo economic reconstruction of the examined period. 6.5.4. Santa Caterina di Pittinuri (Cuglieri) Located north of Oristano, at a few km from the cur rent coastline (which may have been further away in the time the tomb was carved), it is an isolated domu de janas organized in four rooms, the first being the anticella (room A: see plan in figure 35), preceded by a corridor. Accidentally discovered in occasion of the construction of a road, the tomb was excavated in two campaigns, in 1985 and 19 92 (Buffa, et al. 1995). All cultural Table 13. Chronology of the bone samples from Monte ssu collected for isotopic analyses (cultural attribution courtesy of Dr. R. Forresu) Tomb Cultural attribution Corresponding chronology (Tykot 1994) AMS dating outcome AMS datingcal 2 range* # indiv. sampled for isotopes Tomb 15 Late Neolithic (Ozieri) Ca. 4000-3200 BC No collage n: not confirmed 1 Tomb 32 Late Beaker/ EBA (Bonnanaro A) Ca. 2200-1900 BC No dating: not confirmed 2 Tomb 33 Late Beaker/ EBA (Bonnanaro A) Ca. 2200-1900 BC Incompatible: Medieval AD 888-1151 3 Tomb 10 MBA (Bonnanaro B) Ca. 1900-1600 BC Partially compat ible: confirmed 1730-1440 BC 1 *For full information on these dates, see table 30.

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220materials point to its carving and use during the C opper Age; utilization lasted through two phases as represented by the difference in pottery shapes, decoration and conditions: the earlier, represented by the basal layer of the anticella is characterized by open, middle-sized vessels, all in fragments, with some degree of inci sed and impressed decoration. The later phase, documented in the upper layer of the anticella and in the corridor, shows mostly small cups for individual consumption and closed shapes f or liquids, largely undecorated, often intact and laid along the walls (Cocco and Usai 198 8: 13-16). Using the phases suggested by Melis, the upper layer corresponds to groups C-D an d D (labeled as a transition between Filigosa and Abealzu), and represents the very last aspect of the Ozieri ceramic tradition. The previous phase, not included in her study, due to t he prevalence of bowl-like vessels is to be assigned to phases B-C and C (fully within the Fili gosa aspect: Melis 2000d: 54-55). Common to both phases are offerings of animal parts the overwhelming majority being pig mandibles (Fonzo, personal communication 2006); the se faunal remains, curated at the Laboratorio di Archeologia in Villanovaforru, were also sampled for isotopic analyses. The three smaller rooms were used as permanent funerary space, with abundant skeletal remains and few artifacts, mostly objects for personal use or adornment (arrowpoints and silver rings), but little pottery. The osteological study, still largely unpublished, shows that all skeletal elements are represented; an MNI of approx imately one hundred individuals was calculated from bones, while over 250 were calculat ed from teeth, many of which were loose, and probably pertain to several generations includi ng the earliest ones not represented by bone remains (Marini, et al. 1997a; 1997b). In fact the two available radiocarbon dates, one already published, one in this study, cover a long timespan (3355-3030 and 2916-2153 cal BC 2). While teeth were studied at the Universit La Sa pienza in Rome by Prof. Alfredo Coppa and colleagues, only sorting and preliminary analysis were performed on bones in Cagliari. They are currently unavailable because th ey are stored in the Magazzini Militari, a building that is interdicted due to health and safe ty concerns. Luckily, a limited number of cranial specimens from room C had not been taken ba ck there with the rest, and were therefore available for sampling at the Department of Experimental Biology of the University of Cagliari. The little information available on pa thologies represented in this population concerns its poor dental health: the rate of caries about 18%, represents an anomalously high frequency (Coppa unpublished), which points to high consumption of fruits. Alternatively, since there is no other evidence for this, consumpt ion of processed cereals could also be

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221accounted for such numbers. Further discussion of d ietary reconstruction is below, in the integration with the isotopic results. 6.5.5. Cannas di Sotto (Carbonia) The site is a vast necropolis of still mostly unexc avated domus de janas located on a low limestone plateau partially incorporated by dev elopment into the urban area of the city of Carbonia. Survey and partial excavation of tomb 12 was carried out in 1983. Only the corridor and one room of the tomb was brought to li ght, so that the extent and complexity of the whole structure is unknown, and only a prelimin ary report with site plan and select materials has been published (Santoni and Usai 1995 : 53-55). Since no materials of classic Ozieri style were recovered, the carving and occupa tion of the tomb dates to the Copper Age. Since the ossuary-room is directly past the corrido r and entrance, the excavated portion may have represented at some point the ritual area ( anticella ) that possibly later became funerary when ritual activities moved outside (see chapter 4 ,). Interestingly, no animal remains are mentioned, besides a few bone tools and shells. Hum an remains, disarticulated, were recovered in no apparent meaningful order in the ro om, mixed with compact infiltrated soil, pottery, and lithic tools, and one female figurine. The ceramic phase represented is recognized by the excavators as Sub-Ozieri through Filigosa-Abealzu (Santoni and Usai 1995: 58-64), and pertains to MelisÂ’s groups A thro ugh C (Melis 2000d: 152), earlier than Santa Caterina di PittinuriÂ’s main documented phase s according to her sequence. This skeletal collection is therefore important as a sam ple of the Post-Ozieri and early Filigosa phase in the Southwest, and the AMS date fits an ea rly phase of the Copper Age (3349-3023 cal BC 2). 6.5.6. Scaba Â’e Arriu (Siddi) The site is located on gentle slopes on the east si de of a group of hills in the Marmilla region. Accidentally discovered in 1983 during work s for private construction near the town of Siddi, the structure is a rock-carved tomb with longitudinal plan, articulated in corridor, anticella and funeral room (Badas and Usai 1989). W hen excavated, the inner burial room was found occupied by Monte Claro pottery and remai ns, while earlier pottery of Ozieri and

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222Post-Ozieri tradition was concentrated in the botto m layers of the anticella and of the corridor. The remains of the inner room had been cl eared and moved in the anticella, to the sides of a newly built megalithic corridor leading straight to the entrance of the burial room; the roof of the anticella had also partially collap sed (Usai 1998). The tomb, rather than “violated” by “Filigosa and Abealzu peoples” (Usai 1998: 34), was likely used by the same community, that had ancestral links with the first builders who used Ozieri-style pottery, with no discontinuity but a gradual transformation in ce ramic style and material culture (see chapter 4). The break is instead apparent with the users of Monte Claro pottery, who cleared the earlier remains and modified the whole structur e of the tomb, apparently based on different cult perspectives spreading in the advanc ed Copper Age. No more offerings of animals are observed in this context, nor lithic ut ensils accompanying the deceased (Ragucci and Usai 2004: 152-180). There is a tendency for di stinction and maintenance of individuality in death, with the separation of sele ct remains into cists arranged within the chamber, and into large jars (Usai 1998: 34-35). On the other hand, the pottery cleared along the ea rlier remains and found in the anticella and corridor pertains mostly in the phase C (Filigosa II) within Melis’ ceramic framework, with some evidence for earlier and later types (Melis 2000d: 153), and lithic industry is rich and comparable to that of other Co pper Age contexts. The importance of the skeletal remains from this site for stable isotopic analyses is great, because it allows us to measure values across two different cultural-chrono logical phases, overcoming the comparative problem of environmental variability be tween sites. Three AMS dates enabled me to pinpoint the chronology of the change in pott ery style and burial practices, with the Post-Ozieri centered around the 29th-28th century (2902-2634 and 3017-2712 cal BC 2), and the Monte Claro around the 26th-25th (2620-2350 cal BC 2), with a possible hiatus that would need further chronological testing. Furthermo re, this site is crucial since the presence of faunal remains, analyzed by Dott.ssa O. Fonzo, e nables us to reconstruct more reliably the foodchain and so identify the protein sources of th e human diet more accurately. 6.5.7. Serra Cannigas (Villagreca, Nuraminis) No accurate information is available regarding the context of this site, a burial that yielded a wealth of artifacts including pottery, li thics, and probably the highest concentration

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223of metal jewelry and tools in Sardinian prehistory. Apparently it consisted of two lithic cists or tombs (A and B) carved in shallow and soft calca reous rock, which were devastated by plowing. Many of the materials were never recovered and likely found their way to private collections (Atzeni 1985). The metal finds included several silver spirals and rings, and copper daggers (Usai 2005b: 261). Pottery finds sho wed a wealth of shapes all attributed to the Copper Age Post-Ozieri tradition, ranging from MelisÂ’ group A-B through C-E, witnessing to a long timespan of utilization. The b urials were collective, but the skeletal remains salvaged have never been analyzed. The pres ence of partially burnt bones may indicate cremation but also could result from later use of the tomb, or even from wild fires after erosion of the topsoil. Among the details of recovery learned from interviewing the archaeologist who directed the operations is the pr esence of a third series of teeth recognizable in several cranial specimens (Atzeni, personal communication Nov. 2004). However, no such specimens were found in the recove red material at the time of sampling. The one AMS date obtained from bone tissue (3080-27 10 cal BC 2) fits the general time range of the Post-Ozieri style. 6.5.8. MindÂ’e Gureu (Gesturi) The exact location of this burial is not reported; the skeletal remains and associated artifacts were accidentally discovered during priva te construction works, handed over to archaeologists, and later published. No contextual data are known, so that the attribution was based on the ceramic style (Fonzo and Usai 1997), t o be later confirmed by the AMS date that was obtained directly from the bone tissue of the one cranium recovered with the materials (2620-2287 cal BC 2). The phase appears to be the last Post-Ozieri asp ect, labeled Abealzu by the authors (see chapter 4), which can b e attributed to the phase C (Filigosa II) according to Melis (2000d: 153): it is close to the cultural material assemblage from the later layer at Santa Caterina di Pittinuri and to much of the Post-Ozieri materials at ScabÂ’e Arriu. The dating, much later than the earliest Monte Clar o dates and even slightly later than the one date from the Monte Claro phase at ScabÂ’e Arriu its elf, demostrates clearly that the two ceramic styles were partially contemporaneous, pote ntially for a few hundred years.

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2246.5.9. Via Basilicata and Via Trentino (Cagliari) These two denominations belong to the same necropol is, documented piecemeal during the 20th century over a wide area deeply transformed by dev elopment in the expansion of the city of Cagliari, comprehensively known as S a Duchessa. The tombs are at the foot of the several hills that characterize this currently urban landscape, alternating with fertile alluvial soils. Likely connected to the dwellings f ound uphill near the present-day College of Literature and Philosophy of the University of Cagl iari, all tombs were of the same basic type, carved in the sedimentary rock, with a vertic al shaft and one or three rooms arranged horizontally. Rooms are irregularly circular or ova l-shaped, and inhumations are single or in small groups. The individuals sampled for isotopic analysis are from tombs 1 and 4 in Via Basilicata (Atzeni 1967), and from tomb 1 in Via Tr entino (Atzeni 1985). Burial arrangement is quite standardized, with bodies lying flexed on the left side, with one or several vessels near the head. The remains are invariably in very b ad conditions, due to water leakage into the tomb and roof collapse that in some cases is li kely to have occurred near the time of carving (Atzeni 1967, 1985, 1986). As expected, vir tually no collagen was preserved, which besides the stable isotopic analyses also prevented AMS dating. 6.5.10. Seddas de Daga (Iglesias) This natural cave utilized as a burial location was discovered by a collapse of the limestone rock matrix that opened up an entrance, i n 1974. Looting followed the discovery, so that when speleologists and archaeologists were able to reach the site, they could only document the devastation and collect sherds and bon es. The cultural attribution is based on the mixture of skeletal remains with sherds that pe rtain to the same culturally homogeneous aspect, that of Monte Claro (Alba 1999). Among the bones recovered and stored, mostly large fragments, were crania, vertebrae and long bo nes, belonging to at least 13 individuals. However, it is reported that at the time of discove ry the crania were 17 and they are described as arranged in a circle; furthermore, trepanation w as also recorded, although many of these remains have long disappeared (Fruttu and Petrone 1 982: 2). AMS dating did confirm the attribution to the chronological phase assigned on stylistic grounds (2866-2493 cal BC 2).

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2256.5.11. Su Stampu Â’e Giuanniccu Meli (Villaputzu) Recent excavation, soon to be published, documented a burial context in a natural cave near the east coast of Sardinia, in the area n amed Quirra. The cave had been devastated by later reuse (until recently as a shelter for pig s) and possibly looting, besides the infiltration of water that covered many of the artifacts and bon e remains with a layer of concretions (Donatella Salvi, personal communication Nov. 2004) Human remains were in highly fragmentary conditions and very friable, and this c ondition of advanced degradation was confirmed by the poor preservation of collagen. The cultural-chronological attribution of the ceramic sherds pointed to the Bonnanaro A Early Bro nze Age aspect (end 3rd-beginning 2nd millennium BC). However, the unpublished AMS date f rom the University of Lecce (Italy), graciously shared by Dott.ssa Rosalba Floris, place d the sample, provided by the University of Cagliari Department of Experimental Biology, in the early-to-mid 3rd millennium BC (2847-2459 cal BC 2, with higher probability in the later part of the period: 2577-2477 cal BC 1). Since even the 25th century BC seems too early for a precocious appear ance of Bonnanaro A pottery on the East coast, this is to b e considered another example of skeletal remains found in caves in disturbed stratigraphies with misleading cultural material associations. In this case the attribution was wise ly tested through radiocarbon, and fortunately skeletal remains are still within the t ime range of the present study, despite their being several hundred years earlier. 6.5.12. Padru Jossu (Sanluri) The grave of Padru Jossu was discovered during digs for irrigation, and excavated in 1980. It consists of a large approximately rectangu lar pit, with a raised surface on one side, and a few niches. It yielded abundant skeletal rema ins and artifacts, including pottery, metal items, and rich ornaments made of shells, stone and teeth (Ugas 1982b, 1989). Several layers were accurately documented, with some individuals i n partial articulation, witnessing to an occupation lasting through at least three different cultural phases: Monte Claro (very thin basal layer, with a few bone fragments and potsherd s), Bell Beaker, and Bonnanaro A, spanning approximately 2700 to 1900 BC according to the current chronology (Tykot 1994). While the excavator believes it to be an undergroun d rock-carved tomb (type domu de janas ) whose friable roof collapsed (Ugas 1982b: 19), a comparison with a site excavated

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226in mainland Italy that shows stringent similarities in spatial organization and burial customs may suggest that it was an open-air pit for ceremon ies related to the dead (Fosso Conicchio: Fugazzola Delpino and Pellegrini 1999). Moreover, t he custom of keeping a funerary site open is proposed also by Manunza (2000; 2005: 148-1 49) for the pit grave of Iscalitas (Soleminis), which pertains to the Bonnanaro A aspe ct, considered a later outcome of the Bell Beaker. The importance of the site lies in its wide repertoire of artifacts (Ugas 1998) for material culture aspects previously documented only by early-20th century excavations that did not meet modern stratigraphic standards. Unfortunately, the wealth of anthropological inform ation that the osteological study would yield is not available: most of the remains l ie in boxes since the moment they were unearthed. Nineteen crania were randomly sampled fo r cranial measurements from the three layers: one from the Monte Claro layer, 5 from the ‘decorated’ Bell Beaker layer, 13 from the ‘undecorated’ Bell Beaker layer (German 1982b, 198 7; 1995: 90-91, 101-104), which the majority of scholars assimilate to an early aspect of the Early Bronze Age Bonnanaro A; unfortunately, this study did not involve any postcranial specimens nor did it target any specific paleopathological or behavioral element un derstandable from the skeleton. Interestingly, two out of five Beaker A individuals had atrophy or agenesis of the same tooth, and 6 out of all 19 individuals showed cribra orbitalia (German 1987), which are likely related to nutrition poor in protein or vitamins, o r to parasites (see chapter 5). Animal offerings were present in both main layers, in some cases as halved or whole immature animals, with mostly ovicaprines and no ca ttle in the Beaker layers, and some specimens of pig and cattle with sheep/goat still d ominant in the Early Bronze Age layers. Whole animals were common in phase A and absent in phase B (Sorrentino 1982; Ugas 1998: 277). This was interpreted as reflecting a sl ight increase in agricultural activities within a mostly pastoral context (Ugas 1982b: 21). The pre sence of several individuals from two phases makes this site, together with Scab’e Arriu, one of the most important for the research project, which also justifies the number of AMS dat es deemed appropriate to maximize the information potential coming from the biochemical i nvestigation. Five determinations (Table 14) enabled us to pinpoint, with the best accuracy up to now, the timing of ceramic styles and cultural change they tend to be associated with.

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227Table 14. Chronology of the bone samples from Padru Jossu collected for isotopic analyses (cultural attribution based on stratigraphic inform ation in Ugas 1982 and German 1987). USF Lab # and Specimen # University of Arizona Lab # Cultural attribution Chronolog. phase (Tykot 1994) 2 range 1 range USF # 6906 (cr. 67) AA72790 Late Copper Age (Monte Claro) Ca. 2700-2200 BC 2561-2234 cal BC 2469-2345 cal BC USF # 9562 (cr. 52) AA72153 Late Copper Age (Bell Beaker Ca. 2700-2200 BC 2463-2155 cal BC 2432-2206 cal BC USF # 6904 (cr.70-71) AA72152 Late Copper Age (Bell Beaker Ca. 2700-2200 BC 2463-2155 cal BC 2433-2207 cal BC USF # 6908 (cr. 36) AA72792 Early Bronze Age (Bonnanaro A) Ca. 2200-1900 BC 2430-2044 cal BC 2287-2144 cal BC USF # 6907 (cr. 3) AA72791 Early Bronze Age (Bonnanaro A) Ca. 2200-1900 BC 2461-2152 cal BC 2397-2205 cal BC *For full information on these dates, see table 30. 6.5.13. Iscalitas (Soleminis) The site, reported in the literature as Is Calitas, is a pit grave dug on a low hill in an area bordering the plains around Cagliari. Agricult ural works for planting a vineyard uncovered bones and sherds, and upon call by local amateur archaeologists the Soprintendenza proceeded to salvageing the informat ion with a scientific excavation in 1995 (Manunza 1998, 2005). The grave yielded Early Bronz e Age cultural materials of Bonnanaro A style and a large number of human remains, found mostly as disarticulated elements, with a small number of partially or totally articulated skeletons (Buffa, et al. 2000; Manunza 1998). Two close radiocarbon dates on bone are avai lable, from top and bottom layers of depositions (2290-1899 and 2286-2027 cal BC 2). No clear discontinuity was detected in the depositions, which must have continued regularl y until the end of utilization. The excavator suggests that during this time the tomb w as left open: this would be compatible with its being shallow (about 75 cm), with the skel etons tightly packed but disarticulated and seemingly pushed eastward, and the presence of a ‘m idden’ of stones. In one case, a tripod appeared intentionally laid on a small stone slab, which would imply it was standing inside the pit (Manunza 2005: 148). No animal offerings we re recovered, while beside the pottery and personal ornaments, about a hundred obsidian fl akes were also found. The bare material of these simple flakes, which contrasts with the ar rowpoints and formal tools accompanying the dead in previous times, has been interpreted as still holding some special meaning in

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228times of transition between different symbolic-pres tige goods, in an age when tool-making by knapping was already declining but obsidian was sti ll somewhat valued (Manunza 2005: 149). The accurate excavation made it possible for this site to document reasonable associations between some human remains and artifac ts. This in turn allowed us to assess status by associated grave goods and test isotopica lly the presence of different diets according to social conditions. The relatively low caries (3%) and high occurrence and degree of occlusal wear also provided an indication of diet, which according to common interpretations would indicate low consumption of p rocessed starch and carbohydrates (Usai, et al. 2005). 6.5.14. Concali Corongiu Â’Acca (Villamassargia) This site is a natural cave, located in the Sardini an southwest, where human remains and pottery were recovered, but no accurate context ual information or stratigraphy was ever published. In fact, from the literature it was even problematic to reconstruct which cave the remains exactly come from, since two with the same name, indicated with I and II, a few tens of meters apart, yielded archaeological materials. According to Atzeni (1981: xxiii ; 1996a), cave II was already an Early and Middle Neolithic s ite; cave I yielded Late Neolithic, Late Copper Age Monte Claro, and Bell Beaker materials ( Atzeni 1981: xxiii; Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lvi, lviii), but both caves were used in the Early Bronze Age by Bonnanaro A groups (Ferrarese Ceruti 1981a: lxvi). However, in early n otes (Ferrarese Ceruti 1974a; b: 143-144, note 56), it is in cave II that a wealth of pottery dating the the Early Bronze Age was recovered after the discovery of the site on March 31, 1973, by the Associazione Speleologica Iglesiente. Some pottery represents al ready an autonomous evolution from shapes that are strictly parallel to Polada types ( see chapter 4 on ceramics), which may indicate a somewhat later occupation as compared to the previous Bonnanaro A sites. One AMS date was obtained directly from bone (2202-1963 cal BC 2), which confirms the chronology. Among the few cranial specimens, there was a high occurrence of remarkable diploic thickening (German 1995: 130; Maxia and Fl oris 1961), a hyperostotic condition which is commonly believed to be a symptom of anemi a as cribra but could also be connected to vitamin C deficiency or parasites.

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2296.6. Methods 6.6.1. Sample Collection Authorizations to remove the bone samples and analy ze them abroad were granted by the Soprintendenza Archeologica per le Province di Cagl iari e Oristano Sample collection took place in collaboration with Dott.ssa R. Floris Dott.ssa E. Usai (Universit di Cagliari), Dr. O. Fonzo (Laboratorio di Archeologia, Villanova forru, Sardinia), and Dr. J.F. Beckett (University of Cambridge-UK), so as to remove bone samples from locations not important for potential future morphometric studies, and to h ave osteological data on the remains not previously studied. In some cases, even though sex and age had been assessed previously, this was redone to acquire as much as possible cons istency of methods. A few grams of bone per individual were removed with a portable Dremel professional drill with speed control. Each sample was bagged, labeled and cataloged. Cont amination during or after sampling is not an issue with such procedures, since the prepar ation removes fundamentally anything that is not collagen, apatite or possible preservatives (see below). 6.6.2. Sample Preparation Approximately 1 gram of whole bone was selected per each individual, physically cleaned with dental tools from visible soil or conc retions, ultrasonically cleaned and dried. Approximately 10 mg of bone powder were removed by drilling and milling, weighed and collected to be prepared for apatite analysis. Coll agen preparation is a variation of well tested procedures (Ambrose 1990, 1993): starting from the ~1 g bone chunk, after soaking it in a glass jar for ~24 hours in 50 ml of 0.1 mol/L NaOH aq. to remove humic acid contaminants, it was isolated by demineralization by soaking in 5 0 ml of 2% HCl aq. in two or more ~24hour baths, depending on the necessity for more rea ction. After the first bath, samples were often cut into smaller pieces as required to favor penetration of the solution. After demineralization, another ~24 hours in NaOH removed contaminants that may not have been removed when the bone was whole. Visual qualitative indicators of the demineralization are the color of the solution and the presence of bubbl es on the surface. Visual assessment of collagen preservation in this way is possible throu ghout the process, unlike procedures involving the grinding of bone into powder and its gelatinization (Ambrose 1993; Tykot

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2302004). In order to remove lipids, samples were then immersed for ~24 hours in 50 ml of a solution made of methanol, chloroform, and d.i. wat er in proportions of 2:1:0.8 (~52.6%, 26.3%, 21.1.%). Each sample was rinsed at every ste p involving a change in solution. The use of mild HCl (2%) allows the recovery of collage n even from bone that is physically degraded (Tykot 2004), and has the attached advanta ge of improving safety for lab workers. The extracted material, which is as close as possib le to pure collagen, consists of pellets, or pseudomorphs; they are transferred into vials, oven -dried at ~65C for at least 12 hrs or more if necessary, and weighed to calculate concentratio ns (collagen yields). The preservation, and thus results reliability, of collagen samples from 132 individuals (both human and faunal) has been assess ed using conventional parameters that include collagen concentration, or % yield, the con centration of N and C in collagen, and the ratio of C:N (Ambrose 1990). Specifically, accordin g to experimental tests, N yield in well preserved collagen was higher than 4.8%, and when l ower than 0.5% collagen was always diagenetically altered; C yield was above 13% in we ll preserved collagen, and constantly lower than 3.5% in degraded collagen. A C:N ratio b etween 3.4-3.6 and 2.9 has been shown to indicate faithfully good preservation, with the first limit being different according to different studies (Ambrose 1990: 447; Schoeninger, et al. 1989). Since the visual assessment method was used, integrated by the collagen yield f rom whole bone, and the analyzer was not available at the beginning of this project, the res t of the samples (64 individuals) were evaluated without the C:N ratio and C and N concent ration parameters. Concerning collagen yields, a concentration under 1 % is commonly considered indication of potentially degraded collagen. Some e xperimental data suggest a higher percent (3.5% in Ambrose 1990), but 1% is widely accepted i n studies using the pulverizationgelatinization method (e.g. Honch, et al. 2006; Le Huray and Schutkowski 2005; Papathanasiou 2003). Therefore, yields of 1% and ev en 0.5% can be safely considered as terms “ supra quem” collagen is reliably preserved, if the difference in preparation is taken into account: in fact, it involves the potential lo ss of some collagen during rinsing, which the pulverization-gelatinization method avoids. Consist ency of yields and lack of other systematic indicators of diagenesis, such as the re lationship between yields and isotopic values, can also indicate when the isotopic signatu re is not preserved. Investigating the existence of correlations between the several param eters and the isotopic values themselves is a further test.

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231To isolate the apatite, 10 mg of bone powder are tr eated with a ~72-hour bath in 1.5ml of 2% NaOCl (bleach) which dissolves the orga nic portion; non-biogenic carbonate is removed by soaking the sample for ~24 hours in a 1. 0 mol/L buffered acetic acid/sodium acetate solution. A study published after preparati on had started shows that soaking times of ~4 hours in lower concentration acetic acid (0.1M) is sufficient and apparently even better to avoid the danger of recrystallization (Garvie-Lok, et al. 2004: 771-775); however, the shifts observed between results obtained with the two prep aration methods meant that changing procedure would render samples processed in differe nt ways not comparable, so the decision was made to keep using the traditional method for a ll samples. Attention was paid to be as consistent as possible with the ratio of sample to solution quantity and soaking times, which have been shown to be important for consistency of results (Garvie-Lok, et al. 2004; Koch, et al. 1997; Lee-Thorp and Sponheimer 2003). Apatite i s undoubtedly less reliable if compared to the quantitative indicators available for collag en, and to the resistance of tooth enamel to contamination. Due to the crystalline structure of carbonate, exogenous carbonates dissolved in the soil matrix can recrystallize replacing lost carbon, so contaminating the original isotopic signature (Sharp 2007: 133-138). Although there is no quantitative proof that removal of such non-biogenic carbonate is complete, the procedures used have been shown to produce reliable results (Lee-Thorp and van der Mer we 1991; Nielsen-Marsh and Hedges 2000a). The assessment of the integrity of samples through the carbonate yield measured after each preparation step (Nielsen-Marsh and Hedg es 2000b), and in the absence of soil samples, the viability of the isotopic values thems elves, can be used as secondary proxies for preservation. It has been shown that bone mineral h as the potential to retain original isotopic signatures, and it has been suggested that in certa in conditions recrystallization can even favor this preservation, rather than contaminating the sample (Lee-Thorp and Sponheimer 2003). 6.6.3. Analysis by Mass Spectrometry Mass spectrometers are instruments dedicated to the detection of mass differences in the molecules of gases. While the principles and ba sic functioning has not changed since the 1960s, several improvements allowed scientists to u se the instruments to perform isotopic measurements routinely. Samples are bombarded and p ositively ionized; they are then

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232accelerated by a magnet that deflects their traject ory according to the specific molecular mass (different for each element and isotope tergeted); these molecules are then counted in collectors. The system to introduce the sample gas into the spectrometer can be dual-inlet or continuous-flow. The latter, devised in the late 19 70s, despite its being slightly less precise than the dual-inlet, improved the rapidity of analy sis and reduced considerably the required sample size. This system also allows to analyze C a nd N isotopes together (for further details see Sharp 2007: 30-33). In the present project, 1 mg per sample of the end product of collagen preparation was weighed, placed in tin capsules, and analyzed i n continuous-flow mode with a CarloErba 2500 Series II CHN analyzer, coupled with a Th ermoFinnigan Delta+XL stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Precision (2) is better than 0.3‰ for 15N and 0.2‰ for 13C. Concerning the apatite samples, 1 mg of the powder prepared as described above was analyzed on another ThermoFinnigan Delta+XL mass sp ectrometer, in dual-inlet configuration, equipped with a Kiel III individual acid bath carbonate system. Precision (2) is in this case better than 0.04‰ for 13C and 0.06‰ for 18O. Samples of isotopically known materials, urea for collagen and Carrara marb le for apatite, are used as working standards by being input at regular intervals durin g each run of samples. Both mass spectrometers are located at the Paleo Lab, Univers ity of South Florida, St. Petersburg campus, where samples were taken, and analyses were performed under supervision of Mr. Ethan Goddard, Associate in Research and Dr. David Hollander, Associate Professor and director. 6.6.4. Statistical Analysis The results were studied statistically with Statgra phics Plus (professional edition), after the transformation of most of them to account for microclimatic-geographic variation. Most phenomena were studied and illustrated through basic descriptive statistics, with biplots of collagen 13C, apatite 13C, collagen 15N, collagen-apatite 13C spacing, 18O, multiple box-and-wisker plots of single classes of data. Bas ic statistical parameters, such as means and standard deviations were calculated for all the inv estigated groups and subgroups, and when needed the signficance of differences between group s was also studied statistically.

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233Correlation analysis was used to test the relations hip between variables and verify that the transformation of the data made them change signifi cantly as expected. A note to the reader: the notation of standard devi ation values in this dissertation as units ‰ is not strictly speaking correct since it i s a mathematical abstraction and not a quantity of permils, percents, nor anything else. I decided to use it anyway in charts and descriptive statistics, given its usefulness and re liability in order to have a visual idea of the variation of each group and following its widesprea d use in the literature.

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234 Chapter 7. Results 7.1. Preservation of Stable Isotopic Signal 7.1.1. Bone Collagen Preservation Collagen preservation and the reliability of its is otopic signature has been assessed by means of several parameters commonly used, as discu ssed in the section on methods in chapter 6. A number of samples, already analyzed be fore 2005, were evaluated through visual assessment, collagen yields, and consistency of isotopic results themselves, whereas for a second group of samples the C:N ratio analyze r became available, and this also allowed a comparison of the different preservation paramete rs. Out of the 171 individuals originally sampled, not all could be analyzed: one (#6991) had preservative glue that could not be eliminated with any of the available solvents (distilled water, methanol, chloroform, acetone), the rest was lost while being processed or analyzed, or did not yield enough collagen. A total of 150 in dividuals were therefore successfully analyzed for stable isotopes in collagen. Out of th e total, 29 samples had collagen concentrations lower than 0.5%; nine of these were analyzed anyway, and most of them had isotopic values comparable with those better preser ved. Yields were highly variable by group (Figure 65), l ikely reflecting the wide variety of taphonomic histories at each site. The range of the ir average (Table 15) is from 0.0% for the single-individual group of Montessu, tomb 15, possi bly Late Neolithic but of unreliable attribution, to 14.5 1.4% for Is Aruttas, which A MS dating placed later than the subject period. Within the period 4000-1900 BC, yield was b etween nearly zero (0.1 0.1%) for the necropolis at Sa Duchessa (Cagliari) and 8.6 2.4% for the cave of Seddas de Daga. Even different layers within the same deposit, such as t he phases A and B at Padru Jossu, show

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235 Figure 65. Box-and-whisker plot of collagen % yield by group. Reference percentage in fresh bone is ~20%. Gray area and italics indicate later samples or samples of uncertain date, analyzed as part of t his project but not included in the dietary reconstruct ion of the subject period. Blue squares indicate ou tliers. Table 15. Means of bone collagen yields by group (v alues in italics belong to groups outside the time range targeted by this study). Groups* n m s.d. San Benedetto 16 5.0 3.5 Cannas di Sotto 6 2.7 2.8 Serra Cannigas 5 1.6 2.2 Santa Caterina di Pittinuri 9 2.0 1.8 Scaba Â’e Arriu A 14 4.8 1.6 Scaba Â’e Arriu M 13 5.7 2.2 Seddas de Daga 7 8.6 2.4 Su Stampu Â’e Giuannicu Meli 9 3.2 4.5 Sa Duchessa 3 0.1 0.1 MindÂ’e Gureu 1 0.5 0.0 Padru Jossu M 1 1.8 0.0 Padru Jossu A 19 5.7 6.3 Padru Jossu B 15 2.5 1.2 Iscalitas 29 1.6 0.8 Concali Corongiu Acca 5 3.5 4.1 Montessu t.10 1 2.5 0.0 Is Aruttas 11 14.5 1.4 Montessu t.33 3 14.0 5.4 Montessu t.32 2 4.4 6.2 Montessu t.15 1 0.0 0.0 Groups in italics are later samples or samples of uncertain date.

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236 high variability. Several groups also show a high s tandard deviation, again indicating different microenvironments within the same collect ive burial, which determined conditions conducive to differential preservation. At the site of Padru Jossu, this is evident both between phases and within the phase A. There is no clear re lationship between collagen yield and age. Except for the youngest groups (Is Aruttas and the few medieval individuals from Montessu), there is no trend visible for groups dating between 4000 and 1900 BC as the box-and-whisker plot shows (Figure 65), which confirms, as expected that age alone is not a good predictor of preservation. The archaeological specimens of fauna from the two collections sampled showed different preservation. Among the species at Santa Caterina di Pittinuri, pig bones were in poor condition: three out of five samples did not h ave enough collagen left, one yielded abnormal C% and no signal for N, indicating the iso topic values were not reliable. So, only part of all the specimens (7 out of 11) yielded col lagen for the mass spectrometry Figure 66. Scatterplot of C% vs. N% in human sample s: a close-up of the values between N% = 10 and 30 and C% = 20 and 50, showing the systematic instrume ntal error of the elemental analyzer that increased N% in several samples, causing C:N ratios to drop w ith no relationship with the isotopic values.

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237 measurement. At the site of Scaba Â’e Arriu, all spe cimens except a Prolagus femur (17 out of 18) yielded enough collagen and good preservation p arameters. The average yield for samples that were analyzed was 4.9 3.0%. Part of the human individuals (87 out of the 171 le ft with the exclusion of the one with resistant preservative) and the faunal samples were analyzed after the C:N ratio analyzer became available, which allowed a better considerat ion of the preservation indicators. On the other hand, several samples had a background signal that, by increasing the N reception, caused several ratios to decrease abnormally (Figur e 66). Therefore, while their good preservation can be reliably assessed, this inconve niency prevents a representative statistical comparison between different parameters. Apart from these general observations, some samples may be considered slightly suspect, on a case-by-case basis. Replicate 2 of sa mple #9520 had very high nitrogen due to instrumental incorrect reading; its C:N ratio, howe ver, 1.87, is beyond the range that can be reliably attributed to instrumental error: it is th erefore not considered for dietary reconstruction. Sample #8679, replicate 1, despite a normal C:N ratio, had N% = 36.35 and C% = 82.93, both out of the normal range, and so is not considered for dietary reconstruction. The mass spectrometer did not detect any peak for s amples #9552, replicate 1, #6989, replicate 1, #7010, replicate 2, and #7014, replica te 2. No N peaks were detected for both #8667 replicates, no peaks at all for both #8669 re plicates; these last two samples, both faunal, also had 13C values definitely out of the animal range, and ar e clearly degraded (in fact, several samples from the same group had low y ields and poor preservation). In one case (#8685, replicate 2), the C:N ratio was abnormal be cause N had no signal; the value was retained, since C% and isotopic values were very cl ose to the replicate with all parameters within the acceptable range. In the case of #8687, the C:N ratio of replicate 2 was lower than the acceptable range with no evidence for instrumen tal error, and was therefore rejected for dietary reconstruction. Even if distribution was not normal in most cases, as is likely with such a small sample sizes that come from taking each group separ ately, I tried to test some groups for correlation between the parameters of preservation (collagen yield and C:N ratio) and the isotopic values, with the expectation of finding we ak or no relationship (Herrscher 2003:

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238202). The test had to be performed group by group t o avoid the detection of false relationships due to non-homogeneous groups. A gene rally weak relationship was found, with a few exceptions, which are likely due to rand om effects of the resulting small statistical populations. Table 16 shows the elements of the equ ations representing the best-fitting line (model) that describes the relationship between 13C, 15N on one side and collagen yield and C:N ratio on the other side, and between collagen % yield and C:N ratio. Between 13C and % yield, there is a weak but significant corr elation at Scaba Â’e Arriu M, and a weak and barely significant correlat ion at Seddas de Daga (where one fourth of the variation is explained by the model). The re lationship found between 15N and % yield at Iscalitas is stronger (r = 0.73) and more signif icant. However, removing just one or two individuals (two replicates each) makes the relatio nship weak and non significant (p above0.05). In conclusion, as concerns both the hum an and faunal samples, the results that were retained can be considered reliable, and the v alues as mostly preserving the original isotopic signature that reflects the environment an d dietary relations of the ecosystem where they were generated and incorporated in living tiss ues. Table 16. Statistical correlations between preserva tion indicators Scaba Â’e Arriu A Collagen yield C:N ratio # Subs. r r 2 p interc. slope r r 2 p interc. slope 13 C 28 0.04 0.13 0.85 7.73 0.15 -0.31 9.64 0.11 -2.27 -0.28 15 N 28 -0.06 0.42 0.74 6.22 -0.13 -0.20 4.37 0.30 3.5 7 -0.05 C:N 28 -0.07 0.54 0.71 6.73 -6.62 Scaba Â’e Arriu M Collagen yield C:N ratio # Subs. r r 2 p interc. slope r r 2 p interc. slope 13 C 21 0.55 30.54 0.01 100.69 4.94 -0.15 2.26 0.50 1. 94 -0.06 15 N 21 0.25 6.34 0.26 -0.24 0.58 -0.36 12.69 0.10 3.4 0 -0.03 C:N 21 -0.16 2.43 0.48 17.20 -3.66 Iscalitas Collagen yield C:N ratio # Subs. r r 2 p interc. slope r r 2 p interc. slope 13 C 18 0.18 3.14 0.48 15.21 0.70 -0.40 16.05 0.10 -10 .39 -0.69 15 N 18 0.73 53.89 0.00 -6.08 0.75 0.06 0.37 0.81 2.64 0.03 C:N 18 0.07 0.53 0.77 1.21 0.17 Seddas de Daga Collagen yield C:N ratio # Subs. r r 2 p interc. slope r r 2 p interc. slope 13 C 14 -0.54 29.06 0.05 -18.10 -1.34 -0.32 9.96 0.27 2.82 -0.02 15 N 14 0.25 6.22 0.39 6.08 0.34 -0.35 12.47 0.22 3.19 -0.01 C:N 14 -0.14 1.94 0.63 31.01 -7.19

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239 7.1.2. Bone Apatite Preservation As explained in the section on methods, apatite doe s not have clear cut-off points in preservation parameters for rejecting vs. retaining samples on the basis of risk of contamination. Here some of these parameters are ex amined. The most important is the yield of (assumed) biogenic carbonate. Since bone contain s 65-70% mineral (the remainder being mainly collagen), what would be expected of well-pr eserved samples is a significant weight loss in the bleach, indicative of good preservation of the organic portion, and a small weight loss in the acetic acid bath, indicating a small qu antity of non-biogenic carbonate carrying contamination to the isotopic signature. Higher wei ght loss is indication of severe alteration, with the associated likelihood that the signal is c ontaminated by heavy recrystallization, whether it be in the ground or in the buffered acet ic acid solution. The carbonate yield generally meets this expectatio n (Figure 67): in humans, values (Table 17) range from 43.4% (#8613, Iscalitas) to 8 2.2% (#6948, San Benedetto), and the averages per site range from 51.5 5.1% (Concali C orongiu Acca II) to 73.1 6.6 (San Figure 67. Box-and-whisker plot of bone carbonate y ield as weighed after bath in acetic acid/ acetate buffered solution for the different groups. Referen ce percentage in fresh bone is 65-70%. In italics a re different contexts from Montessu and Is Aruttas, wh ich are either uncertain or out of the chronologica l range of this study.

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240 Table 17. Means of bone apatite carbonate yield by group. (values in italics belong to groups outside the time range targeted by this study). groups n m s.d. San Benedetto 16 73.1 6.6 Cannas di Sotto 6 61.8 4.9 Serra Cannigas 5 66.1 7.0 Santa Caterina di Pittinuri 10 68.8 7.9 Scaba Â’e Arriu A 14 65.8 4.7 Scaba Â’e Arriu M 13 61.6 6.5 Seddas de Daga 7 61.0 7.8 Su Stampu Â’e Giuannicu Meli 9 63.5 6.3 Sa Duchessa 3 67.9 3.4 MindÂ’e Gureu 1 65.7 0 Padru Jossu M 1 78.9 0 Padru Jossu A 18 62.3 7.0 Padru Jossu B 13 67.7 6.1 Iscalitas 29 64.9 6.7 Concali Corongiu Acca 5 51.5 5.1 Montessu t.10 1 58.8 0 Is Aruttas 11 67.1 4.2 Montessu t.33 3 67.1 5.6 Montessu t.32 2 70.4 1.1 Montessu t.15 1 67.4 0 Benedetto), plus the single-individual group of Pad ru Jossu, Monte Claro phase (yield 78.9%). Part of the difference from the expected yi eld may be due to some loss inherent in the rinsing process. The only group that seems to h ave consistently lower yields than the expected average is Concali Corongiu Acca, which is also quite extreme in the isotopic values. I therefore suspect that the original signa ture of the carbonate might be altered. This is also suggested by its anomalously depleted 13Capa values. Overall, the results are to be considered fairly re liable. The faunal archaeological samples had average carbonate yields of 69.1 4.3% (Scaba Â’e Arriu A) and 62.9 7.2% (Santa Caterina di Pittinuri), a pattern which foll ows the different preservation indicated by the collagen yields and by the calcareous concretio ns observed by the excavators in the latter burial (Buffa, et al. 1995).

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241An exploratory study has been done to ascertain the presence of relationships between preservation parameters in the human sample s database, and between such parameters and the isotopic results. Such relations hips may be indicative, although they need to be taken cautiously for the presence of possible non-homogeneous subgroups. The danger is that of casting doubts on results that are relia ble but may show spurious relationships. In all cases studied there is a linear relationship that is significant ( p values ranging from 0.00 to 0.05) but relatively weak, with r 0.34 and percent explained by the model r2 11.50% (Figure 68). Collagen yield and weight loss during the bleach bath are expected to be somewhat related, since both are a measure of th e organic content of bone, and they do, significantly but in small proportion ( r2 is 9.13%, p =0.00). Uneven recovery from the vials obscuring such effect and some approximation in wei ghing may be responsible for the weak relationship, besides the expectedly irregular pres ence of humic acids and soil contaminants. Figure 68. Scatterplots and best-fit lines of seve ral parameters pertaining to bone apatite preservat ion: a) collagen yield vs. carbonate % weight lost in the b leach bath; b) carbonate % weight lost in the bleac h bath vs. apatite 13C; c) carbonate % weight lost in the acetic acid/ a cetate buffered solution bath vs. apatite 13C; d) carbonate % weight after the bleach bath vs. apatite 13C.

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242Similarly, a weak but statistically significant rel ationship was found between sample weight % after bleach bath (or sample weight % lost in the bleach bath, which is complementary, and inversely the weight % lost in the acetic acid solution) and 13C, which remains even if up to three selected groups are removed. This would seem to point to 13C values becoming slightly more enriched when the organic portion is less preserved. If so, isotopic values would be enriched by contamination in conditions of worse preservation, possibly due to limestone carbonate (important part of the rocky ma trix at many sites) leaching and recrystallizing in the bone. However, even if speci fic soil tests are unavailable and for most sites impossible, this seems unlikely. The groups w ith burial environments rich in carbonate concretions, which if contaminated would have more enriched values like the limestone matrix (Santa Caterina di Pittinuri, Concali Corong iu Acca II, Su Stampu Â’e Giuannicu Meli), instead appear to spread across the range of 13C values. Similarly, those samples from individuals buried in pits, which if contaminated b y soil with higher organic matter would show more depleted values, do not assume meaningful patterns. In these cases, where no significant relationship i s expected but as mentioned there is a weak but significant one, the p value rises significantly if one or two of the gro ups is removed, often one of the larger ones. This seems t o indicate the random effect of dishomogeneous groups rather than any real or impor tant causal relationship. Therefore, considering such intrinsic danger of non-homogeneou s groups, the range of variation within the expected values, and the absence of clear relat ionship with the burial environment, it appears likely that the relationship is spurious. T he observed variation is largely to be attributed to the original biogenic signal. Similar comment can be made for the statistically s ignificant and moderate relationship between collagen yield and 18O ( r = 0.55, r2 = 30.29%, p = 0.00). In this case, removing the groups of Is Aruttas and Iscalitas lea ves p < 0.01, but the coefficients of correlation and determination drop ( r = 0.23, r2 = 5.37%). Non-homogeneity of groups creates false relationships. Weak and scarcely significant were also the relationships between both the % weight lost in the acetic acid and the % weig ht lost in bleach solution as predictors and 18O as outcome (which are not presented here for brev ity). This again indicates the isotopic values were not systematically related to preservat ion, and supports the reliability of the dataset as a whole.

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243Another indication that the bone apatite values pre serve most of the original biogenic signal is provided by their comparison with the ena mel apatite, which is considered very resistant to diagenesis and therefore reliable (Tab le 18). While the average interval is mostly within 1.1‰ for both 13C and 18O, supporting the reliability of bone apatite, ther e are a few cases of larger differences. In the case of Is Arut tas, cranium 2 (= #6879col = 6890apat = 7128enam), such a discrepancy might lend support to the hyp othesis of diagenetic alteration, and this could be investigated in the future with f urther testing; the single tooth is a first premolar, which should be 18O-enriched, rather than depleted as compared to bon e, due to its formation during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I n the case of Padru Jossu, cranium 67 (= # 6906col = 6929apat = 7130enam), this is the only individual available from the e arliest phase, and shows a distinct isotopic signature in comparison w ith all the later individuals. In this case, the 13C enrichment in bone corresponds to a diet richer i n isotopically heavier lipids, away from the depleted lipids of breast milk reflected i n the sampled tooth, which is a first molar and corresponds more closely to breastfeeding age ( Wright and Schwarcz 1998: 10-12). These comparisons must be considered loosely though since there is remarkable variation in isotopes that is not fully understood. Such variati on seems to be related to the different phases of growth and development, a factor that is intertwined with the dietary change during childhood and adolescence, so making interpretation particularly difficult. Even if this does not guarantee that the situation is the same for all samples: it has been shown that depending on preservation, treatmen t can enhance or worsen the resistance Table 18. Means of bone apatite and tooth enamel is otopic values, and their difference. 13C‰ apatite 18O‰ apatite 13C‰ enamel 18O‰ enamel apatenamel apatenamel n Mean St. Dev. Mean St. Dev. n Mean St. Dev. Mean St. Dev. 13 C ‰ 18 O ‰ San Benedetto 16 -13.8 1.1 -4.3 0.3 4 -13.5 0.3 -4. 3 0.3 -0.3 0.1 Scaba ’e Arriu A 14 -11.4 1.2 -3.3 0.7 8 -12.5 0.7 -3.4 0.2 1.1 0.2 Scaba ’e Arriu M 12 -13.0 0.7 -3.9 0.3 3 -12.0 0.4 -4.4 0.1 -1.0 0.4 Padru Jossu M 1 -9.9 0.0 -3.0 0.0 1 -13.5 0.0 -4.8 0.0 3.6 1.8 Padru Jossu A 18 -12.7 1.2 -3.2 0.8 3 -12.3 0.7 -4. 4 0.2 -0.4 1.1 Padru Jossu B 14 -11.4 0.9 -2.6 0.6 9 -11.7 1.5 -3. 7 0.4 0.4 1.1 Is Aruttas 11 -10.3 2.5 -1.3 0.8 1 -11.6 0.0 -3.3 0 .0 1.3 1.9

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244of the original chemical signature (Nielsen-Marsh a nd Hedges 2000b showed that depending on preservation, treatment can enhance or worsen th e resistance of the original chemical signature). However, at least an indirect proof tha t the procedure used was fairly successful in preserving the original isotopic signal is provided by the faunal bone apatite values for Scaba ’e Arriu A and particularly Santa Caterina di Pitti nuri. The isotopic differences by species at these sites reflect the differential fractionation according to each species’ physiology: obligate drinkers and especially pigs are associate d with enriched 13C and depleted 18O, moderately drought-tolerant species such as sheep/g oat with more depleted 13C and enriched 18O, and rodents, the most drought-tolerant mammals i n the ecosystem, showing depleted 13C and very enriched 18O (Figure 69). Since there is no foolproof way of detecting contam ination, however, the possibility that other groups of samples where such an indirect indication is missing are to some extent altered, cannot be ruled out. A distinction must al so be made between 13C and 18O. The former is much more resistant, and its signal will be intact even when the latter is already fully altered. The diagenetic model for the two has a well-established L-shaped pattern. When rainwater is the source of contamination, valu es tend to become depleted; therefore, if this was the source of contamination, as we could e xpect in soils and bedrocks that are noncalcareous, values that cluster too tightly on the lower end of both ratios could be taken with Figure 69. Scatterplots of 13C and 18O of faunal specimens from the two sites of Santa C aterina di Pittinuri and Scaba ‘e Arriu (phase A). Values refl ect the different positions of different species ac cording to their different physiology, which implies the or iginal biogenic signal is preserved.

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245 caution (Sharp 2007: 135-138). The groups of Concal i Corongiu Acca II, Santa Caterina di Pittinuri and the single individual of Montessu, to mb 15, might follow this pattern. However, when the water in the ground contains also a high c oncentration of dissolved carbonate from the sedimentary bedrock, 13C tends to decrease (sedimentary limestones have 13C values broadly nearing 0‰), so the L-shaped diagenetic pat tern will first deplete 18O and then enrich 13C. The only group that could correspond to this pat tern is Iscalitas. Is Aruttas bone apatite yielded very enriched 18O (-1.3‰ 0.8) that does not match with the only val ue from tooth enamel (3.3‰). The possibility of it r eflecting a change of residence between adolescence and adulthood is slim, since the tooth used is a third molar, and it would anyway be unlikely that the only sampled individual is amo ng the presumably few who did change their residence. 7.1.3. Tooth Enamel Apatite Preservation The procedure utilized to extract carbonate from to oth enamel is the same as that for bone. The only difference is, as explained in the s ection on principles and methods, that in the large majority of cases teeth preserve the orig inal signal more faithfully. The proportion of mineral in fresh tooth enamel is over 96%, and i ts high crystallinity makes this material extremely resistant (among the studies comparing bo ne and enamel, see Wang and Cerling 1994; Wright and Schwarcz 1998); most of the specim ens in this study had a carbonate yield between 70-90% weight of the powdered whole bone (F igure 70); most of the difference may be due to loss in the rinsing process. The good pre servation is also indicated by the fact that the average isotopic values of the microsamples ana lyzed without preparation, removed after just a careful cleaning of the enamel surface, were close to the values of the bulk sample from the whole surface of the tooth.

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246 Figure 70. Box-and-whisker plot of tooth enamel car bonate yield as weighed after bath in buffered acet ic acid/acetate solution for the different groups. Ref erence percentage in fresh bone is >96%. In italics Is Aruttas, which is out of the chronological range of this study. 7.2. Stable Isotopic Values 7.2.1. Collagen Values All isotopic values by group are in the Appendices, tables 29 through 44. Human collagen 13C values from all sites (Figure 71) are between –21 .3 and –18.2‰, with an average of –19.2 0.4‰, and 15N values between 6.0 and 13.1‰, with an average of 10.3 1.2‰. These values indicate that human groups were part of a fully C3 food chain, with negligible amounts of marine resources and/or C4 plants in the diet, with relatively little differentiation in this regard, as the small interv al defined by the 13C standard deviation shows. From 15N, it is also possible to assess that animal produc ts were generally an important part of the protein portion of the diet: values over 8-9‰ in Europe commonly indicate that most protein was derived from animals The linear relationship between 13C and 15N (15N = 36.25 + 1.35 13C; r2 = 23.49%, p = 0.00) is expected, as both derive mostly from th e same dietary protein (Figure 72) and are affected by the same environmental vari ation in the ecosystem. The slope, quite

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247 Figure 71. Scatterplot of all collagen 13C and 15N values of all groups. One outlier from Seddas de Daga has been left out to allow better visibility of the main cloud of datapoints. Points are color-coded a s follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri C opper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, later sites. Figure 72. Biplot of all collagen 13C and 15N values with the best-fit line.

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248 steep with much more variation in 15N than in 13C, and the shape more oval than linear of the data-points’ cloud, is a further indication tha t most of the dietary variation comes from differences in foods from different trophic levels, rather than from different ecosystems. If contribution of fish was substantial in the amount of variation observed, we would more likely find a less vertical and thinner spread of v alues toward enriched 15N and 13C (Honch, et al. 2006: 1498). If there was any archaeological indication of any consumption of freshwater fish, we could contemplate the possibili ty that high 15N could be due to it, but the overwhelming evidence for domesticates for the site s where the animal bones were analyzed, and the overall cross-cultural evidence, increases the confidence of the interpretation. As concerns inter-site variation, which is one of t he main concerns of this study, reading the data without any correction would indic ate that most groups had largely overlapping diets along a continuum except the Copper Age group of Seddas de Daga. Th e individuals buried at this site would appear to hav e relied on a much more plant-based diet, as suggested by its 15N over 2‰ lower than the averages at most other group s (only exception is the middle-bronze-age single individua l from Montessu, t.10). However, as will be clear in the discussion, this does not account f or synchronic climatic effects, and in dietary terms such differences in raw values may be highly misleading. 7.2.2. Apatite 13C and Spacing Collagen-Apatite 13C These parameters can be described together, since t hey are directly connected and have a strong linear relationship (13Ccol-apa = 18.05 0.94 13Capa; r2 = 93.52%, p = 0.00). As has already been discussed (Hedges 2003), most o f the variation in the spacing comes from 13Capa rather than from 13Ccol (Figure 73). The 13Capa values range from -15.8‰ to 4.3‰, with an average of -12.2 1.9‰, and 13Ccol-apa values from -14.2‰ to -3.0‰, with an average of 7.2 1.8‰ (Figure 74). Most values appe ar to spread across the range known for mammals, representing the span of human nutritional variation between mostly carnivorous to mostly herbivorous diets, through the majority o f individuals that were omnivorous.

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249 Figure 73. Biplots and best-fit lines of apatite 13C vs. spacing 13Ccol-apa, and collagen 13C vs. 13Ccol-apa. The distributions and the best-fit lines show that most of the variation in 13Ccol-apa derives from 13Capa rather than 13Ccol. Figure 74. Scatterplot of all collagen 15N and apatite 13C values of all groups. Three outliers, from Is Aruttas, Su Stampu Â’e Giuannicu Meli and Scaba Â’e A rriu (phase A) have been left out to allow better visibility of the main cloud of datapoints. Points are color-coded as follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) C opper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, later sites.

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250The 13Ccol-apa spacing values (Figure 75) are generally comparabl e to those of Mediterranean prehistoric sites of different time p eriods: in Anatolia at Neval ori (average spacing = 8.26‰, Lsch, et al. 2006), in Greece at Tharrounia, Theopetra and Kouveleiki (average spacing = 8.16‰, 7.53‰, 7.46‰ respectively Papathanasiou 2003), in Russia in the Middle Neolithic and Early Bronze Age in the An gara region (average spacing = 7.3‰, 7.7‰ respectively, Katzenberg and Weber 1999) on th e herbivorous end; again in Greece, at Franchthi and Kephala (average spacing = 5.73‰, 6.4 3 respectively, Papathanasiou 2003) and in Russia at several locations (Katzenberg and Weber 1999) on the more carnivorous end. A few groups, however, do show averages over 8 ‰, which would indicate a diet based almost exclusively on vegetal foods and/or porcine meat. More aspects of the dietary variation that bone isotopic values suggest are dis cussed in chapter 8, based on the dataset already corrected to allow inter-site comparability Figure 75. Scatterplot of all collagen 15N and 13Ccol-apa values of all groups, clearly symmetrical and virtually equivalent to the chart where apatite 13Cis plotted instead of 13Ccol-apa. Three outliers, from Is Aruttas, Su Stampu ’e Giuannicu Meli and Scaba ’e A rriu (phase A) have been left out to allow better visibility of the main cloud of datapoints. Points are color-coded as follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) C opper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, later sites.

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2517.2.3. Apatite 18O The 18Oapa values (Figure 76) range from –5.8‰ to +0.2‰, with an average of -3.7 1.0‰. When compared with the few previous studies reporti ng on 18O in the western Mediterranean, they are overall within the expected range. At locations in northern Italy, such as the Arene Candide cave and Spilamberto (D'Angela and Longinelli 1990, 1993), values measured on phosphate, when converted into carbonat e (Iacumin, et al. 1996) overlap with the highest measured in this study (the highest sin gle-site average being -4.6 0.4‰ at Iscalitas) and higher, up to -6.7‰. This is a few p oints per mil more depleted than Sardinia, as expected from areas with heavier rainfall, and a pproximately mirrors the clines measured in present-day rainwater 18O in Italy (Longinelli and Selmo 2003). The average values by group for the subject period span from -2.6 0.6‰ at Padru Jossu B, to -4.6 0.4‰ at Iscalitas, although more groups cluster in the more depleted end. This might reflect a consistent average of climatic conditions with few anomalies, which however remain mostly within ~2‰. This indicates th at climatic variation across sites and Figure 76. Scatterplot of all bone apatite 18O and 13C values of all groups. Three outliers, two from Is Aruttas, one from Su Stampu ’e Giuannicu Meli, have been left out to allow better visibility of the ma in cloud of datapoints. Points are color-coded as foll ows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri Coppe r Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, B ell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, later sites.

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252periods has been possibly sensible, and precipitati on may have varied within a 400 mm range, following the ~1‰/200 mm rainfall approximat ion in Bar-Matthews et al. (2003). This variation can be effective in bringing about r emarkable environmental change, and while 18O does not need a correction in order to disentangl e the variation due to diet, a correction is possible to account for geography and extract the broad climatic change over time by means of controlling the ‘ space ’ variable. Such correction is explained in detail in chapter 8. As a general description of the observed variation, three groups can be distinguished: one averaging -4‰ or less, which inc ludes sites from the 4th through the early 3rd millennium cal BC, and the latest ones, Iscalitas and Concali Corongiu Acca II; such values possibly indicate rainfall over ~750 mm/year The second group, with intermediate values between -4‰ and -3‰, indicating possibly rai nfall between ~500 and ~750 mm/year, is associated with radiocarbon dates between the 29th and the 24th century cal BC. The third group is made up of Padru Jossu B alone, which has an average 18O of 2.6 0.6‰ and corresponds to an average annual rainfall of ~350 m m/year. The probable effects of these events and what they meant within the cultural and economic context are discussed below, based on corrected values. 7.2.4. Tooth Enamel 13C and 18O Bulk Results As reported above when discussing the preservation of the bone apatite isotopic signal, the measurements of tooth enamel carbonate yielded comparable results, with a few exceptions and some distinctions. The average inter val is further reduced considering only the same individuals from which both bone and tooth have been sampled. The range for 13C is from -13.9 to -8.6‰, the average -12.3 1.1‰. T he variation of averages per site goes from -13.5 to -11.6‰. For 18O, the range is from -4.8 to -3.1‰, with an average of -3.9 0.5‰ and variation between site averages from -4.8 to -3.3‰ (Tables 19 and 20). A difference between tooth and bone is to be expect ed due to changing isotopic fractionation patterns in relation to growth. Breas tfeeding has been shown to affect the isotopic signature of teeth according to the age of formation. Even if contrasting patterns have been documented (White, et al. 2004; Wright an d Schwarcz 1998), 18O values are

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253Table 19. Difference in isotopic values in bone apa tite and enamel within same individuals. n 13C‰ bone apatite 18O‰ bone apatite 13C‰ enamel 18O‰ enamel 13 C‰ bone apatite enamel s.d. 18 O‰ bone apatite enamel s.d. San Benedetto 4 -10.3 -1.3 -11.6 -3.3 -0.3 1.3 -0.1 0.5 Scab'e Arriu A 8 -12.7 -3.2 -12.3 -4.4 0.5 0.5 -0.2 0.2 Scab'e Arriu M 3 -11.4 -2.6 -11.7 -3.7 -0.5 1.8 0.1 0.4 Padru Jossu M 1 -9.9 -3.0 -13.5 -4.8 3.6 0.0 1.8 0. 0 Padru Jossu A 3 -13.8 -4.3 -13.5 -4.3 0.0 0.6 0.8 0 .3 Padru Jossu B 9 -11.4 -3.3 -12.5 -3.4 0.6 1.9 0.9 0 .7 Is Aruttas 1 -13.0 -3.9 -12.0 -4.4 0.1 0.0 2.3 0.0 generally heavier in deciduous teeth and become lig hter in third molars, due to weaning with the end of input of enriched breast milk. Such depl etion has also been observed between second and third molars to bone (White, et al. 2004 : 243). Unfortunately, in the contexts of the few studies on the subject, the basic food reso urces at play in determining the change in isotopic values at weaning and adolescence are diff erent from those of the western Mediterranean in prehistory, due to the absence of ruminant milk (in pre-contact Americas) or the presence of C4 crops (Africa). General trends seem similar, and 13C enrichment observed in Mesoamerica has been suggested to be no t as notable as in the case of progressive introduction of C4 plant foods, but any way visible, due to the introduction of lipids less isotopically depleted than breast milk (Wright and Schwarcz 1998: 10-12). Due to the small sample size by group, no statistical anal yses were considered appropriate, and results (Figure 77) are described and commented on here. Three out of the four individuals sampled from the Late Neolithic remains of San Benedetto (#7125, 7126, 9815) show lighter (more ne gative) 13C values in bone than in teeth, which is expected, while only one (#7127) sh ows the opposite. Likely, such a difference still reflects breastfeeding in teeth, w ith scarce supplementation of 13C-enriched solid foods (they are two first molars and two prem olars, that grow up to age 6), or supplementation of foods with depleted lipids, such as possibly ruminant milk (Copley, et al. 2003; Evershed, et al. 1999). This would make sense if these individuals had their most important source of lipids in sheep, goat or cow mi lk, with substantial introduction of plants and pork meat, and consequent reduction in depleted fats, during adulthood. Interestingly,

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254Table 20. Tooth enamel isotopic values (with bone v alues for comparison) USF# enamel tooth type Site # ind. Subgroups collagen apatite enamel Sex Age 13C 15N 13C 18O 13C 18O 7113 m1 Scab'e Arriu A 3222 Ind Adu -13.1 -3.3 7114 m1 Scab'e Arriu A 4575 Ind Adu 7115 m1 Scab'e Arriu A 2138 Ind Adu -12.5 -3.7 7116 m1 Scab'e Arriu A 4886 Ind Adu -13.0 -3.8 7117 m2 Scab'e Arriu A 4938 Ind Inf -19.3 9.9 -11.5 -3.4 -12.6 -3.4 7118 p2 Scab'e Arriu A 4332 Ind Inf -19.3 11.2 -11. 2 -3.5 -11.9 -3.1 7119 m1 Scab'e Arriu A 7686 Ind Inf -19.3 10.1 -12. 1 -3.2 -12.3 -3.3 7120 m1 Scab'e Arriu A 1479 Ind Adu -11.2 -3.3 7121 m(1?) Scab'e Arriu A 4151 Ind Adu -19.0 10.9 13.1 -3.8 -13.1 -3.5 7122 m1 Scab'e Arriu M cr. c F Sen -19.1 9.6 -13.5 -4.2 -11.7 -4.2 7123 m3 Scab'e Arriu M cr.5 Juv Juv -10.9 -4.7 -1 2.4 -4.4 7124 m2 Scab'e Arriu M 8001 Ind Adu -19.2 10.3 -13. 1 -4.0 -11.8 -4.5 7125 m1 San Benedetto cr.3 F Adu -19.5 8.3 -14.2 -4 .0 -13.2 -4.3 7126 p1 San Benedetto cr.14 F Juv -19.4 10.0 -14.4 -4.4 -13.5 -4.4 7127 p1 San Benedetto cr.24 F Juv -19.6 9.8 -11.9 4.4 -13.5 -4.6 9815 m1 San Benedetto cr.1 M Adu -20.0 9.3 -14.8 -4 .8 -13.9 -4.0 7128 p1 Is Aruttas cr.2 M Adu -18.2 11.7 -11.5 -1.0 -11.6 -3.3 7130 m1 Padru Jossu M cr.67 F Adu -18.5 12.2 -9.9 3.0 -13.5 -4.8 7139 m2 Padru Jossu A cr.60 Juv Juv -18.9 10.3 -12. 2 -3.5 -12.4 -4.5 7140 m1 Padru Jossu A cr.56 M Adu -18.8 10.8 -12.4 -3.7 -13.0 -4.1 9814 m1 Padru Jossu A cr.63.a Ind Adu -18.8 10.8 -1 2.3 -3.6 -11.6 -4.4 7129 i1 Padru Jossu B cr.24 F Sen -19.2 10.7 -12.3 -2.6 -12.0 -3.5 7131 m3 Padru Jossu B cr.3 M Adu -18.7 10.0 -11.1 2.9 -11.7 -3.9 7132 p2 Padru Jossu B cr.36 Inf Inf -19.1 10.3 -11. 1 -2.3 -13.3 -3.5 7133 m2 Padru Jossu B cr.11 F Adu -18.7 10.7 -10.2 -1.9 -12.7 -3.3 7134 m3 Padru Jossu B cr.6 M Adu -18.9 8.9 -12.3 -3 .0 -10.7 -4.0 7135 m1 Padru Jossu B cr. 18 F Adu -19.3 8.7 -11.8 -1.9 7136 m Padru Jossu B cr.12 Ind Adu -18.7 10.2 -10.2 -3.6 -12.6 -3.1 7137 m2 Padru Jossu B cr.1 M Juv -19.1 10.1 -10.9 2.7 7138 m Padru Jossu B cr.30 Ind Adu -18.5 10.3 -11.6 -2.1 -8.6 -3.8 9816 m3 Padru Jossu B cr.19 F Adu -20.0 9.7 -11.1 2.4 -12.9 -3.9 9817 m3 Padru Jossu B cr.35 Ind Juv -19.0 8.6 -9.7 -4.0 -12.1 -4.0 18O values for the three females are very similar, wh ile in the only male (#9815) they are lighter in bone, as expected. From Scaba ’e Arriu A (Early Copper Age), three inf ants and one adult were sampled. As expected, the difference between enamel and bone is relatively small (only in one case is it over 1‰); 13C values tend to be slightly heavier in bone, as ge nerally expected. Specifically, the smallest interval is fo und in the infant whose sampled tooth is a

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255 Figure 77. Scatterplot of all tooth enamel apatite 18O and 13C values of all groups. Points are colorcoded as follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post -Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Coppe r Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; e mpty symbols, later sites. first molar (#7119). The two tissues were evidently synthesized during overlapping time spans. The two infants whose sampled teeth are a se cond molar and a premolar (#7117 and 7118) may have had supplementary solid foods by age 2, since the bone already has a slightly different signature, compatible with a new source of lipids other than breast milk. This was probably vegetal, otherwise there may have been a reduction of total lipids for the introduction of carbohydrates, such as processed ce real, which are also 13C -enriched compared to breast milk. Sample #7121, an adult, do es not show any difference in 13C, and has bone 18O as expected lighter than its tooth (an undetermin ed molar). If this tooth was a second or third molar, this individual could have h ad solid foods from ages 6-12, similar to adulthood, whereas the 18O could indicate that breast milk or possibly rumin ant milk was still part of the liquid component of the diet. Les s likely, a climatic shift or a temporary change of residence could also account for the obse rved difference. From Scaba Â’e Arriu, Monte Claro phase (Late Copper Age), three individuals were sampled, and in this case we see a rather small dif ference bone-tooth as concerns 18O,

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256whereas all 13C values in teeth are tight within 1‰, but their di ets must have then diverged toward adulthood, because bone values span from -10 .9 to –13.5‰. Again, different quantities of animal and vegetal foods can be the c ause. Just the opposite appears to be the case for the th ree individuals from Padru Jossu, phase A (Bell Beaker): the enamel 13C values are more diverse than the bone, which is a ll within 0.5‰. In this case it is possible that the m others’ diets were different, whereas as adults (and one juvenile) they had a very similar d iet. This may be indirectly confirmed by the fact that, based on bone results, women from th is group had particularly diverse diets as adults. Here again the expected 18O trend of depletion over time from teeth to bone i s reversed. One explanation could be mobility from a birthplace with isotopically lighter drinking water to a warmer, drier area. Another cau se might be, as for 13C values, a significant consumption of ruminant milk. Although there is to my knowledge no research on its effect on human isotopic values, sheep and goat s, as moderately drought-tolerant, have enriched 18/16O ratios as compared to humans and obligate drinker s in general (Bryant and Froelich 1995; Kohn 1996; Kohn and Cerling 2002: 46 4-470; see also the few measurements on sheep from Santa Caterina di Pittinuri and Scaba ’e Arriu A). A significant contribution of sheep/goat milk to the total ingested liquids after weaning could significantly raise the 18O isotopic ratio in bone (sheep-goat isotopic ratios of samples in this study are ~1-3‰ less negative than humans). Alternatively, a climatic sh ift toward more arid conditions within the lifetime of the individuals, which is not implausib le, could also have resulted in such a difference between teeth and bone. The largest group sampled is from Padru Jossu, phas e B. Whereas 18O follows the same reversed pattern as Padru Jossu A, with more e nriched values in bone than in tooth, 13C as generally expected is enriched in bone compare d to teeth in six cases vs. three. Here, since five teeth out of nine are post-weaning, the rest being one a first incisor (#7129), one a second premolar (#7132), and two undetermined molar s (#7136, 7138), what is best recorded is the signature of solid and liquid diet in the ye ars around age 10 and in adulthood. There is no apparent meaningful difference in the pattern fo r pre/peri-weaning teeth on one hand, and second and third molars on the other, as compared t o bone. Without the control of the microsampling where the same 18O trend is visible, we could be suspicious of undet ected diagenesis for this anomalous phenomenon; but the f our third molars do show similar lighter values in later phases, supporting the reliability of the measurements. There is a wide

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257variation in enamel 13C values (over 4‰), much less in 18O (~1‰), which points to some degree of dietary diversity in the proportion of di fferent foods in the diet of children up to age ~11. However, all four third molars (#7131, 7134, 9 816, 9817) have very similar 18O values, suggesting that the source of dietary water was sim ilar for these individuals around age 8-12. If there was any shift to high consumption of sheep milk as possibly indicated by enriched 18O and discussed above, this started at a later age. However, one problem with the milk scenario is that 13C from the same food (due to fat) would be more dep leted: a possible answer could be a combination of a consumption of m ilk high enough to impact the 18O, but coupled with a high quantity of dry plant foods suc h as cultivated grains, rich enough in carbohydrates to impact strongly the bone 13C, making it heavier. As mentioned in the section on general principles o f stable isotopes, a physiological effect on hair 15N has been observed in a study of living population s in Gambia, where the fall of breastfeeding-related enrichment continues during pre-adolescence/adolescence, to values that are lower than those at which it stabil izes in adulthood (O’Connell and Prentice forthcoming; see also Privat, et al. 2002: 785; Whi te and Schwarcz 1994: 177). Therefore, since this is not variation related to diet, even i f not demonstrated yet, it could be the case as well for 13C and 18O. This would account for the enrichment detected f rom third molars to bone. Another possible explanation for the enriched 18O in bone could be seasonal mobility from the locality where the individuals gr ew up to areas of lower elevation and/or rainfall. Such mobility, if started after age ~11-1 2 and involving several months in such areas where water had markedly higher 18O, would result in a weighed average of the two locations, and a consequent rise in bone 18O. The fact that the few pre/peri-weaning teeth are slightly higher in 18O, coupled with these observations, might also sugg est that the anomaly of not seeing depletion from breastfeeding age to p ost-weaning might just be due to random sampling. By having single teeth per individual, th e shift that multiple teeth could document is missing. In fact, for this dissertation, teeth w ere sampled for a control of bone values rather than to infer dietary patterns between youth to adu lthood, which can be the subject for a specific study with a larger population. A single tooth each was sampled from Padru Jossu, M onte Claro phase, and Is Aruttas. The former shows a remarkable enrichment i n both 18O and 13C from breastfeeding age to adulthood. For this, the same possible explanations as for Padru Jossu B

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258hold. The Is Aruttas sample has the same 13C values in the premolar and bone, but very different 18O, over 2‰, for which the reader can again refer to the same reflections above. These are not considered for dietary reconstruction because they turned out to be of later date than the subject period. Tooth Microsampling Pilot Project Results Crown formation in human third molars starts, accor ding to recent studies, at about 8 years of age and lasts approximately 3 years (Reid and Dean 2006). Growth is faster in the first half of the total time, and slows down slight ly in the second, so that more than half the length of the tooth from the apex is formed within one to one and a half years. The four individual teeth selected for pilot microsampling, whose results are presented in Table 21, Table 21. Tooth enamel microsampling 13C and 18O results. Subsample # 13 C‰ enamel 18 O‰ enamel Collection #, age, sex, pathologies 7131f -12.4 -3.8 Cranium 3, 25-35yy or older, male, heavy toothwear 7131e -12.4 -3.9 7131d -10.6 -4.8 7131c -14.3 -4.7 7131b -10.5 -3.5 7131a -10.0 -2.8 7134g -11.6 -4.0 Cranium 6, adult male, slight cribra orbitalia and cranii 7134f -12.0 -4.1 7134e -11.1 -4.1 7134d -10.4 -4.2 7134c -10.7 -4.2 7134b -9.4 -3.7 7134a -9.6 -3.5 9816f -13.1 -3.8 Cranium 19, 20-25yy female 9816e -13.3 -4.0 9816d -12.9 -3.8 9816c -12.8 -3.9 9816b -12.4 -3.7 9816a -12.3 -3.9 9817f -11.2 -4.5 Cranium 35, young (<20yy) possibly male 9817e -12.0 -4.4 9817d -12.0 -4.4 9817c -11.2 -4.0 9817b -9.9 -4.2 9817a -9.6 -3.6

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259were chosen from the same site, to try to address a s well as possible with such a small number of individuals a problem of interest related to the broader goals of this study: the archaeological evidence, human groups may have been more mobile and less sedentary. The largest range is found in #7131, where 13C values span 4.3‰ and 18O values 2.0‰, whereas the other three samples have much sma ller ranges (13C = 2.4, 1.0 and 2.4‰; 18O = 0.7, 0.3, 0.9 for #7134, 9816 and 9817 respecti vely). Seven sequences out of eight (exception is 18O in #9816) start more depleted than they end (Figu re 78), giving an indication of the general trend of diet and/or phys iology in this group of prehistoric pre-teens. Figure 78. Charts with all tooth enamel 13C and 18O values of the microsamples of the four third mola rs from Padru Jossu, phase B.

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260Although the small numbers must be taken cautiously the males appear to show trends different from the female. The former, three individuals, with remarkable isotopic shifts during the ~3-4 years of formation, all end up enriched in both 13C and 18O as compared to the start, and all are visibly depleted in 13C later in life, as detectable from the corresponding bone apatite values. The only female instead shows much less general variation and nothing similar to the clear unmistak able trend of isotopic enrichment of the males. A sharp difference in each subsample’s value is obl iterated by the mixing of the portion removed, which averages possible difference s within, in a way repeating at a finer scale the mechanism of bulk sampling of one tooth. Nevertheless, assuming the formation lasted about 3 years, we may be seeing a pale refle ction of seasonal variation in the charted values of the sequences #7134-13C, #9816-13C and #9816-18O, with the highs corresponding to summers and the lows to winters. T he dietary change between the age ~8 to ~12 was significant for boys, and can be interprete d in several ways. One is a decrease in sheep milk (or less likely cow milk) consumption, w hich has very 13C-depleted lipids; however 18O, which in this case would probably get depleted, gets enriched, which might indicate the opposite. This could be coupled with a n increase in plant foods (high percent of enriched carbohydrates). Alternatively, but less li kely, such a pattern could be explained by a decrease in milk consumption and increase in pork m eat (relatively enriched lipids), with similar contribution of plant foods. A combination of both is also possible. It seems probable in any case that milk was an important component in the juvenile’s diet, possibly replacing breastfeeding when solid foods were introduced and being progressively integrated with plant foods and various items. The young female #9816 was not involved in these profound changes: her diet as a 8-to-12 year-old girl was is otopically slightly enriched in 13C as much as during third molar cusp formation, but such vari ation was comparatively small. Finally, comparing the last values of around age ~1 2 with bone apatite (Table 22), some individuals show 13C depletion (#7131 and 7134, the latter with a 1.0‰ depletion also in 18O), which may be an indication of a generalized bet ter access to meat – and its fat – in adulthood, which is not surprising. The young adult #9817 does not show this, possibly because higher consumption of meat had not started yet (the individual was younger than 20 at death), or the bone had not had enough turnover time for the isotopic ratio to be substantially different. The female experienced a r emarkable enrichment in both 13C and

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26118O, which mirrors the trend observed in pre-teen boy s, only delayed to the time between adolescence and early 20s. It must be underlined th at in females pregnancy and nursing can also determine enrichment, which has been documente d for 15N in vivo (O’Connell and Prentice forthcoming). A similar effect of growth h as been recorded even archaeologically, from the time span 7-12 years of age to adulthood ( White and Schwarcz 1994). Consequently I suspect some similar mechanism in 18O fractionation, in which case the curve in values during age ~8-12 could reflect a fundamentally norm al physiological trend, making the dietary hypotheses unnecessary. 7.3. Faunal and Botanical Control Samples All isotopic values for faunal and botanical sample s are in the Appendices, table 44. They include aquatic animals from different niches, one sample of wild boar from an 1800s’ dumpster in Iglesias, southwestern Sardinia, the Co pper Age samples of both domesticated and wild species, and vegetal samples of both domes ticated and wild plants common in present-day Sardinia. The marine ecosystem (Figure 79) has values that compare to those documented elsewhere in the Mediterranean and in th e world (Pinnegar and Polunin 2000; Pinnegar, et al. 2003; Polunin, et al. 2001; Richar ds and Hedges 1999e). Lower 15N values are recorded in invertebrates ( Aristeus a., Mytilus g .) and fish that feed in relatively shallow waters on the bottom of the sea, whereas higher val ues are associated with predators such as swordfish, eel and squid. The values of the brackis h water fish ( Mugil sp.) are also interesting in that they are enriched in 13C but not particularly enriched in 15N, probably reflecting the lagoon environment. Whereas such values are neverth eless within a marine range, one of the lagoon molluscs ( Chamelea sp.) has typically freshwater values; this might b e linked to the Table 22. 13C in the youngest tooth enamel microsamples and in bone apatite. Individual (original #) Youngest M3 subsample # 13C‰ enamel Bone apatite sample # 13 C‰ bone apatite Cranium 3 7131a -10.0 6930 -11.1 Cranium 6 7134a -9.6 6933 -12.3 Cranium 19 9816a -12.3 6924 -11.1 Cranium 35 9817a -9.6 6938 -9.7

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262 Figure 79. Scatterplot of all 13C and 15N values of flesh specimens of aquatic fauna. All s pecies are marine, although the molluscs, Mugil and Anguilla also live in brackish waters. differential mobility of the two species, which all ows the fish to move seasonally between the lagoon and the open sea, so acquiring a signature f rom both ecosystems. The terrestrial ecosystem’s species (Figure 80) are within the expected ranges, with plants depleted in both 13C (range -30.1 to -23.7‰) and 15N (range -0.8 to +3.7‰). It must be noted how, contrary to broad generalizations (DeNir o and Hastorf 1985), in this specific study there is no interval between N-fixers ( Vicia faba ) and non-fixers ( Triticum durum, Olea europaea, Avena sativa ). Factors besides physiology such as water supply, N supply or slope may have affected such values. Olea as expected has particularly depleted 13C, due to its high lipid content (lipids have usually more deplet ed values within any given organism). The isotopic distance of plants from the animal species appears remarkable, slightly higher than what would be expected for the trophic level effect (3-4‰), but since the two groups come from different contexts, they are not directly comp arable. Average values for terrestrial mammals from the two archaeological sites of Santa Caterina di Pittinuri and Scaba ’e Arriu A are 13C = -20.8‰ and 15N = 5.1‰, and 13C = -20.0‰ and 15N = 8.2‰, although the single species have rather diverse values and gener al averages are not particularly

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263 Figure 80. Scatterplot of all 13C and 15N values of flesh specimens of aquatic fauna, bone collagen of terrestrial fauna, and edible tissue of plants (ber ries, fruits, grains). informative. In fact, the former site has a deplete d average simply because of the smaller representation of pig specimens. Prolagus and the single deer specimen, with their depleted values, point to a forest environment (Heaton 1999; van der Merwe and Medina 1991), as does the one pig specimen. Ovicaprines, most pigs and cattle are isotopically closer to each other than they are to other species, due to a strong component of plant foods i n their diet. Pigs are slightly more enriched in 15N than ovicaprines because their diet incorporates a variety of items, which is what qualifies them as omnivores. Less straightforw ard is the position of Copper Age cattle, which show values clearly enriched as compared to t hose of sheep/goats, and closer to those of pigs and the single specimen of dog. The discuss ion of the practices and food chains that can be reconstructed for these two prehistoric comm unities is reserved for chapter 8. Average apatite values for mammals at Santa Caterin a di Pittinuri and Scaba ’e Arriu A are 13C = -11.6‰ and 18O = -3.1‰, and 13C = -11.1‰ and 18O = -2.5‰, although similar to collagen values, what matters are the is otopic ratios per species. As evident from the 13C for the two groups, at Scaba ’e Arriu A pigs have values quite similar to those of

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264humans, while at Santa Caterina it is very distinct : this seems related to variation in the human diet rather than in the way of tending pigs. The patterning of Prolagus ovicaprines and fox are consistent, pointing to a coherent inte raction of diet and physiological factors. While we would expect enriched 13C in herbivores, pigs at Santa Caterina are actuall y more enriched than sheep/goats, and the 13Ccol-apal spacing is similarly in the same range. The deer unexpectedly shows values similar to those of pigs, which is likely related to a similar forest ecosystem, while foxes have the most carnivorous sp acing of the sampled species. 18O values, as already pointed out as evidence of pre servation of the isotopic signal, follow the general expectation according to drinkin g needs. Obligate drinkers such as pigs and humans show depleted values; on the other hand, moderately drought-tolerant animals such as sheep/goats, and rodents, have more enriche d values. 7.4. AMS Dating All AMS raw radiocarbon dates relative to the studi ed collections are presented in table 23, with calibrated dates, also plotted in th e chronological sequence of the intercept (Figure 81). Calibration was performed with the sof tware Oxcal 4.0. available online, which is one of the several programs that have been teste d and found to be virtually equivalent (Weninger, et al. 2005). One date (#AA64832) is to be rejected, since it was processed and analyzed by mass spectrometry despite a low carbon yield. In fact, i sotopic analyses of collagen on the same sample were also impossible due to its complete dis appearance. Two dates (#AA64836 and AA64834) are to be taken cautiously for relatively low carbon yields. One of them matched the expected date based on cultural materials, the Sardinian Middle Bronze Age, dated ~1900-1600 BC. The other, from skeletal materials t hought to pertain to the Early Bronze Age (~2200-1900 BC) turned out to date much later, in the centuries around ~AD 1000. The sample from Is Aruttas (#AA64824), believed to be L ate Neolithic, also yielded a much later date, during the Late-Final Bronze Age (in Sardinia ~1600-1000 BC: Perra 1997; Tykot 1994). This date deprived this study of the only po ssibility of investigating the diet of a coastal Late Neolithic site. No large collections a re preserved besides San Benedetto, which is inland. As explained in chapter 4, Late Neolithi c remains were mixed and probably for the most part completely degraded (except possibly teet h?) during the long utilization of the new

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265Table 23. All the AMS radiocarbon dates of the coll ections analyzed for stable isotopes* Site Sample Lab # Intercept Error 1 2 sa Duchessa AA64832** 4990 530 cal BC 4357-3093 1.000 cal BC 4999-2453 0.996 2442-2440 0.000 2420-2405 0.001 2377-2350 0.002 San Benedetto Beta-72233 4920 70 cal BC 3771-3645 1.000 cal BC 3941-3857 0.101 3817-3629 0.853 3582-3532 0.047 S. Caterina di Pittinuri 1 AA72148 4496 46 cal BC 3336-3263 0.392 3244-3209 0.193 3192-3151 0.222 3138-3102 0.193 cal BC 3355-3087 0.953 3060-3030 0.047 Cannas di Sotto AA64825 4476 43 cal BC 3333-3213 0.639 3188-3155 0.162 3131-3092 0.199 cal BC 3349-3023 1.000 Serra Cannigas A AA72151 4289 47 cal BC 3008-2985 0.143 2934-2877 0.857 cal BC 3080-3070 0.010 3025-2863 0.922 2807-2759 0.062 2717-2710 0.005 ScabÂ’e Arriu A2 AA72793 4278 42 cal BC 2925-2875 1.000 cal BC 3017-2864 0.912 2806-2759 0.083 2717-2712 0.005 ScabÂ’e Arriu A AA64828 4202 45 cal BC 2891-2857 0.284 2811-2748 0.534 2724-2698 0.181 cal BC 2902-2833 0.291 2819-2660 0.685 2651-2634 0.023 Seddas de Daga AA64830 4091 41 cal BC 2866-2804 0.204 2776-2768 0.008 2764-2563 0.717 2534-2493 0.071 S. Caterina di Pittinuri 2 Beta-72235 4050 140 cal BC 2871-2801 0.169 2792-2788 0.008 2780-2463 0.824 cal BC 2916-2199 0.998 2161-2153 0.002 ScabÂ’e Arriu MCl AA64829 3989 41 cal BC 2568-2518 0.632 2499-2470 0.368 cal BC 2620-2437 0.956 2420-2404 0.016 2378-2350 0.027 Su Stampu Â’e Giuannicu Meli LTL770A 4019 45 cal BC 2577-2477 1.000 cal BC 2847-2845 0.000 2840-2814 0.031 2691-2690 0.000 2677-2459 0.968 Mind'e Gureu AA64826 3957 56 cal BC 2568-2517 0.318 2499-2433 0.424 2422-2403 0.099 2380-2349 0.159 cal BC 2620-2604 0.011 2600-2592 0.005 2588-2287 0.984

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266 Table 23 (continued). All the AMS radiocarbon dates of the collections analyzed for stable isotopes* Site Sample Lab # Intercept Error 1 2 Padru Jossu MCl AA72790 3912 42 cal BC 2469-2388 0.659 2386-2345 0.341 cal BC 2561-2536 0.023 2491-2284 0.965 2248-2234 0.012 Padru Jossu A2 AA72152 3845 41 cal BC 2433-2422 0.055 2403-2380 0.127 2349-2273 0.515 2257-2207 0.303 cal BC 2463-2200 0.999 2157-2155 0.001 Padru Jossu A1 AA72153 3843 41 cal BC 2432-2423 0.039 2402-2380 0.118 2348-2271 0.519 2258-2206 0.324 cal BC 2463-2200 0.996 2158-2155 0.004 Padru Jossu B2 AA72791 3837 41 cal BC 2397-2384 0.065 2346-2205 0.935 cal BC 2461-2198 0.980 2163-2152 0.020 Padru Jossu B1 AA72792 3790 41 cal BC 2287-2194 0.756 2176-2144 0.244 cal BC 2430-2425 0.003 2402-2381 0.017 2348-2125 0.927 2090-2044 0.053 Iscalitas 1 AA72149 3738 42 cal BC 2202-2125 0.649 2091-2043 0.351 cal BC 2286-2247 0.081 2242-2239 0.003 2235-2027 0.916 Iscalitas 2 Beta-107558 3700 70 cal BC 2199-2160 0.175 2153-2015 0.752 1997-1979 0.073 cal BC 2290-1899 1.000 Concali Corongiu Â’Acca II AA72150 3699 42 cal BC 2189-2182 0.042 2141-2030 0.958 cal BC 2202-1963 1.000 Is Aruttas AA64824 3054 55 cal BC 1402-1263 1.000 cal BC 1433-1188 0.952 1181-1155 0.027 1145-1130 0.020 Montessu t.10 AA64836*** 3291 59 cal BC 1633-1499 1.000 cal BC 1730-1719 0.011 1692-1440 0.989 Montessu t.33 AA64834*** 1043 49 calAD 899-918 0.151 962-1029 0.849 calAD 888-1049 0.927 1085-1123 0.056 1137-1151 0.017 Dates available before this study are shaded. All others were obtained within this project. ** Unreliable date, carbon content too low. *** Dates to be taken with caution, carbon content not optimal.

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267 Figure 81. Probability plot of all radiocarbon date s of the studied sites between the Late Neolithic a nd Early Bronze Age. burial sites by their descendants, up to the mid-3rd millennium BC. The collections of Santa Caterina di Pittinuri and Iscalitas were re-dated, to confirm the chronology with more accurate measurements. In previous determinations ( Beta-72235 and Beta-107558) the error was 140 and 70, respectively, whereas the dates in this study (#AA72148 and AA72149) have 46 and 42, respectively. While the date of the latter was virtually confirmed, the

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268date for the former was much earlier and not overla pping with the one previously available, providing fresh evidence of the long use of these b urial chambers by the local community for at least five centuries. Overall, the purpose of AM S dating, that is providing good time control over the remains analyzed for stable isotop es, was substantially achieved, both by confirming chronological pertinence and by adding a ccuracy to several groups.

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269 Chapter 8. Discussion 8.1. Transformation of Values and Corrected Results 8.1.1. Premise: the Aim of Value Transformation An isotopic signature, as clear from the section on fundamentals and principles in chapter 6, is the combined reflection of several fa ctors, where dietary information has to be assessed after ‘weeding out’ other possible substan tial sources of error, due to ecosystemwide variation. One way of doing this is to have a good frame of reference values from lower levels of the food chain, namely animals and plants that were likely to be consumed by humans. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. At many burials there are no animal offerings or bone tools, nor plant remains. Especia lly in older excavations, these remains were often overlooked, as screening was not a unive rsal practice. Moreover, animal and plant remains may sometimes be in different locations wit h differential access and curation. All this has pushed research towards single-site, i n-depth isotopic analyses, which aims to reconstruct a single economic and ecologica l system. Furthermore, single-site analyses allow a larger sampling and consequently a better insight into social patterns as revealed by dietary variation between subgroups def ined based on age, sex, health and class (e.g. Ambrose, et al. 2003; Privat, et al. 2002). W hile this generates detailed knowledge of diet in circumscribed contexts in space and/or time only a long-lasting effort in the field of stable isotopic analyses with a focus on addressing specific problems can yields results that are relevant for longer periods of time and to trac e wide variation patterns. Additionally, there is a risk that, because of chan ging methods of sample preparation and analysis over time, and due to synchronic diffe rences in such methods between different labs and researchers, results may not be completely comparable. Since this dissertation precisely aims at detecting dietary and climatic va riation over a ~2000-year time period,

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270comparisons between different human groups situated in different time and space have to be carried out with caution. One element, middle-scale geographic variation, is accounted for by the relatively limited area the study covers: less than 15,000 km2. Altitude itself is also to some extent accounted for by the low elevation of a ll sites considered. However, there are microclimatic factors that have been recognized to be linearly related with isotopic values: temperature, sunlight precipitation, all to a certain extent related with each other besides with isotopic values. This, as is clear from the section on Mediterranean isotopic studies, is particularly imp ortant in the absence of elements carrying strongly distinctive signatures, such as seafood or C4 plants. Following the general global equations developed in previous studies (van Klinke n, et al. 1994, Schwarcz, et al. 1999 for collagen values, various equations for single steps of correction for apatite 18O), it is possible to disentangle partially these factors to isolate values that can virtually have two origins: either cultural variation (including food and drink, animal and landscape management practices, stress linked to specific pra ctices) or natural variation, in terms of climate change not directly related to human agency This, based on some surveys of isotopic values, is apparently far lower than broad-scale ge ographic and human-induced variation (van Klinken, et al. 2000; 1994). 8.1.2. Transformation Procedure Transformation of Collagen 15N Values For 15N values, Schwarcz et al. (1999) used a global data base to come up with a linear regression equation linking them with mean a nnual precipitation, which has a strong r2 (0.84%): 15N = (16.37 1.23) + (-0.01108 0.0011) mean pre cipitation (mm/year) This equation allowed the calculation of predicted values for the sites considered, retrieving the precipitation values from a map that averages t he data collected between 1921 and 1960 (Pracchi and Terrosu Asole 1971, map # 21), with ro unding to the closest 50 mm interval. The difference was then calculated between predicte d value and measured value, and such difference added to an arbitrary constant value tha t was chosen as the average of all predicted values that are being considered. This leaves the n umbers within the range of the observed

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271values, preserving the overall signal that contains dietary and broad-scale climatic information, but is so-to-speak ‘cleaned’ of error due to latitude, altitude, hill slope, direction of local valleys, and mountain ranges affecting the direction of rains in a way that is assumed here to be to some extent consistent. Transformation of Collagen 13C Values A similar procedure was followed for 13Ccol, using one of the equations obtained by van Klinken and colleagues (van Klinken, et al. 200 0; 1994): 13C = a + (-0.181 0.039) average annual TC Parameters such as temperature, rainfall, sunshine and humidity were all found to be strongly correlated, with p < 0.001, for a dataset including a wide area from Northwest Europe to Israel and Libya, with the exception of M ay temperature, possibly because in Mediterranean climates rains in spring and summer a re just very scarce, therefore whichever curve has already met the zero line. Since no geographically detailed database on Sardin ia was available for July temperature, which was found to be highly correlate d with isotopic values, the mean annual temperature was used instead, which is broadly simi lar, probably with variation slightly reduced since it may average out the peaks. Conside ring the strong linear statistical relationship that most climatic parameters have wit h 13Ccol, this is anyway a safe approximation. These climatic data were also taken from a thematic atlas of Sardinia (Pracchi and Terrosu Asole 1971, map # 11). Since the slope for animal bone should be similar, it can be used for our purpose (van Klinken, et al. 2000 even use the slope for wood): its coefficient of determination for July temperature is strong ( r2 = 0.78%). The intercept is not relevant because I used the average of all values, predicted by using the intercept itself as a basis to calculate the corrected value by adding the difference 13Cpredicted values – observed values. Transformation of Apatite 18O Values Correcting apatite 13C has not been attempted nor is it likely to be. It s composition derives from too many dietary components that contr ibute each a very different signature, so

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272that a climatic effect would be obscured or anyway harder to pull apart from much wider ranges of variation due to food consumption. Since the 13Ccol-apa spacing has a strong linear relationship with 13Capa ( r2 = 93.52%, p = 0.00 in this study’s dataset), and as a mathemat ical abstraction is not directly dependent on actual iso topic values, it is possible to extract dietary information from it instead of 13Capa. 18O values do not depend, in obligate-drinker large m ammals, on solid food intake, but on the drinking-water signature, which in turn depends on the rainwater signature among other interrelated factors. Such a signature, as al ready discussed, has been demonstrated to be correlated with a set of climatic parameters. When dealing with several human groups spread in time and space, in order to assess whether the i sotopic variation derives from geographic patterns assumed to be comparable to the present da y or to large-scale climate change over time, a way to control for such small-scale isotopi c variation is needed. Such variation in some cases can be remarkable and therefore obscure the long-term trends. This does not generate a prediction on any factual phenomenon, si nce geography and global trends are always interacting at the local scale, but rather elimina tes the variation due to small-scale geographic features, leaving values that should be closer to broad-scale climate change. The procedure, done on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, i nvolves the following steps: 1. Calculating 18Owater-(SMOW) from local mean annual precipitation in mm/year (Ba rMatthews, et al. 2003: 3186): 18Owater (SMOW) = -3.25 – 0.0050842 mm/year rainfall 2. Calculating predicted 18Obone phosphate (SMOW) from 18Owater (SMOW) (Longinelli 1984: 386): 18Obone phosphate (SMOW) = 0.64 18Owater (SMOW) + 22.37 3. Calculating predicted 18Obone carbonate (SMOW) from 18Obone phosphate (SMOW) (Iacumin, et al. 1996: 3): 18Obone carbonate (SMOW) = (18Obone phosphate-(SMOW) + 8.5) / 0.98

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2734. Converting 18Obone carbonate (SMOW) into 18Obone carbonate (PDB), which is the notation used for bone apatites, in order to make predicted and observed values comparable; 5. Calculating the difference between observed 18Obone carbonate values and predicted 18Obone carbonate values; 6. Adding such difference to an arbitrary number (as i n van Klinken, et al. 2000, for carbon), which was chosen to be the average of all predicted values. This procedure eliminates variation due to local ge ography and limits the variation to anomalous broad climatic variation, as if all sites were placed in the same geographic location. Although the procedure certainly leaves s ome error due to the effect of other climatic patameters, different patterns of geograph ic variation in the past and changing circulation of air masses, considering the relative ly small area of this study, the variation that is left can reasonably be assumed to be caused by c limate change. The arbitrary number that was chosen is the average of all predicted values in order to keep the values realistically close to the observed ones, and also to be more easily readable due to its similarity to the uncorrected range. Thi s procedure also provides a means of assessing any covariation between 18O, 13Ccol, 15Ncol, and 13Capa which can be due to climate change rather than small-scale geographic v ariation or diet. The first predicted 18Owater was calculated from mean annual rainfall because t here is no fine-grained database for 18Owater in Sardinia: only two measurements have been publi shed (Longinelli and Selmo 2003), which appear within the range expected from the average rainfall, so supporting the outcome of these predictions. The same equations we re used the inverse way to calculate a measure of possible reconstructed rainfall variatio n over the whole studied area based on the corrected 18O values. One limitation of this way of trying to get close t o detecting climate change is the underlying assumption that people were fully sedent ary. If an individual moves within a decade or so to a location that has a different 18Owater signature, or if the individual commutes seasonally between two or more locations, then the values may be a mix of both. This has been considered unlikely during this perio d (Lewthwaite 1981), but may however have been the case for some communities or at least for parts of them. This possibility, introduced in the background chapters 4 and 5, is d iscussed below.

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2748.1.3. Quantitative Analysis of Corrected Results The high correlation between corrected 13C and 15N should have decreased with correction, since the geographic variation has been eliminated. What is left should be due to climate change and diet. In fact (Figure 82), the r coefficient drops, with correction, from 0.48 to -0.08, r2 from 23.50% to 0.57%, and p increases from 0.00 to 0.36. After correction, the stronger the relationship between corrected 13Ccol and 15Ncol values on one hand, and 18O on the other, the more their remaining variation should be due to broad-scale climate change; the weaker the relationship, the more the r emaining variation in 13Ccol and 15Ncol should be due to cultural factors in the form of di et. For 13Ccol, from raw to corrected data (Figure 83), the coefficient of correlation with 18O drops (from r = 0.39 to r = 0.01), the percent of variation explained by the linear model ( r2) shrinks, from 14.89% to 0.01%, and p increases from 0.00 to 0.90. Such a weak and scarce ly significant relationship ensures that climatic variation, which is assumed to be best ref lected in 18O, is not strongly related, nor responsible for the variation found in the correcte d 13Ccol data. It is therefore possible to be reasonably confident that most of it, at this point reflects differences in diet. As concerns the relationship between 15Ncol and 18O (Figure 84), it is significant but weak using raw data ( p = 0.02, r = 0.19, r2 = 3.68%), and as expected both significance and amount of variation explained by the model decrease further when data are analyzed after Figure 82. Comparison of biplots with best-fit line s for collagen 13C vs. 15N, raw and corrected. The plot of corrected values shows that the linear relations hip due to geography/microclimate has been removed.

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275 Figure 83. Comparison of biplots with best-fit line s for collagen 13C vs. 18O, raw and corrected. The corrected 13C values do not have any strong correlation with 18O, indicating that diet, not climate change, is responsible for the remaining variation. Figure 84. Comparison of biplots with best-fit line s for collagen 15N vs. 18O, raw and corrected. The corrected 15N values do not have any strong relationship with 18O, indicating that diet, not climatic variation, is responsible for the remaining variati on. correction ( p = 0.09, r = 0.14, r2 = 1.97%). In such absence of any strong or signifi cant linear relationship with corrected 18O, we can again reasonably infer that the remaining variation is largely due to diet. After discussing the evidence that after correction there is no relationship between 18O as a climatic indicator and 15Ncol and 13Ccol as dietary indicators, which implies that climate change is not a major source of variation i n the transformed diet-related values, there is also evidence coming from a quantitative relatio nship that becomes stronger. This is

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276provided by the comparison of the indicators of lin ear relationship between 15Ncol and the spacing 13Ccol-apa before and after correction. As discussed in chapt er 6, based on theoretical modelling and increasing evidence, these two sets o f values should be related. The former is the most sensible indicator of trophic level, in ot her words of the amount of animal protein in the diet; the latter reflects heavily the quantity of fats, which commonly are of animal origin (Hedges 2003; Lee-Thorp, et al. 1989). Therefore, a large portion of their variation should derive from the same source. If correction of the d ata is effective, this relationship is expected to become stronger, since the effect of en vironmental variation would be removed, leaving a proportionally larger amount of variation due to diet. In fact (Figure 85), the effect of transforming the Sardinian data supports this: b oth the coefficient of correlation and the amount of variation the model accounts for rise rem arkably after data correction ( r = 0.02 to 0.50, r2 = 0.04% to 24.94%). Also, the p value decreases remarkably, indicating that the significance of the relationship is much higher ( p = 0.82 to 0.00). Essentially, the data transformation increases the amount of variation ex plained by the linear model from nearly zero up to almost one fourth: the relationship betw een 15Ncol and 13Ccol-apa expected based on physiology becomes visible after removing the cl imatic “noise”. Figure 85. Comparison of the biplots with best-fit lines of collagen 15N, raw and corrected, vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa. The raw 15N values do not have a significant or strong linear relationship with the spacing, as would be expected according to current knowledge as both reflect the degree of carnivory in the diet. When corrected, their relationship becomes strong and si gnificant, and the model accounts for almost one fo urth of variation. This confirms the effectiveness of th e data transformation to get closer to the dietary variation of the examined human groups.

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2778.1.4. Comparison of Raw and Corrected Results The section above leads me to conclude that the dat a, as they are after correction, are suitable to be used to extract meaningful informati on about dietary variation across the human groups that are the subject of this study. Fr om a methodological perspective, a specific consideration of the discrepancy between a comparison of raw data versus corrected data seems useful, in order to illustrate how misle ading a simplistic traditional interpretation can be, and on the flipside how deep insights can b e gained in the variation over the longue dure Looking at the scatterplots of the collagen 15N and 13C values represented as the means and standard deviation (Figure 86) in the att empt to get a feel of the overall dietary trends during the two thousand years under examinat ion, quite different interpretations come out of the two charts. A traditional reading of raw data would tell us that, within a common framework of mixed diet, the Late Neolithic communi ty of San Benedetto was one of the Figure 86. Scatterplots of the means and standard d eviation of collagen 15N vs. 13C, raw on the left and corrected on the right. The linear correlation visi ble in the raw values is shown by correction to be an effect of microclimatic variation, not of dietary v ariation.

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278 most reliant on plant foods; the Copper Age groups would have a diet with more animal proteins, except Seddas de Daga which appears radic ally different and heavily reliant on plant foods. The Bell Beaker group would have consu mption of animal products at levels similar to the high end of the Copper Age groups, a nd the Early Bronze Age groups would have a similar diet, except Concali Corongiu Acca, which is the one relying the most on animal products. The corrected data tell a differen t story: a Late Neolithic group showing high consumption of animal proteins, Copper Age and Bell Beaker sites largely overlapping but showing a slightly lesser amount of animal prot ein, and Early Bronze Age groups much more reliant on plants, still with the exception of Concali Corongiu Acca. The anomaly of Seddas de Daga disappears after correction for micr oclimatic variation. In sum, the general direction from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Ag e changes, relative to animal protein, from a -/+/= pattern to a +/=/-. 8.2. Discussion of the Corrected Results 8.2.1. Variation in the Protein Component of Prehis toric Diets The protein component of the diet is reflected, as explained in chapter 6, mainly in collagen values (Figure 87). While a strong linear relationship was found between 13C and 15N when analyzing raw measurements, which was due to environmental effects, such a relationship, as expected, is absent from the corre cted data (Table 24). The scatterplot of the means and standard deviations (Figure 88) helps dis cern overall patterns in the values (groups out of the time range of interest are not s haded). There is a large overlap of values among all sites excluding Concali Corongiu Acca, wh ich appears to be the one with the highest consumption of proteins of animal origin. T he range of 15N values between 8‰ and 12‰ represents approximately one trophic level, mea ning that highest values would represent substantially carnivorous diets, whereas the lowest would represent substantially vegetarian diets. 13C values are within ~1.5‰, which is a fairly small interval, and probably do not yield much information compared to 15N.

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279 Figure 87. Scatterplot of corrected collagen 15N vs. corrected collagen 13C. This graph represents mostly real dietary values, and can be used to assess vari ation in protein source between groups. Points are colorcoded as follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post -Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Coppe r Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; e mpty symbols, later sites. Once it has been established that most proteins cam e from animals and plants within a C3 ecosystem, the differences between groups can be t entatively read. As concerns the contribution of seafood, the data confirm that at a ll sites and phases it was negligible or none. If there was any seafood, yet very limited, the sin gle individual from the Monte Claro phase at Padru Jossu is the best candidate to represent i t, with its values slightly more enriched in both 15N and 13C. A very limited amount of freshwater fish could b e responsible for slightly depleted 13C in groups that also show enriched 15N: Cannas di Sotto and Su Stampu. On the other hand, a small consumption of C4 plants would possibly account for values that are relatively depleted in 15N and enriched in 13C. This might be the case for the Early Bronze Age groups of Padru Jossu B and Iscali tas, and the Copper Age group of Serra Cannigas, with the addition of the later group of I s Aruttas, which is close to brackish water lagoons and high-salinity environments (this would be quite fitting, since C4 plants are well adapted to dry and saline ecosystems). Of course, w hile the data could reflect both different

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280Table 24. Means of all corrected isotopic results b y group*. Sites Bone Collagen Bone Apatite n corrected 13 C‰ corrected 15 N‰ n corrected 18 O‰ Mean s.d. Mean s.d. Mean s.d. San Benedetto 16 -19.1 0.3 11.3 0.5 16 -4.0 0.3 Cannas di Sotto 4 -19.9 0.3 10.5 0.3 6 -4.5 0.4 Serra Cannigas 2 -18.9 0.1 10.1 1.6 3 -5.1 0.6 Santa Caterina di Pittinuri 5 -19.4 0.4 10.9 0.5 9 -4.2 0.3 Scaba ’e Arriu A 14 -19.3 0.2 10.8 0.8 14 -3.5 0.6 Scaba ’e Arriu M 12 -19.2 0.2 11.2 0.8 12 -4.1 0.3 Seddas de Daga 7 -19.6 0.6 10.3 1.7 7 -3.7 0.3 Su Stampu ’e Giuannicu Meli 6 -19.8 0.6 10.5 0.7 9 -3.5 0.7 Sa Duchessa 3 -5.2 0.1 Mind’e Gureu 1 -18.9 0.0 14.5 0.0 1 -4.3 0.0 Padru Jossu M 1 -18.7 0.0 11.4 0.0 1 -3.6 0.0 Padru Jossu A 18 -19.2 0.2 10.1 0.9 18 -3.8 0.8 Padru Jossu B 15 -19.3 0.5 9.4 1.1 14 -3.2 0.6 Iscalitas 29 -19.0 0.3 9.0 0.9 29 -5.3 0.4 Concali Corongiu Acca 4 -19.2 0.2 13.3 0.8 5 -4.0 0 .5 Montessu t.10 1 -20.6 0.0 9.9 0.0 1 -4.2 0.0 Is Aruttas 11 -18.6 0.3 9.0 0.9 11 -2.0 0.8 Montessu t.33 3 -19.6 0.2 13.1 0.6 3 -3.4 0.2 Montessu t.32 1 -18.8 0.0 11.9 0.0 2 -3.9 0.8 Montessu t.15 1 -4.5 0.0 Italics indicates groups analyzed but out of the chronological target of this study. secondary sources of protein with very distinct sig natures (fish), and different sources of lipids contributing to the isotopic signature, it j ust seems more reasonable to imagine readily available food sources such as pigs. In fact, pigs have on their side an overwhelming evidence from historical sources and faunal remains whereas foods such as aquatic resources seem to not have been as important in Mediterranean diets, whether we consider prehistoric remains or medieval through modern times. The trend recorded isotopically throughout the later prehistory of the Mediterranean is substantia lly supported by this finding. Another source of variation could be due to the tro phic level of the protein source. A diet based on lamb and beef should result in lower 15N than a diet based on pork, since pigs, being omnivorous, would have values about half a tr ophic level higher than herbivores (~2‰). In this case, assuming most variation derive s from differences in the kind of animal proteins, we could infer that at Concali Corongiu A cca pigs were nutritionally important,

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281 Figure 88. Scatterplot of of the means corrected co llagen 15N vs. corrected collagen 13C. This graph represents mostly real dietary values, and can be u sed to assess variation in protein source between groups. Points are color-coded as follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, later sites. ruminants were more important in correspondence wit h the middle values, and plant proteins were more important in the low 15N end. A further factor to consider, which may have affect ed the patterns I try to explain, is the variation in legume consumption. Legumes, as Nfixers, have 15N values considerably lower than do non-N-fixing plants, and 13C values comparatively similar. The percent of protein per weight unit is 25-35%, similar to that of milk, although sensibly lower than that of meat. Thus, the isotopic signature recorded at the Early Bronze Age sites of Padru Jossu B and Iscalitas could also be accounted for by a cons iderable variation in the level of reliance on legumes. It must be underlined that legumes are documented as part of the Neolithic package (peas, lentils, chickpeas, faba beans), and were a staple in traditional Mediterranean rural economies until the 20th century. An aspect that is probably more theoretical than pr actical, because of its very limited variation in collagen, is the understanding of 13C differences. Such limited variation makes its reliability for dietary interpretation not opti mal: most of it is contained within ~1‰, and considering that even the precision of the measurem ent is ~0.2‰, it is definitely impossible to extract refined dietary information from collage n 13C. For this, the integration of collagen

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28215N and the spacing 13Ccol-apa is best (below). Nevertheless, reading collagen 13C variation can be an example of methodological problems and po tentials. Its interpretation benefits from the consideration that a lesser portion of the prot eins that enter the synthesis of collagen can come from nutrients other than ingested protein, es pecially if the overall quantity of protein is small (Schwarcz 2000) and according to the quantity of N and C of any given food (Phillips and Koch 2002). Consequently, the expected variatio n due to lipids and carbohydrates should increase with a decreasing amount of protein, which is likely to correspond to a decreasing amount of animal products, in turn reflected in 15N values. In other words, enriched 15N should correspond to less variation because most of the proteins would come from N-rich animals, whereas more 13C variation should correspond to lower intake of an imal proteins, reflected in depleted 15N values, since the whole diet – more likely to be more differentiated – would be more and more represented. The distribut ion of values might actually fit this model. If this is the case, then some degree of 13C variation could be due to carbohydrates and lipids and their sources. While carbohydrates’ sources do not differ radically in 13C, lipids of different origin do (Copley, et al. 2003; Evershed, et al. 1999). The human groups with more depleted values would then reflect more r uminant adipose fats and milk, whereas the more 13C-enriched would reflect more pig fats. It must be considered that pork would also slightly enrich 15N values: therefore, if this is actually the case, equal 15N values would not correspond to similar quantities of protein; since pork is commonly enriched as compared to ruminants, the same 15N ratio would correspond to lower amounts of pork m eat than it would to amounts of ruminant meat/milk. For instance, the protein quantity eaten by the Serra Cannigas individuals would be considerably lower th an the small 15N difference from the 13C-depleted sites would indicate. Theoretically, veg etal fats should be added to the range of options: olives, whether wild or cultivated, and le ntisk, could have been exploited. However, it is unlikely that their quantitative contribution to the diet would be so high as to affect noticeably the isotopic values (especially of colla gen). As a conclusion to this attempt to interpret collagen 13C variation, it must again be underlined and emphas ized that this is not a reliable indicator of whole diet, a role that is be st fulfilled by apatite 13C and the 13Ccol-apa spacing (Jim, et al. 2004). Under the multiple interpretive lenses discussed ab ove, the development of diet could be read as one of decreasing overall protein supply from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age. After ruling out any major role of marine food the major question posed in the first

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283chapters concerns the amount of animal versus veget al proteins within a terrestrial C3 ecosystem, that is, the emphasis on farming versus animal husbandry. The traditional view of an agricultural Neolithic opposed to a pastoral Cop per Age is not supported by the evidence. The Late Neolithic group of San Benedetto shows a d iet largely similar to, and on average slightly richer in animal protein than that of all the Copper Age groups. The comparison is not the most efficacious possible, since San Benede tto is a site in a hilly region with steep slopes, probably more appropriate for herding at al l times, but the lack of alternative Late Neolithic skeletal collections coming from alluvial lowlands prevents a full comparability. Therefore, the possibility that future discoveries might yield different results cannot rule out. The evidence presented here definitely suggests a q uite similar diet, on average more reliant on plant foods in the Copper Age sample than in the Late Neolithic. As concerns internal differences within the Copper Age, there is again a large overlap, and no great variation. The four human gro ups of Post-Ozieri tradition and the three Monte Claro had a fairly similar diet. Based on the hypothesis that small variation may be due to fats, it would seem that at Cannas di Sotto, Su Stampu and Seddas de Daga there was more consumption of milk and/or ruminant meats, whe reas at Serra Cannigas there might have been higher consumption of pig fat. The remain ing three groups are very close in their isotopic values, pointing to a protein component of the diet substantially similar. The identified pattern underlines the fact that geograp hic variation was more important than chronological variation, and that there were no lin ear shifts in subsistence. Also, the wide variation in 13C compared to the small variation in 15N tells us that whereas the trophic level of protein sources was overall similar throug hout the Copper Age, the differentiation is more likely to be in the type of source, which is r evealed by the effect of fats. Following the argument discussed above, depleted 13C implies more ruminant lipids and enriched 13C more swine. The values of the Bell Beaker and two larger Early Bronze Age groups, Padru Jossu B and Iscalitas, are still largely overlapping but clearly lower than the Copper Age and Late Neolithic ones. They are about 2‰ more depleted, wh ich could be about half a trophic level. This does point to overall reliance on plant foods heavier than that of most Copper Age groups, and distinctively higher than that of the L ate Neolithic San Benedetto. Concali Corongiu Acca, instead, is definitely different, in that its extreme values and the remarkable distance from the lowest averages point to a diet w here most proteins came from animals.

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284Excluding Concali Corongiu Acca there is a slow shi ft to lower values, which means to more plant consumption, from the Late Neolithic to the E arly Bronze Age. The Bell Beaker phase at Padru Jossu represents intermediate values betwe en the Copper Age sites and the Early Bronze Age groups. The two single-individual groups of Mind’e Gureu an d Padru Jossu, Monte Claro have quite distinct values. The former’s high 15N indicates very high consumption of animal protein, whereas the latter’s could reflect a small consumption of C4 plants, or seafood. However, the presence of values such as for Mind’e Gureu and Concali Corongiu Acca, which are ~6‰ higher than the lower end of values, suggests a diet mainly based on pork meat, possibly pigs fed meat and high-trophic level scraps, or else additional phenomena might be at work, such as meat of animals feeding i n fields fertilized with manure (Bogaard, et al. 2007). Alternatively, some kind of severe st ress, of which a symptom may be identified in the severe diploic thickening of the Concali Cor ongiu Acca individuals, suggesting some kind of chronic anemia, could be responsible for th e abnormally high values. Consequently, such values are to be considered cautiously in eval uating daily diets in comparison with the other groups. In sum, proteins came from a combination of animal and plant foods. If a shift in nutritional terms actually happened towards increas ed reliance on dairy and meat, it may have been already in progress in the Late Neolithic site of San Benedetto, parallel to trends outlined for peninsular Italy, and continued, possi bly slightly reversed, in the Copper Age. No clear nutritional trends can be identified withi n the Copper Age, and not along its two main cultural traditions. The idea of the Bell Beak er and Early Bronze Age communities as pastoral and permeated by warrior ethics, sober and essential (Lilliu 1988a: 358-359) is not confirmed by dietary evidence, as shown for the two groups of Iscalitas and Padru Jossu B. These groups relied on plant foods more than the Co pper Age people. This lends instead some support to the interpretation given by Perra ( 1997) of societies tied to cereal cultivation rather than animal husbandry. On the other hand, Co ncali Corongiu Acca, the third Early Bronze Age site, is the one with the highest 15N, pointing to a heavy consumption of animal protein. The hypothesis of intensification of anima l husbandry as a characterizing element for the Early Bronze Age, as suggested by Lewthwaite (1 986), and Lilliu (1988a), is therefore not confirmed: pastoralism may possibly have been a n identity, a trait of identity related to maleness, rather than an economic reality.

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285A very important point is that inter-site variation seems in the Copper Age (and in the Early Bronze Age if including the group of Concali Corongiu Acca, probably chronically ill) higher than differences between broad periods. In t his situation, key witnesses become the multi-layered sites where we can follow the develop ment of isotopic values at one point in space: the two sequences of Scaba ’e Arriu and Padr u Jossu (Figure 89), also conveniently located in the same area (less than 20 km distance) and in hilly lowlands, cover together almost a millennium. At Scaba ’e Arriu, protein con sumption did not change perceptibly between the Post-Ozieri and the Monte Claro phase: 13C values differ just 0.1‰, 15N values only 0.4‰; at Padru Jossu, the only availabl e Monte Claro individual shows very enriched values, indicating the highest consumption of animal products (possibly even small amounts of seafood?). The following Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro A phases are definitely more depleted in 15N: the Bell Beaker group’s average is 0.7‰ lower th an the Scaba ’e Arriu A group (corrected values). The distance betw een averages of Scaba ’e Arriu Monte Claro and of Padru Jossu B is 1.8‰, about half a tr ophic level, which indicates a substantial Figure 89. Plot of the means and standard deviation of corrected collagen 15N in the different phases of Scaba ’e Arriu and Padru Jossu. Points are color-co ded as follows: red, early (Post-Ozieri) Copper Age ; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell B eaker; black, Early Bronze Age.

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286gap in animal protein consumption, with about half the protein mass from a source lower in the food chain. This confirms at a more localized s cale the trend recognized from the comprehensive scatterplot. 8.2.2. Overall Composition of prehistoric diets As explained above, apatite is a more comprehensive dietary indicator, since it derives its isotopic signature from all three macro nutrients, as opposed to mainly one like collagen. The spacing of collagen 13C and apatite 13C (Figure 90), which has a much stronger correlation with apatite values, is consid ered therefore the best evidence for whole diets. It has also been discussed how a correlation was found between collagen 15N and such spacing, as expected since both have some degree of correlation with the overall proportion of animal versus plant foods. Considering that most C3 plant foods have similar 13C values (legumes are rather different in 15N), fats probably play an important role in apatite 13C variation in the prehistoric Mediterranean. An effective way of visualizing the spacing values is by plotting it with 15N (Figure 91), which as discussed provides the best indication of protein sources and quantity. The spacing integrates this information and completes it, toget her with the knowledge of available food options that comes from biotic remains. The majorit y of all 13Ccol-apa spacing values lie between ~-10 and ~-4‰. The following interpretation is based on two main points. One is that generally a smaller spacing should correspond to more carnivorous diets, due to the effect of depleted lipids, which cause apatite 13C to be closer to collagen 13C (Hedges 2003; Lee-Thorp, et al. 1989). The spacing tends to have a linear negative relationship with 15N, since higher amounts of protein are generally assoc iated with whole diets rich in animal products and consequently lipids. This linear relat ionship should correspond to a line in the biplot, a line which is actually visible after coll agen 15N correction, as had been quantitatively described and discussed above. The s econd point is the assumption, already justified ethnographically and ethnohistorically, t hat most fats were likely to be of animal origin. This limits the main effects on spacing to two factors: quantity of plant carbohydrates versus protein and quality of fats (ruminant fats, whether adipose or milk fat, and porcine fats). High 15N coupled with small spacing should correspond to h igh-animal protein diets with substantial contribution of sheep/goat/cattle fats. Low 15N coupled with large spacing

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287 Figure 90. Scatterplot of the means of corrected co llagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa. The chart contains all the dietary information necessary to an overall assessment of diet. Points are color-coded as foll ows: orange, Late Neolithic; red, Post-Ozieri Copper Age ; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, lat er sites.

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288 Figure 91. Scatterplot of the means and standard de viation of corrected collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa. The chart contains the dietary information necess ary to assess diet after control for synchronous climatic variation across sites for collagen 15N. The spacing reflects whole diet variation. Point s are color-coded as follows: orange, Late Neolithic; red Post-Ozieri Copper Age; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell Beaker; black, Early Bronze Age; empty symbols, later sites. should correspond to protein-poor or plant-proteinrich diets, with substantial reliance on cereal grains, possibly with the addition of legume s. High 15N coupled with large spacing should correspond to high-animal protein diets with substantial consumption of enriched fats,

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289which are likely to be derived from pig, and possib ly, less likely and in smaller quantities, from plants. Along these lines, the diet of the few individuals from Concali Corongiu Acca would be extremely rich in protein of ruminant origin, al though as discussed above the spacing is abnormally small, and there might be some effect re lated to the remarkable hyperostosis recorded in those individuals. As a whole, the tren d over time detected in the collagen of a reduced protein intake is confirmed: most Copper Ag e groups (except Santa Caterina di Pittinuri) have larger spacings, indicating lower c onsumption of animal products. The Copper Age groups also show a wide variation that does not align along the two main material culture traditions. The two Early Bronze Age groups have among the largest spacings, over 7.5‰, suggesting diets more vegetarian than that of most Copper Age groups. The Bell Beaker group at Padru Jossu appears substantially o verlapping with the Copper Age sites Cannas di Sotto, Seddas de Daga and Serra Cannigas: while there was a slight reduction of the animal proteins, values suggest no sharp change Two Copper Age groups, Scaba ’e Arriu A and Su Stampu, show a large spacing, comparable t o the Early Bronze Age groups of Iscalitas and Padru Jossu B, although their higher 15N points to a higher consumption of porcine fats rather than a diet mostly based on pla nts. It is also to be noted that the three sites that yielded 4thmillennium AMS dates cluster more on the higher-p rotein and ruminant fat area, whereas Copper Age sites dating from ~2900 BC to ~2400 BC are more diverse in their whole diet while maintaining a fairly good amount o f animal protein. This seems to indicate an increasing differentiation from mostly ovicaprin e herding to a diversification at different locations, involving an emphasis on either ovicapri ne (Scaba ’e Arriu Monte Claro, Seddas de Daga, Serra Cannigas) or swine (Su Stampu, Scaba ’e Arriu A, the single individual at Padru Jossu, Monte Claro phase). This reading is pa rtially supported by the tentative generalizations drawn from the variation in faunal data (chapter 5), and would make sense in a society with intensified circulation of goods, wh ich might encourage a certain degree of specialization. Looking at the two multi-layered sequences of Scaba ’e Arriu and Padru Jossu (Figure 92), the trend seems to be from more porcin e to more ruminant fats, which points to an increase in herding, possibly mobile, with no ra dical difference in the quantity of ingested

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290 Figure 92. Plot of the means and standard deviation of the spacing 13Ccol-apa in the different phases of Scaba Â’e Arriu and Padru Jossu. Points are color-co ded as follows: red, early (Post-Ozieri) Copper Age ; blue, later (Monte Claro) Copper Age; green, Bell B eaker; black, Early Bronze Age. animal protein (15N). The single individual from the Monte Claro phas e of Padru Jossu has values compatible with high porcine meat consumptio n, whereas the diet of the Bell Beaker group of Padru Jossu A is more rich in ruminant tha n porcine fats; however, the overall quantity of animal protein (15N) is lower. Finally, the Early Bronze Age phase of Padru Jossu B is characterized by lower consumption of animal p roducts in general. As concerns Padru Jossu, this picture agrees with the faunal evidence (Sorrentino 1982), where ovicaprines are almost exclusive in phase A, while a more balanced presence of the different domesticates is associated with phase B. Unfortunately, no plant re mains were recovered, and they may not even have been as culturally appropriate as animal offerings. The few individuals of Santa Caterina di Pittinuri yielded values more compatible with ovicaprine (ruminant) fats than with porcine f ats; this apparently contrasts with the abundant pig remains found as offerings at the entr ance area of the tomb, along with signs of food processing, drinking and deer antler (Cocco an d Usai 1988; Fonzo, personal communication). This could indicate that rather tha n offerings of common foods, the pig mandibles might have represented, as the deer antle r, special items for ritualized social

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291settings. If this is compared with the more positiv e correspondence of faunal and isotopic data at Padru Jossu, we might be identifying the ma terial traces of a phenomenon already suggested based on ethnographic analogy and other k inds of evidence: the transition between specialized, non-convertible prestige and power tow ards a more generalized prestige based on wealth and maleness (Robb 1994a, 1999). In other words, while in the earlier Copper Age community the rituals related to the ancestors requ ired extra-ordinary goods, and probably specialized foods and professional figures, in the later Bell Beaker and Bronze Age there was a more individualistic and generalized offering of owned animals, where bare presence or quantity was more important than intrinsic quality, and prestige and authority were reflected and constructed through common and convertible mate rial means: the livestock available in the herd. In conclusion, the data do not support a shift to p astoralism during the Copper Age. They do not, first because there is isotopic eviden ce for heavy reliance on animals already in the Late Neolithic site of San Benedetto, and in th e other 4th-millennium sites, and moreover because there is no evidence for less, but for slig htly more plants in the diet. A higher diversification in the type of tended animals (swin e and ovicaprines) could be identified in post-2900 BC Copper Age sites, regardless of their material culture affiliation to Post-Ozieri or Monte Claro. No higher reliance on animal husban dry coincided with the Bell Beaker period at the site of Padru Jossu, nor did it with the Early Bronze Age: both large groups considered reliable show a sensibly heavier relianc e on plant foods (likely cereals and legumes). 8.2.3. Dietary Variation by Age The difference in diet between different age groups can provide insights in social perceptions and power relations within a community. It has been suggested for the Neolithic of peninsular Italy that there may have been a rigi d class system based on age, as is found in several East African societies permeated by livesto ck as the most important economic and symbolic capital. Access to livestock would have be en also, among other aspects, necessary for the acquisition of wives (Cmara Serrano and Sp anedda 2002; Robb 2007: 145-146). On the other hand, following RobbÂ’s suggestion (1999) of a more generalized concept of prestige due to convertible wealth, we could imagine that di etary differences in the Copper Age and

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292Early Bronze Age societies were less based on age. Subadults have generally wide variation in isotopic values due to the physiology during gro wth. This, coupled with an age assessment not very accurate, can be misleading. So, only matu re/senile and adult values have been compared, with special reference to 15N and the spacing 13Ccol-apa, which as discussed above are the best dietary indicators (Figure 93). The da ta for Su Stampu are not reliable due to the scarce number of individuals, only two adults and o ne senile; moreover, one of the adults has a very abnormal spacing, over 13‰, deriving from an apatite 13C which is hard to explain. Leaving this aside, and besides a fair amount of va riation, the Bell Beaker-Early Bronze Age groups show a consistent trend of higher 15N and smaller spacing for seniles as compared to adults. This seems likely to be due to higher consu mption of meat, which is likely mostly ovine/caprine, since pork would likely affect the s pacing making it larger. Such a clear trend is not visible, or not as notable, in the Late Neol ithic and Early Copper Age groups available. At San Benedetto, the slightly larger spacing for t he elderly could be due to higher amounts of pig fat, whereas at Scaba ’e Arriu A it seems th at adults have more animal protein, or protein from higher-trophic level animals as pigs. This, however, is unlikely because we should find it reflected in a larger spacing. Figure 93. Barcharts of the variation in 15N and in the spacing 13Ccol-apa by age, expressed as the difference between the mean of all adults and the m ean of all senile/mature values. Values lower than zero indicate higher 15N and smaller spacing in senile/mature individuals. The numbers next to each barchart are the observations of adults:senile/mature.

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293These phenomena, identifiable only tentatively due to the limited number of samples per subgroup, could lend support to a higher differ entiation based on age in Bell Beaker and Early Bronze Age groups. In turn, this is compatibl e with generalized increasing differentiation, if honoring the elders could be fu nctional to incipient, or attempted, transgenerational transfer of authority in Big-Man socie ties. 8.2.4. Dietary Variation by Sex As age and possibly even more, sex, used as a neces sary approximation for gender, is a very important factor evaluating differences in d iet related to social and power relations. As underlined in chapter 4, gender studies in Sardinia n prehistory are moving their first steps. Stable isotopes can be powerful tools to gain clues of the gender differences within a given community. As for age, differences between males an d females in 15N and the spacing 13Ccol-apa have been visualized in barcharts (Figure 94). Simi larly, though present in the chart for the sake of completeness, groups of two or thre e individuals (Cannas di Sotto, Su Stampu Â’e Giuannicu Meli, Concali Corongiu Acca) are not c onsidered for extracting social information. 15N values show a relatively persistent higher trophi c level of protein sources in males, at most sites; exceptions are San Benedetto (Late Neol ithic) and Padru Jossu B (Early Bronze Age), where average ratios for males and females ar e fairly similar, and especially Seddas de Daga, which shows an inverse ratio with 15N-enriched protein sources for females. San Benedetto shows similar 15N and smaller 13C spacing in males. Since we would expect also 15N to be high if actual protein quantity was much di fferent, it can be tentatively suggested that the kind of products was the point differentia ting diet in the two sexes: males would be consuming more meat and/or milk of ruminant origin, whereas females would be eating mostly pork meat. Females would also be consuming a n overall lesser quantity of animal products, since pork, being omnivorous, would gener ally cause 15N values to be higher than lamb, beef or milk would. The largest difference in 15N is found at Scaba Â’e Arriu A, where the large 13Ccol-apa spacing for males points to a substantially higher quantity of pork meat as compared to females (ruminant lipids would tend to reduce the s pacing). In the following phase Monte

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294 Figure 94. Charts of the variation in 15N and in the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex, expressed as the difference between the mean of all malesÂ’ and the mean of all femalesÂ’ values. Values lower than zero indicate hi gher 15N and smaller spacing in male individuals, and vice versa. The numbers next to each barchart are the observations of females:males. Claro at the same site, such a gap is much reduced, and the difference in spacing virtually none. The abnormal situation among the individuals from Seddas de Daga, where much higher 15N in the female average is strongly influenced by i ndividual GA 36, which is sharply different from the group and might be an ou tsider coming from more arid lowlands. The Bell Beaker group from Padru Jossu (A) show con sistent values indicating that males had a fairly higher intake of ruminant protei ns and fats, which points to the importance of milk and fits well the possible indication of di fferential mobility identifiable in the 18O values. Besides this group, the following phase at Padru Jossu (B) and the other Early Bronze Age group of Iscalitas have spacings compatible wit h a slight male prevalence in protein consumption, but much reduced (in fact, Padru Jossu B shows negligible 15N difference). It would seem, in sum, that intra-site variation based on sex was, from the Bell Beaker onwards, mostly due to ovicaprines (milk/meat).

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295 8.2.5. Bone Apatite 18O: Climatic Variation In order to investigate climate change and disentan gle what is due to geographic variation and what to change over time, the 18O values corrected based on local precipitation are used. Tooth enamel values have not been considered due to the small number of groups, and of teeth per group, and of same type of tooth per grou p, which makes any reliable reconstruction impossible. The bone apatite values have been plott ed with the median of the 2 range of the AMS date(s) available for each group (Figure 95). T he plot indicates both variation over time and within groups. The groups already identified on the raw values are somewhat confirmed, with some differences. Considering broad cross-cult ural patterns and consistent ethnohistoric evidence in the Mediterranean, females are more lik ely to have been more sedentary when there is a substantial difference in values accordi ng to sex. Under this assumption, considering female values only, the differences alo ng the time span of interest appear enhanced (Figure 96). This is likely due to the eff ect of mobility towards cooler/rainier areas Figure 95. Plot of corrected apatite 18O vs. radiocarbon years cal BC, as an indication of climate change in southern-central Sardinia between ~4000 and ~190 0 BC.

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296 Figure 96. Plot of corrected apatite 18O vs. radiocarbon years cal BC, as an indication of climate change in southern-central Sardinia between ~4000 and ~190 0 BC. Female values only. in drier phases, which would tend to homogenize val ues in males. No alternative explanations, such as a prescribed separation of wa ter sources for men and women, seem likely; physiological causes would work in all grou ps, whereas some do not show any clear difference by sex. The results of corrected 18O visually matched the overall division in climatic phases autonomously derived from the literature review on climate change in the Western Mediterranean. The same phases identified by synthe sizing qualitatively the previous evidence (chapter 3) were slightly adjusted in thei r chronology according to the isotopic results (Table 25). Based on these groups, ANOVA wa s performed to assess the significance

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297of the differences between these groups. The test o f statistical significance of the difference between groups indicated it was 30.16 times (F-rati o) larger than the difference within groups, at the 95.0% confidence level ( p = 0.00). This indicates that despite the fact that each period is represented by a few groups, such periods defined based on previous literature and slightly modified according to the new chronologica l data are highly unlikely to be random “artifacts”. Multiple range tests also showed that the periods 2850-2600 cal BC and 23502200 cal BC, the identified dry phases, are statist ically, not only visually, similar. In Table 25, besides the details of the chronologic al adjustments to the periods identified, there are the averages of corrected 18O for each period, and the reconstructed rainfall. The reconstructed rainfall per period, si nce it is calculated using the 18O average of all sites, is to be considered as an average of the rainfall variation at all the sites considered. The quantification in climatic terms chosen here, i n terms of annual average precipitation, is based on the consideration, alrea dy discussed in chapter 6, that even though rainfall generally correlates better with 18O values in tropical areas, a linear relationship h as been measured in the Eastern Mediterranean, which h as a similar, highly seasonal pattern of precipitation (Bar-Matthews, et al. 2003; Koch 1998 ; Rozanski, et al. 1992). The rainfall variation is therefore a rough approximation, since temperature did have some effect that cannot be quantified as of yet. The data presented here are relevant in supporting and adding evidence to the previous data. They are particularly valuable for a number of reasons: the large majority of the data coming from pollen analyses always have th e problem of reflecting environmental changes that can be largely human-made and independ ent from broad climatic patterns; on the contrary, 18O variation can be affected by human modifications of the environment (intense or special land uses, erosion etc.), but i n the large majority of cases reflects fairly well the meteoric water. This can be considered tru e especially in Sardinia, where there are no long and perennial rivers (as the long rivers fe d by Alpine glaciers, or the Nile: D'Angela and Longinelli 1990, 1993; White, et al. 2004). For the most part streams are short and seasonal, and most of the drinking water comes from local water tables and springs, all unlikely to have 18O values radically different from the ground source Thanks to the several AMS dates, the periods identi fied in Sardinia have relevance in that they build a centennial-scale climatic framewo rk of interaction with human practices in the shaping of a cultural environment and landscape This overcomes a chronic problem

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298 Table 25. Comparison of the climatic periods hypoth esized based on previous literature and climatic periods identified based on 18O from Sardinian samples. In the columns on the lef t: mean corrected 18O values and average annual rainfall for southern-c entral Sardinia, calculated with the equations in Iacumin et al. 199 6, Longinelli 1984, and Bar-Matthews et al. 2003 (see text). stemming from the archaeological use of paleoclimat ological and paleoenvironmental data that aim at geological time frames rather than to t he times of humans (Bintliff 2002; Dincauze 2000: 23-27), which are related to lives, generations, and the stretch of lived and living memory. The confirmation of the existence of climatic phases likely to have involved sizable changes in precipitation legitimizes the ca ll for more consideration of climatic change in the understanding of cultural and economic chang e in Western Mediterranean later prehistory. Far from meaningless climatic determini sm, the atmospheric conditions must be taken into account as factors putting constraints o n human actions and affecting randomly the

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299ever-changing anthropic landscapes. The point is th erefore not to find out whether environmental change was due to climate or to human impact, but to disentangle the interaction of the two, within cultural environment al contexts. The depth of analysis of human agency and experiences in mutual interaction with an environment in continuous evolution that these climatic data allow is also mo re likely to have a bearing in the applied anthropological significance of understanding patte rns of sustainability and resilience in the past, in order to inform policy for the future (Cru mley 1994; van der Leeuw and Redman 2002). One limitation of this dataset is that the climatic periods are in fact represented by a few sites each, and they are likely to reflect most ly the Campidano lowlands, Marmilla and the Southwest, where the bulk of samples were colle cted. Taking a closer look at what the data involve in terms of change of precipitation ov er time (Figure 97), malesÂ’ 18O values turned out to be often more depleted than femalesÂ’, with corresponding reconstructed rainfall Figure 97. Comparison of the possible reconstructed rainfall change in southern-central Sardinia as calculated from corrected 18O, based on values measured on males (blue) females (red), and the average of all individuals (dashed line).

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300levels higher, for most of the 3rd-millennium BC groups. This fits the model of seaso nal movements with the flocks if a scenario is maintain ed, suggested based on archaeological evidence and ethnohistoric generalizations, that ma les were more mobile than females. This discrepancy is especially remarkable in the 2350-22 00 BC period, identified as drier, covering the two phases at Padru Jossu, which point s to a longer period of time that most males would spend away from the village or camp, or a location further away that bears a very different isotopic signal, something similar t o long-distance transhumance of modern Sardinia and Italy. The average rainfall variation detected pinpoints t he importance of the two dry phases documented 2850-2600 BC and 2350-2200 BC. The first had been suggested based on soil morphology and pollen studies in central Italy (Dry sdale, et al. 2006; Magri and Sadori 1995), Tunisia (Zielhofer, et al. 2004) and possibl y also in Israel (Bar-Matthews, et al. 1997), and through hydrology in France (Magny 1993); it is here further defined chronologically to the 29th-26th centuries BC, lasting approximately 350-250 years. The second dry spell, that has been brought to the attention of the scientific community for its claimed disastrous effects on the complex states of Southwest Asia (Dalfes, et al. 1997; Weiss, et al. 1993; Weiss 1997), recognized also in the West in central Italy Tunisia and Catalonia (Drysdale, et al. 2006; see also references in table 2, ch. 3), appea rs to find one more independent trace in the Sardinian data. Its tentative duration from the pre sent dataset seems to span the period 23502200 BC, possibly about 150 years. As opposed to an average precipitation in other per iods 4000-1900 BC between ~800 and above 1000 mm/year or more, the rainfall recons tructed for these two periods is slightly lower than 650 mm/year (average of all sampled indi viduals). Considering the average values calculated only on females (Figure 96), more likely to reflect faithfully local values not contaminated by drinking water from other areas, th e values would have dropped lower than 500 mm/year. Such a difference within a few centuri es is likely to require significant adjustments in the way of making a living, and to h ave significant effects on the environment, particularly if human-made disturbance of some kind (fires, soil overuse, overgrazing, mining) had already rendered the ecosy stem more fragile. While other Western Mediterranean areas have been i nvestigated (among others Carcaillet 1998; Carrin, et al. 2003 ; Maggi 1998; Quils, et al. 2002; Reille, et al. 1999b; Terral and Mengal 1999), there is nothing comparab le to such evidence coming directly

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301from Sardinia. Some projects are currently under wa y that should provide new environmental data from Lake Baratz (Tanda, personal communicatio n) and the Cabras Lagoon (A. Usai, personal communication). However, at the moment it is only possible to infer for Sardinia those same mechanisms that have been detected in ma ny other areas. Among these phenomena is the progressive spread in the 4th and increasingly in the 3rd millennium BC of evergreen oak, well adapted to fires, and probably of olive tree and Mediterranean scrub species, and the substantial erosion in occasion of particularly arid events such as those identified, with the consequent massive infilling o f the stream beds and the coastal lagoons. This was caused by the exposure of topsoil, likely due to clearance through fire and grazing. Mining also involves deforestation, since it may re quire cracking and removing large quantities of rock to reach or extract the ores, wh ich is achieved by heating. A likely consequence of erosion would have been that previou sly rich estuarine basins would have become shallow, stagnant brackish water lagoons, wi th both positive and negative side effects, and the productivity of the land in genera l would have become severely diminished. 8.2.6. Note on the Chronology of Prehistoric Sardin ia 4000-1900 BC As stated already in the section on materials and m ethods of the isotopic project, the first goal of AMS dating of the remains is that of providing a reliable chronological framework for the dietary and climatic reconstructi on. In this regard I emphasizing how the key site of Is Aruttas, previously dated through as sociation of cultural materials but no reliable stratigraphy, turned out to be of a much l ater date. This outcome incidentally furnished the first isotopic evidence on Nuragic di et around the Middle to Final Bronze Age, but made the data irrelevant for the purpose of thi s study. This loss is particularly important in that it makes it impossible to compare the inlan d site of San Benedetto with another Late Neolithic site, to assess the possible variation du e to seafood. The same holds for Montessu, where the individuals supposed to pertain to the Ea rly Bronze Age were dated to the Middle Ages, showing a case of late reuse of the tomb, and the single individual supposed to be Late Neolithic was so altered that it did not have any c ollagen left. Broader contributions, however, stem from the new d ates for the chronology of Sardinian prehistory in the 4th, 3rd and initial 2nd millennia BC. In fact, the last work of critical synthesis (Tykot 1994), while providing a frame of reference that is still valid today,

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302left open a few questions, particularly regarding t he Copper Age, for which only one date was then available, with the addition of six determ inations from Monte dÂ’Accoddi that could be only inserted in an endnote because it was publi shed after the article was written (Tin 1992b). To my knowledge, the total number of available radi ocarbon dates for the period of interest Late Neolithic through Early Bronze Age (F igure 98), increased surprisingly little, from 23 up to the mid-1990s to 39 prior to the pres ent study (Figure 99), which added 15 (without including the determinations that yielded later dates, AA-64836, AA-64824, AA64834, from the Middle Bronze Age to the Middle Age s, and one that was processed by mistake, and yielded an unreliable raw date with an error of over 500 years, AA-64832). Some of the new dates come from the efforts of the Department of Experimental Biology, Anthropology section, of the University of Cagliari on the collections curated at their facilities, either published (Manunza 1998; Marini, et al. 1997a; Sanna, et al. 1999) or courteously made available by Dr. Rosalba Floris. A mong the previously available dates, some (I-14,774 from Duos Nuraghes and Gif-243 from Bruncu Maduli o Madugui) have such large errors that their information potential is no wadays minimal when compared with the new determinations. The chronology of Monte dÂ’Accoddi is important for the understanding of cultural developments on the whole island, although definite ly outside the southern area that the present stable isotopic study focuses on. While two determinations (UTC-1464, UZ2475/ETH-4716) agree with the Early Copper Age chro nology of the second half of the 4th millennium BC, four dates are from layers that foll ow the construction of the first platform and temple. The overwhelming prevalence of typical Ozieri pottery reported in the layers earlier than the building, and the presence of Fili gosa and Abealzu pottery in layers above the building, has led for a while to divergent attribut ion of the construction itself: Tin and Traverso (Tin 1992b; Tin and Traverso 1992a) held firmly the opinion that the first monument post-dates Ozieri, and has been later sugg ested to be Sub-Ozieri (Tin 1997); Lo Schiavo (1992), instead, read the evidence and espe cially the radiocarbon dates to conclude that the temple of phase I was actually built in Oz ieri times, although she includes Ozieri dipinto painted ware, which is today considered Sub-Ozier i. The retrieval of SubOzieri pottery underneath the partial collapse of the phas e-I red temple does place a terminus post

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303 Figure 98. Map of Sardinia showing the location of sites for which radiocarbon dates are available for the period 4000-1900 BC. Map by the author, based on ca rtographic material from S.A.R. Sardegna consortium, with kind permission.

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304 Figure 99. Plotted radiocarbon dates available for Sardinian prehistory 4000-1900 BC, including previo us determinations and those presented in this disserta tion.

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305 quem for this event (Tin 1997), but does not necessari ly mean that the construction and use of the temple itself, or of the platform, is associ ated with Sub-Ozieri: the building may have been erected in Ozieri times, which the radiocarbon dates refer to, and used during the transformations of pottery style into Sub-Ozieri. These issues have profound implications, besides th e surprisingly early date for the monument itself; if Tin, the excavator, is correct regarding the stratigraphy of the dated samples, this would imply a much earlier date for t he end of the Ozieri style than all previous evidence supports. In fact, all previous dates for classic Ozieri pottery, coming from Sa ’Ucca ’e su Tintirriolu, Grotta su Guanu, Filiestru (Tyko t 1994) and San Benedetto (Sanna, et al. 1999) cluster in the first half of the 4th millennium cal BC, with one slightly earlier at th e end of the 5th millennium (Q-3027) and one slightly later around the very middle of the 4th millennium (R-1785), although the stratigraphy of t he latter is not clear. Such an early beginning for Post-Ozieri mostly undecorated potter y does not fit the current reconstruction, especially from the dates added by this study, whic h fall well in the second half of the 4th millennium cal BC (AA-72148, Santa Caterina di Pitt inuri, AA-64825, Cannas di Sotto) and up to around the mid-3rd (AA-64826, Mind’e Gureu). This can be explained if : a) the radiocarbon dates from the layer of occupati on after Monte d’Accoddi phase I, from wood in deposits around the building, are actu ally Ozieri, possibly from old wood used later in Sub-Ozieri or Filigosa times, or from wood fragments picked up with soil and potsherds and for some reason ended up in such a lo cation; this seems unlikely due to the high consistency of the four dates; b) the Post-Ozieri, undecorated style, in its earli est aspect of Sub-Ozieri, started much earlier at this site and was adopted slowly in the rest of the island, after remaining relatively confined to the northwestern tip of Sardinia, since the contemporary dates at Sa ’Ucca, Filiestru and Grotta su Guanu appear to pertain to more ‘classic’ Ozieri style; this alternative is, if possible, more disconcerting as the first; c) the layers conclusively labeled as Sub-Ozieri/Fi ligosa could be closer to Ozieri than clear-cut classifications can express. As alre ady observed by Tanda (1992c), in the early report Tin states, regarding the supposed Post-Ozi eri layer III, that “ceramic materials, from this layer up to layer V, do not show significant d ifferences and are characterized by a

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306consistent presence of sherds decorated in the clas sic Ozieri style, and by many others deprived of decoration, but with brown or ros surf aces, well polished”, and corrects this first impression in a side note (Tin 1992a: vi). Therefo re, it seems more likely that the dates refer to occupation and use of the first platform while O zieri, or some initial Sub-Ozieri pottery, was still used (Lo Schiavo 1992), placing it no lat er than ~3550 cal BC. Unfortunately, no Harris matrix has been published where a clear rela tionship between the platform’s walls and the soil layers is clear. In addition to the dates from the known cave sites (Sa ’Ucca, Filiestru, Su Guanu), from Contraguda (Boschian, et al. 2002), and from S an Benedetto (Beta-72233, Sanna, et al. 1999), the new dates add information for a more acc urate dating of the end of the Ozieri ‘culture’, or of the use of Ozieri pottery: none of all these dates’ 2 range is later than 3366 cal BC, whereas the earliest end of the Post-Ozieri range is 3518 cal BC. This places the likely shift in pottery style closer to ~3450-3400 cal BC, refining the tentative date ~3200 cal BC suggested by Tykot (1994) with a question mark, on the basis of the scarce evidence available in the mid-1990s. The following ceramic styles, defined by the main S ardinian prehistorians as SubOzieri or Final Ozieri, Filigosa and Abealzu, all p art of a gradual change with no breaks (Melis 2000d) which are referred to as Post-Ozieri, were placed in an overall chronological sequence through their stratigraphic relationship w ith preceding and following styles, to between a tentative 3200 cal BC and another tentati ve 2700 cal BC (Tykot 1994). No dates reliably associated with these styles were availabl e until the two later dates from Monte d’Accoddi (UTC-1464 and UZ-2475/ETH-4716), one from Santa Caterina di Pittinuri (Beta72235), and those from Ispiluncas and su Coddu-Cane lles (R-2772 the former, LTL-295A, LTL-404A, LTL-1104A, and LTL-1105A the latter site: Melis, et al. 2007). This dissertation research added one date from Santa Caterina, room C (AA-72148), earlier and nonoverlapping with the one available, whose context i s unfortunately unclear. More Post-Ozieri dates were obtained from Cannas di Sotto (AA-64825) Serra Cannigas, tomb A (AA-72151), Scaba ’e Arriu (AA-72793 and AA-64828) and Mind’e G ureu (AA-64826). Based on this pool of reliable dates, the time during which PostOzieri styles (Sub-Ozieri, Filigosa and Abealzu) were in use spans, in 2 ranges, from 3518 cal BC through 2210 cal BC, with the first dates from Monte d’Accoddi, after the phase-I I platform was built, and the last one from su Coddu-Canelles. Such a date is considered suspic iously late by Melis (2007), but it is not

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307too much later than the one from Mind’e Gureu, whic h comes from a burial that has been attributed to the Abealzu style by the publishers ( Fonzo and Usai 1997) and to Melis’ phase C. This, tentatively defined Filigosa II, is the la st well-represented phase of her ceramic sequence, since phases D and E were represented by comparatively few assemblages. The tentative span, in synthesis, seems to be longer th an previously anticipated, from ~3450-3400 cal BC to somewhere between 2500 and 2300 cal BC. Concerning the sequence of phases within the Post-O zieri tradition, compared with Melis’ reconstruction, I think the reliable dates f rom su Coddu-Canelles pin down the chronology of the Sub-Ozieri aspect to the second h alf of the 4th millennium BC. This supports the attribution of the earliest dates from Monte d’Accoddi to the classic Ozieri ceramic aspect rather than the Sub-Ozieri, in line with the latest date from Contraguda, with the dates from Sa ’Ucca de su Tintirriolu, and espe cially parallel to the one from San Benedetto. Therefore, the beginning of the Sub-Ozie ri style can be placed in the mid-4th millennium BC. Furthermore, the new dates help outl ine roughly the chronology of the following aspects, as defined by Melis (2000d). The dated assemblages evaluated as most homogeneous are Scaba ’e Arriu and Mind’e Gureu, bo th attributed to phase C, hypothetically defined by the author as “Filigosa I I”: the dates point to the period 2800-2400 cal BC. Consequently, an earlier aspect, possibly M elis’ “Filigosa I”, can be placed before 2800 cal BC and after the two earlier dates from Ca nelles, which mark assemblages substantially Sub-Ozieri, at approximately 3200-310 0 cal BC. This period would correspond to the lower layers at Santa Caterina di Pittinuri. As anticipated in chapter 4, it seems that the phase defined Abealzu, long established in the lite rature, is represented by no more than few assemblages and a few diagnostic types, and does no t deserve a distinct identity. The chronology seems to fit this reconstruction. The Monte Claro style was as well only tentatively placed between 2700 and 2200 cal BC, with no radiometric proof, since only one radio carbon date was available, from the Grotta di Acquacadda, or Acqua Calda (R-677), which was suspiciously late, but still judged not impossible (Tykot 1994). The present project ad ded three dates, from the Monte Claro depositions at Scaba ’e Arriu (AA-64829), the cave II of Seddas de Daga (AA-64830) and from the basal layer at Padru Jossu (AA-72790). The se dates give a comprehensive potential 2-based span between 2866 and 2235 cal BC, which is clearly largely overlapping with Post-Ozieri. The series of radiometric measurements presented here therefore document

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308beyond doubt the reconstruction already suggested b y Contu (1989), of a contemporaneous existence of the two styles on the island. The begi nning of the Monte Claro style can be placed around 2800-2600 cal BC, confirming Tykot’s informed assessment (~2700), and its end possibly slightly earlier, at ~2350 cal BC, at least in the South, as documented at Padru Jossu. The three dates coincide remarkably with the dates for the Fontbousse style of Southern France (Centre de datation par la radiocar bone UMR 5138: Archomtrie et Archologie: Origine 2007), with which the Monte Cl aro has long been compared, providing support to the hypothesis of a direct connection wi th movement of groups and styles between the two areas. Furthermore, a few points can be made regarding the geographic evolution of the distribution of the two traditions. While dates are needed from the North, especially the large excavated villages such as Biriai and Monte Baranta in the South all three dates are earlier than the Post-Ozieri date from Mind’e Gureu. The da tes from Padru Jossu and Scaba ’e Arriu are particularly significant, since they are relati vely close to each other and close chronologically. This helps defining the changing d istribution of Monte Claro pottery widening from the Southern plains to the interior, possibly beginning in the 28th-27th century cal BC, until around 2500-2400 cal BC it had reache d the southern Marmilla region, where the Monte Claro burials of Scaba ’e Arriu were at a distance of less than 20 km from communities who still used Post-Ozieri pottery and further inland erected in great numbers the complex statue-menhirs and the megalithic buria ls at Pranu Muttedu. This area is also characterized by intense Monte Claro presence, whic h through these dates we can infer must have been settled after the mid-3rd millennium cal BC and occupied for a relatively sh ort time. Hypothesizing that the adoption (or importati on) of Monte Claro pottery in the highlands occurred from two different routes, the f irst directly from the southern lowlands and the second from the Western lowlands up to the Tirso valley and then east and south, we could then justify the distribution of the sub-styl es: a southern one, and another that covers the West and the Nuoro area (Depalmas 1989; Ferrare se Ceruti 1989: 57-59; Lilliu 1988a: 166-177). A sort of borderline could have been iden tified near Orroli (Sanges 1989). The dating of the Bell Beaker in Sardinia was based up to now only on stratigraphy and correspondence with the European mainland, and had been hypothesized by Contu (1989) to start in the 29th century cal BC, and by Tykot (1994: 125, 129) tent atively at ~2700 cal BC, parallel to the Monte Claro ‘culture’. The two dates from Padru Jossu phase A (AA-

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30972152, AA-72153) suggest, at least for this site an d area, a later chronology, 2463-2201 cal BC (2 range for the two dates combined). Since there are tight dates from the preceding Monte Claro layer and from the following Bonnanaro A (called undecorated Bell Beaker by Ugas 1998), the time of use of the burial by classi c Bell Beaker users can be safely limited to a few generations, probably within the 24th century cal BC. How much this can be applied to the rest of the island is to be ascertained through as many radiocarbon determinations as possible from different locations, with associated ceramic phases. Judging from the style, which is considered to be already mature, since in Sardinia the aspects considered early and middle Bell Beaker are present only sporadically (A tzeni 1996a), it seems that Padru Jossu A represents a later aspect of this style that connec ts Sardinia with central Europe via central Italy, characterized by the frequent presence of ha ndles, of polypod vessels, and the substantial number of undecorated ceramics (Ferrare se Ceruti 1981a: lvii-lviii; Ugas 1998). Therefore, the chronology is strictly valid for thi s specific stylistic aspect. I expect that more radiocarbon dates in the future may pin down as wel l the timing of the so-called “maritime” Beaker style, which is found at several sites, part icularly on the West coast, from Alghero down to the Sulcis-Iglesiente area, and of the aspe cts typical of the Southwest, which are likely to be later. We can therefore place this pha se in the 24th century cal BC, and the previous phases possibly within a few centuries ear lier, so that an overall estimate of the duration of the classic Bell Beaker style in Sardin ia can be between ~2500 cal BC and ~2250. The dating of the Early Bronze Age style Bonnanaro A (or Corona Moltana) was assessed up to the 1990s through comparison with th e Polada contexts of Northern Italy and directly through two radiocarbon dates, from Filies tru and Sisaia (Tykot 1994: 125). Five more dates are now available, one from Concali Coro ngiu Acca, II (AA-72150), two from Iscalitas or Is Calitas (Beta-107558 and AA-72149), and two from Padru Jossu, phase B (AA-72791 and AA-72792). The comprehensive 2-calibrated range is between 2548 and 1899 cal BC. The earliest limit, in reality is prob ably due to the large error in the raw date from Sisaia (100): in fact, the dates from Padru J ossu B, which are constrained by the previous phase, suggest the end of Beaker decorated pottery – at least in the central-southern lowlands more around 2350-2250 cal BC, with the b eginning of assemblages that resemble more the typical Bonnanaro A, although gradually an d with no sharp breaks. A somewhat later phase is that of Iscalitas and Concali Corong iu Acca, with 2 range between 2287 and 1899 cal BC, pointing to a duration of classic Bonn anaro A style centered around the last two

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310centuries of the 3rd millennium cal BC. The transition to the Middle Br onze Age Sa Turricula style seems to have occurred from the beginning of the 2nd millennium, as shown by the available dates (e.g., Q-3031 from Filiestru, R-963 from Sa Turricula, unknown lab # from Cannisoni and Gastea near Seulo, AA-64836 from Mont essu, tomb 10), spanning from 1939 to 1441 cal BC (2 range), overlapping with some dates already Nuragi c. In light of this new evidence, the date from Acquac adda or Acqua Calda (R-677), associated with Monte Claro pottery, fits perfectly the chronology for Bonnanaro A, while it does not match the dates for Monte Claro, which are no later than ~2300 cal BC at Padru Jossu, where the date is constrained by the followi ng phase Beaker A. Therefore the cave, similarly to several others in the Southwest (e.g. Baieddus de sa Sedderenciu near Tan: Ferrarese Ceruti and Fonzo 1995), must have been us ed for burial in both periods, and possibly the absence of stratigraphic reliability l ed to the misattribution. Radiocarbon date Q3029 from Filiestru is fully compatible with the ch ronological range of the Post-Ozieri cultural aspects, rather than Monte Claro, which st arts later. The site of Noeddos deserves a separate discussion. The material culture from this site was clearly indicated by the excavator as bein g outside common classifications, and this needs consideration together with the chronometric evidence. The earliest radiocarbon date (Q-3069) finds its best fit in the Monte Claro chro nology. Since the remaining two dates from phase I (Q-3071 and Q-3168) are much later, with a 2-calibrated range between 2194 and 1698 cal BC which point to a final phase of the Ear ly Bronze Age or even initial Middle Bronze Age, they do not seem to be compatible despi te their being all associated with phase I. The first date relative to phase II (Q-3167) is instead very close to them. The dates from phase III (Q-3070) and IV (Q-3169) follow, identifi ed as pertaining to the Middle Bronze Age phases Sa Turricula and Nuragic, in turn follow ed by the remaining date from phase II (Q-3868). Some elements could actually point to a M onte Claro identification for phase I: in fact, the excavator states that “reddish ware [domi nant in phase I] was better represented in Monte Claro”, but rules out the option due to the a bsence of fluted and grooved ware (Trump 1990: 15). The element that leads him to assimilate this phase to Bonnanaro A is the elbow/angled handles, although they are said to be typical of phase II (Trump 1990: 11). Also, despite highlighting how the tripod, the domi nant type in phase I, does not correspond to the Ozieri, nor to the Bonnanaro A shape, he doe s not mention the possibility of Monte Claro tripods. These, and other sherds, seem actual ly comparable to specimens from several

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311excavated Monte Claro sites (Castaldi 1999: 270, Ta ble XXXII, n. 3; Locci 1988: 66, figure 2, n. 8, 9, 10; Moravetti 2002: 158, figure 118, n. 10). Finally, the location of the site corresponds to a typical preference for elevated an d hilltop sites documented for the Monte Claro period, and the unexplained rectangular build ings (Webster 1994) do not seem to occur in Sardinia after the Copper Age until possibly the 1st millennium BC. I believe that the occupation of the area during th e Monte Claro phase, relative to at least some of the rectilinear structures, may have been followed by abandonment or sporadic use during most of the Early Bronze Age. At the end of this phase or the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age, some 500 years later, the site m ay have been reoccupied, the nuraghe was built, and some rectilinear buildings cleaned o f the sherds and dirt (which possibly filled the adjacent trench in square Gb, the main reposito ry of phase I materials). They were probably only reutilized, not built, in the later M iddle Bronze Age. The radiocarbon dates, if this was the case, would date the occupation, not t he construction, of the rectilinear structures, which conform fully to the tradition of Monte Claro-pottery users and some of the final Post-Ozieri. A deeper examination of both the ceramic assemblages and the siteformation processes could clarify the situation and verify the plausibility of this hypothesis, although the details of the stratigraphy contextual to the radiocarbon dated specimens are not provided. In conclusion, the integration of the new dates all owed a refinement (Table 26) of the current chronological models for Sardinian prehisto ry, as drawn by Tykot (1994) and Contu (1998) in the early to mid-1990s and still generall y valid. Among the important points: 1. the Ozieri style seems to have ended considerably e arlier than previously assessed; 2. the Post-Ozieri tradition, rather than a short tran sitional phase of a few centuries, appears to have a millennium-long duration; 3. the chronological correspondence of Monte Claro sty le with similar well-dated Fountbousse aspects documented in southern France is for the first time supported by radiometric measurements, and so is its being pa rtially contemporary with the last phase of the Post-Ozieri tradition; 4. the Bell Beaker style has been dated for the first time in Sardinia; 5. the duration of the Early Bronze Age has been furth er refined; and 6. the new evidence, finally, enabled the reconsiderat ion of the chronological sequences of two key sites, Monte dÂ’Accoddi and Noeddos.

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312Table 26. Proposed chronological sequence for Sardi nian prehistory 4000-1900 BC, updated with the new dates including those obtained within the present dissertation project. 8.2.7. A Closer Look into Sample Groups San Benedetto Internal patterning within the sample of the San Be nedetto community allows us to gain tentative insights into differentiation in dietary and mobility practices by subgroups. The only clear, meaningful cluster in the scatterplot of 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa (Figure 100) appears to be that of adult males: they have consis tently the smallest spacings, whereas 15N

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313values are at the center of the range for the whole group. This can reflect a diet higher in ruminants. These could be cattle, more likely sheep and goat, and might also reflect milk consumption. The fact that 15N values are not the highest, however, seems to ind icate that meat consumption in general was not necessarily pre valent in males. In fact, several females probably consumed more pork, reflected in somewhat larger spacings and higher 15N. The graph of apatite 13C vs. 18O (Figure 101) replicates the dietary difference depending on ruminant-derived products (more deplet ed 13C in males). More interestingly, all senile and infant 18O values, independently from their diet, align arou nd -4‰, whereas most adults show more depleted values; this is comp atible with a group that moves seasonally to higher elevations, identifiable in so me of the adults, whereas the elderly and the kids remained in the village. This is a strong indi cation for transhumance, although it is impossible to measure the range of such movements. They were likely fairly small, since relatively high mountains are close by, due to the steepness of the slopes. It is interesting that although males show a distinct diet, to be attribut ed to distinct kind of animal product, Figure 100. San Benedetto (Late Neolithic) Scatterp lot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups.

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314 Figure 101. San Benedetto (Late Neolithic). Scatter plot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups. females moved with men, as indicated by similar 18O values; this in turn could either lend credit to the hypothesis of a transhumance requirin g certain nuclear families to move together keeping their division of labor in the summer pastu res, or simply that women were herding stock with men. Santa Caterina di Pittinuri Due to the scarce number of human individuals acces sible, further decreased for collagen due to the poor preservation of some of th em, not much can be detected regarding internal patterns in the community. The presence of faunal samples, on the other hand, even if also few in number due to preservation, makes a few tentatively inferences possible (Figure 102). The red deer, as expected from a forest feede r, has low 15N; the swine, showing comparable values, likely lived in a similar enviro nment, which means that either it was a wild boar, or it was a partially controlled pig fed in the forest. This practice is documented in Sardinia at least from the Middle Ages up to now, a nd fits the inference made by Albarella et

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315 Figure 102. Santa Caterina di Pittinuri (Early Copp er Age). Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups, with the inclusion of fauna l values. al. (2006) based on morphometry, that Sardinian pre historic pigs were not kept under strict control in the village, as for instance in Neolithi c Greece (Halstead 2006: 45), but left semiwild, probably as today, allowed to interbreed with the wild boars. Within the expected range are also the fox, showing an omnivorous diet betwee n humans and herbivores, and the Prolagus specimens, which probably reflect a mixture betwee n the open-pasture, grass-eating of sheep and the depleted forest litter. As concerns the origin of proteins and the overall human diet, the general reading based on the comparison of corrected values for all sites indicated a ruminant-based protein. Reading the chart with both humans and fauna, this is only partially confirmed: while there are no cattle to compare, the pig is only one, and the sheep-goats only two, the trophic level shift, which is commonly about 3-4‰, seems to refle ct a mid-point between ovicaprine ( = ~2.5‰) and swine ( = ~5‰), as the most likely origin of protein. Alte rnatively, a combination of ovicaprine products and a fair amoun t of legumes could account for similar values. The greater number of apatite samples analy zed for 13C and 18O (Figure 103) cluster tightly, indicating a diet less differentia ted internally compared to what is observed at

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316 Figure 103. Santa Caterina di Pittinuri (Early Copp er Age). Scatterplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups, with the inclusion of faunal values. San Benedetto and several other sites. From the few samples available, it would also seem that women were spending, or spent at some point in their life, part of the time at higher elevations. This might indicate, contrary to what w ould be commonly expected based on gender roles as hypothesized for the prehistoric We stern Mediterranean, and also generally supported by isotopic values, that women were tendi ng the flocks instead of men. Alternatively, their origin could be from areas far ther from the coast than where the site is located. If confirmed by a larger number of samples such data could provide indications in marriage patterns, which in this case would be patr ilocal. The infant collagen 15N values, consistently higher than the adultsÂ’, are difficult to interpret due to the wide age range estimated (6 ye ar-span); they could still reflect bone tissuesynthesized up to a few years of age while br eastfeeding, and/or the substitution of maternal milk with sheep milk during their pre-teen s. In this case, however, 18O values again show children to have enriched values similar to some of the adults, but not higher,

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317which suggest differential residence for at least p art of the year. In the case of breastfeeding infants, we would expect values enriched also in co mparison to those of adults, which is not the case. Scaba Â’e Arriu Scaba Â’e Arriu is one of the key sites for understa nding change over time, since its depositions span two chronologically and culturally distinct phases, the earlier (A), of PostOzieri tradition, centered around the 29th-27th centuries BC, the later (M), Monte Claro, centered around the 26th-25th centuries BC. Additionally, the presence of faunal remains in stratigraphic association with the phase A enables a more reliable interpretation of the connections between trophic levels within the ecosy stem, and of the diet. Wild fauna yielded values within the expected range (Figure 104); the fox has values somewhat similar to the one at Santa Caterina di Pi ttinuri, although in this case there is a clear divergence from human values: while the troph ic level is apparently similar, the difference could be due to swine products, whose fa t, enriched relative to ruminant fat, makes Figure 104. Scaba Â’e Arriu A (Early Copper Age). Sc atterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups, with the inclusion of faunal va lues.

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318 human apatite 13C heavier and the spacing larger. The Prolagus’ die t is as well similar to that detected at Santa Caterina di Pittinuri, proba bly due to a mix of different plants both in open pasture and more forested environment. In this case we can compare the fox with a domestic canid, the dog: the latter shows values mo re similar to humans, revealing their sharing of the same foods. Among the domesticates with a dietary significance, sheep/goats have the lowest 15N values (~7‰), reflecting their fully herbivorous d iet, whereas pigs are situated, as expected, about half a trophic level higher (~8.5-9‰), and their variation in spacing reflects the range of fo ods that could have been consumed, from forest roots, plants and fruits, to refuse of meat, plant, and even dairy foods, depending on their being wild, penned, kept freely roaming in th e forest or in and near the household. Cattle samples’ 15N values are surprisingly within the range of pigs’ rather than ovicaprines’. Since any contribution of animal prod ucts to the diet can be excluded, possible alternatives can be evaluated. Manuring has been sh own to have the potential of enriching isotopically cereal grains, which could account for high 15N values in humans (Bogaard, et al. 2007). These authors also consider unlikely tha t such an effect could sensibly affect values in herbivores due to the small quantity of N in gra ins, although if all nitrogen is from grains this might be the case. Even if no experimental tes ting confirms it, if this is the case for cereals, we could still take into account other pos sibilities. One relates to a topographic difference in pasture location for ovicaprines and cattle, with the latter feeding on bottom valley, possibly closer to the village, and the she ep/goats on ridges and slopes: it has been shown that higher nitrogen concentration as in rich fertile soils can inhibit the atmospheric N-fixing, leading to enriched values, whereas N-poo r vegetal communities would uptake lighter N from the air (Garten 1993). This applies as well to cultivated fields, especially if manured (Amundson, et al. 2003). Alternatively, eve n fire has been suggested as an ambiguous potential factor in enriching 15N values (Cook 2001; Saito, et al. 2007), at least in case of fires mobilizing large amounts of N comp ared to the demand for regrowth. In other words, a fire in a high-biomass primary forest woul d enrich 15N values of the young new plants, whereas frequent fires in shrubby, dry vege tal communities would increase the need for bacterial N-fixing, causing lower values. The p roblem of explaining such enriched values for the cattle at Scaba ’e Arriu remains therefore uncertain: the most reasonable explanation

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319seems, however, to be found in their being kept in richer, cultivated, possibly manured fields near the village whereas sheep/goats were grazing m ore freely in non-cultivated, nonmanured, more distant lands with poorer soils. Such a dichotomy is also historically and ethnohistorically documented in Sardinia from the M edieval rural organization, where the tamed cattle were kept close to the village, near t he gardens and groves (Le Lannou 1941: 117); the outer area was divided in two or three, a nd alternatively cultivated with cereal ( vidazzone, Â’idassoni or other variants) or left fallow ( paberile ). The farthest and less productive land ( saltus or sartu ) was the permanent pasture of small stock sheep an d goats. The protein component of the human diet is difficul t to reconstruct due to the wide overlap of swine and bovine values and the potentia l mix of several sources. Based on the large 13Ccol-apa spacing, a fair share is likely to have come from plants (legumes and cereal). The consumption of ruminant products was definitely limited, whereas some consumption of pork is more likely (porcine fat would enrich apati te 13C values and widen the spacing with collagen 13C). The overall diet seems to have been more depend ent on plant foods than animal products. A gender difference appears in the fact that males consumed more animal protein than females. The difference in the spacing is negligible if we exclude the outlier and likely outsider n. 5949 (see below). Since the 18O values of the sampled group (Figure 105) seem not to split along sex lines as at other sites, it seems that herding of ovicaprine s (and possibly cattle) was probably not associated with seasonal mobility, and the livestoc k were kept near the village, where there are no sharp elevation gaps. One female individual (n. 5950) in particular had a diet isotopically similar to that of a swine, indicating a high contribution of plant foods to her protein needs, possibly even a small amount of C4 plants. Her uniqueness is also in her 18O values, which are clearly enriched when compared to those of the rest of the group. She likely was an outsider, possibly coming either from the we st coast near the Oristano Gulf where closeness of the sea may result in enriched 18O ratios, or from somewhere to the South (near Cagliari Gulf or southwest Sardinia), where enhance d aridity could have also resulted in similar values, and the presence of highly saline e nvironments makes the likelihood of C4 plant consumption higher. What seems only possible for individual n. 5950 is instead very probable for the outlier n. 5949: his values indicate origin from a coastal, possibly arid area, and some

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320 Figure 105. Scaba Â’e Arriu A (Early Copper Age). Sc atterplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups, with the inclusion of faunal values. consumption of C4 plants. The option that brackish water fish could account for the enriched apatite 13C (the sample of Mugil #9572, coming from the Cabras Lagoon in the Weste rn lowlands, is remarkably enriched) is ruled out by t he consideration that a consumption of proteinand N-rich fish so high as to affect sensi bly the apatite 13C values would affect even more radically 15N values, which is not observed. Alternatively, unk nown effects due to differential turnover of collagen vs. apatite could be found, in future studies, to be significant, but we have no data regarding this aspect. The second phase represented at the burial site is Monte Claro, for which there are no associated faunal remains. The isotopic values (Fig ure 106) appear extremely compact and very homogeneous within the framework of a generall y higher reliance on animal products than in the previous phase, supporting the inferenc e of a limited intra-group dietary variation. Therefore, a highly egalitarian social organization can be suggested, unless even temporary social differentiation was marked by symbols with t he exclusion of diet. A difference between sexes is present, although smaller than in phase A, indicating somewhat higher

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321 Figure 106. Scaba Â’e Arriu M (Monte Claro, Late Cop per Age). Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups. consumption of animal products by males. The two el derly females show the lowest 15N values of the group, so it would seem that the rela tive proportion of plant foods increased with age. Needless to say, identifying a trend base d on such a small number of observations is almost speculative; moreover, three of the four elderly suffered pre-mortem tooth loss, which may have limited their dietary options. On a speculative plane, assuming some correlation between tooth loss and diet, a slight r eduction of animal products that entail relevant masticatory action could more likely be id entified in meat than in milk and dairy; this could lead to the indirect, tentative inferenc e that dairy products were generally not as quantitatively important as meat. The child, age le ss than 6, might still reflect in its high 15N values the enrichment due to breastfeeding, which d ecreases up to age 10-12 before rising slightly. There is no substantial variation in 18O values (Figure 107) from the perspective of sex. Whereas at San Benedetto juveniles and elderly aligned with women, in contrast to adult men, making it plausible that the former represente d the villageÂ’s drinking water values and the latter the higher elevations of summer pastures such a clear pattern is not visible here.

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322 Figure 107. Scaba Â’e Arriu M (Monte Claro, Late Cop per Age). Scatterplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups. Three females and the infant have the most enriched values, and the four males are more depleted; however, another three females, two of wh ich are senile, are also depleted. If we take the first group to be the sedentary portion of the community, we would have to conclude tentatively that all the elderly (males and females ) had resided for some time at possibly higher elevations. This may seem unusual, but might possibly signify that the longer the movement was carried out through life, the stronger the different 18O signature would become. Alternatively, if a lower oscillation in ra inwater 18O, which could indicate a rainier period, was in place during childhood for the senil e-at-death, then at least part of the variation would also be explained. Again, the small number of samples makes these interpretations highly tentative, and in need to be evaluated with further testing. Finally, the 18O values measured in the juvenile individual affect ed by cribra orbitalia (cranium 5) are much more depleted than in the res t of the group; this could be an indication of anemia, as can be inferred from exper imental evidence on living subjects (Epstein and Zeiri 1988). If such anemia was of nut ritional origin, the apatite 13C values,

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323considerably more enriched than the rest of the gro up, could also be justified. They are compatible with a type of diet comparatively poor i n animal products. Alternatively, if the presence of cribra is not functional to the 18O and 13C values, it is still possible that the youth moved in from higher elevations; however, it seems less plausible that the connection between symptoms and causal factors be a pure coinc idence. A comparison of the two phases can be done keeping in mind the limitations. One is the relatively small sample population size. The se cond is the different quality of additional information available for the two phases: faunal sa mples from the same site, but preferential sampling based on sex (pelvic bones), for Scaba Â’e Arriu A; no faunal samples, but more data on the individuals sampled (cranial specimens) for Scaba Â’e Arriu M. Independent from these intra-site patterns, it is definitely recognizable through visual comparison (Figure 108), that the two communities had a clearly different diet. T he Early Copper Age Post-Ozieri group relied much more on plant foods than the Monte Clar o did, with a possible limited integration of pork meat. The homogeneity of diet increases in the Monte Claro phase, pointing to a more standardized diet, possibly stemming from more egalitarian food-sharing habits or simply a less varied cuisine, which nonetheless had a good balance of vegetal and animal foods. It must also be considered, however, that wi th decreasing protein consumption, carbohydrates and lipids affect proportionally more the apatite values (Schwarcz 2000), and therefore the 13Ccol-apa spacing. This implies that a slight difference in carbohydratesÂ’ and Figure 108. Scaba Â’e Arriu, comparison of the two p hases Post-Ozieri and Monte Claro. Scatterplots of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa and apatite 13C vs. 18O.

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324lipids’ relative proportion, and in their origin, i s likely to result in larger differences than it would in case of high protein consumption. The two communities do not show remarkable dietary differences based on sex, and this is consi stent in both groups. The higher amount of animal products – both protein and lipids – in the Monte Claro group does not involve unequivocally any seasonal mobility, so both groups appear to be virtually sedentary. Padru Jossu Of the three phases represented at this burial site the first, Monte Claro, associated by the excavator with the actual digging/carving of the tomb (Ugas 1982b), was represented by a few pottery and bone fragments in the thin bot tom layer, and only one individual could be sampled. This individual (cranium 67), considere d male by the first examiner (German 1987), is most probably a female. This population, in fact, appears to have sexual dimorphism in the secondary sexual traits weaker th an average, which makes it necessary that identifications are made after considering the specific traits of the local population (Beckett 2004, personal communication). The values are high in 15N but the 13Ccol-apa spacing is quite large. Coupling this with the high 18O, indicative of conditions probably drier than average, and by consequence with the lik elihood that the 15N values would appear enriched, it can safely be assessed that this perso n’s diet was mostly based on plant foods, with some possible intake of pork. The two phases better represented are A and B, Bell Beaker (Final Copper Age) and Bonnanaro A (Early Bronze Age). Within phase A, the isotopic range is very broad: over 3‰ for 15N, ~4.5‰ for the 13Ccol-apa spacing (Figure 109). This indicates very diverse combinations of foods in terms of both quantity/ori gin of protein and general diet, ranging from almost fully vegetarian to one that includes f airly good amounts of animal products. The number of males and females that it was possibl e to sample is very uneven, so that a reconstruction of dietary differences by sex must r emain tentative. The average spacing conforms to the pattern of more animal proteins con sumed by males, in fact the range varies from 5.5-7.7‰ for females to 4.7-7.3‰ for males. Ho wever, it seems that what best characterizes female’s diet is diversity: two out o f four individuals (crania 52 and 43) have values in the low range of males’, one (cranium 56bis) shows very enriched 15N but large spacing, which can be due to high consumption of pl ant foods coupled with aridity effect on

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325 Figure 109. Padru Jossu A (Late Copper to Early Bro nze Age). Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by age and sex groups. 15N or some consumption of pork meat, another one (cr anium 54) shows low 15N and large spacing, which translates into a substantially vege tarian diet. As concerns age differences, although subadults are not assigned to very accurate age sets, and due to the fast bone turnover and growth effects the isotopic ratio can be only tentatively interpreted, it would seem that older m ales (3 observations) tend to have higher 15N and smaller spacing, lending support to the view of a social organization where age might have been a social discriminant. A fairly sub stantial number of individuals in the community, including a few women and men, besides s ome of the elderly, shared in a substantial consumption of animal-derived products, which are likely to be ovicaprine, based on both the faunal remains (Sorrentino 1982) and th e relatively small spacing. Still with the caveat of the limited number of samp les per each subgroup, the scatterplot of apatite 13C and 18O (Figure 110) shows, in a context of remarkable ov erall variation, a potentially important pattern related to sex: the four females all have 18O 3.2‰, whereas seven out of eight males are between -3.3‰ and -4.4‰. This seems to

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326 Figure 110. Padru Jossu A (Late Copper to Early Bro nze Age). Scatterplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups. indicate that generally females and males were drin king water from different sources; male values are compatible with what we would expect fro m groups that practice seasonal mobility to more elevated areas. Three mature males are in the depleted end of the range, indicating their participation in these periodical movements, as already tentatively observed in the phase Monte Claro at Scaba Â’e Arriu: their l onger-term activities in highland locations may explain an increasing accumulation of a deplete d signature in the bone tissue. However, it must be underlined that the mature individuals a t Padru Jossu are barely over 35 years of age; it is unlikely to be coincidental that the max imum age-at-death is considerably lower than, for instance, Scaba Â’e Arriu M, where several individuals were over 50 and 60 years when they died; it is utterly unfortunate that syst ematic, comprehensive analyses of these remains have not been undertaken yet.

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327A plot of the values according to the identified pa thologies (Figure 111) suggests again a likely nutritional etiology for the condition whose symptom on the bone is cribra orbitalia. In fact, the three affected individuals all belong to the lower-15N end of the range. Furthermore, they are also characterized by enriched 18O, which is likely also correlated, as depleted 18O of respired air has been found to correlate with an emic conditions in experiments in vivo (Epstein and Zeiri 1988). In turn, these can be pro mpted or worsened by vitamin deficiency. Isotopic values in phase B are as well very broad: over 4‰ for 15N, ~3‰ for the 13Ccol-apa spacing (Figure 112). Therefore, as compared to Pad ru Jossu A the variation is increased in the protein quantity/source but decrea sed as concerns the general diet. Since the trophic level indicator, 15N, also decreases between the two phases, it seems likely that the quality of protein rather than the quantity is resp onsible for this internal variation, and this can be attributed to ruminantvs. pork-derived pro ducts. The smaller overall amount allows protein not to affect much the spacing, which is li kely dominated by the carbohydrate component. Let us not overlook that since 18O values indicate relative aridity, 15N values are also likely to be enriched because of this envi ronmental factor rather than diet, so the overall consumption of animal products was consider ably lower than in the phase A, as suggested also by the larger spacing (Padru Jossu B = 7.7‰ vs. Padru Jossu A = 6.4‰). Probably, judging from both stable isotopes and fau nal analyses (Sorrentino 1982), there was a substantial reduction of the ovicaprine contribut ion to the diet, which induced smaller Figure 111. Padru Jossu A (Late Copper to Early Bro nze Age). Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa and of apatite 13C vs. 18O by pathology.

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328 Figure 112. Padru Jossu B (Early Bronze Age). Scatt erplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups. overall variation giving more dominance to plant fo ods in the synthesis of apatite, while emphasizing the difference in trophic level between pork and lamb/mutton/goat in collagen. The sex-related difference in animal products consu mption is in this group virtually absent: males and females have similar average valu es. Again, what must be underlined is instead the impression of higher diversity in femal e than in male diets. Their 15N range varies from 8.7-11.5‰ for females to 8.9-10.9‰ for males, and the 13Ccol-apa spacing from 6.6-8.9‰ for females to 6.6-8.2‰ for males. In soci eties where the range of foods was far smaller than in our post-industrial, global-market societies, one likely explanation for this is to infer less strict normative dietary practices in females than in males. An alternative explanation, in situations of hardship due to famin e, could be found in food insecurity, which tends to strike the weaker groups within a given so ciety (Shipton 1990: 362). These two groups at the same burial site are by far those wit h the greatest intra-site spread in isotopic measurements, which makes their diets the least hom ogeneous of all those analyzed. Phase B,

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329like A, appears to have a short lifetime average: e ven if there are no comprehensive analyses, only one individual among those sampled could be re cognized as being ~35 years old. The 18O values (Figure 113) indicate, as already recogniz ed at San Benedetto and in phase A at the same site, a somewhat different clus tering between males and females, again readable as deriving from seasonal mobility, since males do have values compatible with permanence on more elevated, cooler/rainier areas f or a portion of their lives. Variation independent of sex is likely added by decadal and c entennial scale climate change, which is clearly recorded for these centuries. The juvenile and infant values, for which no more a ccurate age estimates are available, are difficult to interpret for the rapid changes related to breastfeeding, weaning, and growth, as discussed in chapter 7 regarding too th enamel values. The juvenile has the lowest 15N and largest spacing of the whole group, which mig ht be due to its age, if he/she were in the post-weaning, pre-teen low isotopic pea k at the time of death. A brief note on stable isotopes and pathology: the individual pointed out for his heavy toothwear (cranium 3) has values comparable t o the rest of the group; more interesting Figure 113. Padru Jossu B (Early Bronze Age). Scatt erplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups.

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330is the adult male cranium 6, affected by cribra orbitalia and cranii who shows a comparatively low 15N, but small spacing, and low 18O. It would seem that the amount of protein in his diet was low and/or likely from lowtrophic level animals, such as herbivores rather than swine; this is supported by the relativ ely small spacing: the source is likely to be ovicaprine. The depleted 18O would indicate he was part of the mobile group of herders, which fits his diet. In this case, rather than anem ia, the cribra could be rather due to vitamin deficiency, if the milk and cereal intake was not s upplemented by fruits or other sources; milk and grains, infact, lack vitamin C, and scurvy has been shown to result in cribra (Melikian and Waldron 2003; Ortner, et al. 1999; Sa lis, et al. 2005). Besides lack of fruits, also intense cooking, especially in copper containe rs, favors the loss of vitamin C. The dietary information coming from teeth is also, for Padru Jossu, significant and deserves a brief discussion. What emerged from the results is that the three individuals from phase A showed 18O enrichment from tooth to bone, and no clear trend in 13C, with values tighter in adulthood than in childhood. Phase B sho wed a similar overall pattern of 18O enrichment from teeth to bone and either enrichment or depletion in 13C, with no evident differentiation between such trends in preand per i-weaning teeth vs. post-weaning teeth. The tentative explanatory options were a) movement from a childhood in the highlands down to the lowlands where the burial is; b) a climatic shift during their short lifetimes from more humid to drier conditions; c) a substantial increas e in contribution of ovicaprine milk (which should be 18O-enriched) to the total drinking water needs; or d ) no dietary variation underlying the values, but rather a physiological p attern not yet investigated in 18O but documented in 15N (OÂ’Connell and Prentice forthcoming; White and Sc hwarcz 1994), whereby the lowest values in life are reached aroun d age 7-12 before stabilizing to adult levels. Mobility seems unlikely: I would rather think of th e opposite pattern, with the children showing higher 18O values like females. Mothers would be the group m ore likely to be sedentary and in the lowlands, rather than mobil e. The potential for climate change would normally be considered unlikely, because it would i mply that all individuals lived during the same years; whereas in normal conditions of a colle ctive tomb used for hundreds of years this coincidence would be tough to believe, the AMS date s suggest a concentrated and short utilization of the burial, so that this cannot be r uled out. The last two options seem more likely.

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331The microsampling on four third molars indicated th at while one female (#9816) showed little variation, two males (#7131, 7134) ha d an overall enrichment in both 18O and 13C in the few years around age ~10, with subsequent depletion in 13C from age ~12 to adult age, when they died between their twenties an d early thirties. The young female, instead, shows from age ~12 to adulthood the same s trong enrichment in both 18O and 13C that the two boys experienced as pre-teens. While t he slight 13C enrichment in all four individuals could be compatible with an increase in grains in the diet, the 18O values would instead indicate more milk in the drinking water su pply. However, the apparent contradiction in a hypothetical large consumption of milk that do es not affect the enamel 13C remains unexplained, so that in conclusion it seems likely that what is recorded is physiological variation that needs further investigation. The lik elihood of dietary phenomena behind the tooth-bone isotopic difference should be less prone to pure physiological effects, and in the different pattern recorded in the two males and in the female there is an increasing gender divergence between the former consuming progressive ly more meat and/or milk (13C depletion) vs. the latter consuming more cereal-bas ed foods (13C enrichment). While showing the potential for deeper understandings of physiological effects and dietary change in prehistoric children, these uncertainties and am biguities clearly highlight the need for more research, both toward modeling and toward more samp ling. In synthesis, the two phases at Padru Jossu are, un like those at Scaba Â’e Arriu, part of a continuous development of the same community: the i sotopic ratios have a large area of overlap in dietary and climatic indicators (Figure 114). It was possible to identify a substantial shift from a more mixed diet in the Bel l Beaker phase, when there was a fair amount of ovicaprine products in the food resources to one mostly reliant on plant foods in the Early Bronze Age. Both phases, probably charact erized by low life expectancy, had on the bone traces of chronic illnesses that, if consi dered in combination with isotopic values, can be suggested tostem from anemia, in some cases, and in some or all from vitamin deficiency, while leaving open other possibilities such as parasites or genetic anemias. On a broad level, the worsening of health conditions spe cifically at the end of the Copper Age and especially during the Bronze Age makes this last op tion unlikely, since the genetic type would probably develop over a long period of time o f sustained natural selection of traits (e.g. the effects of malaria).

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332 Figure 114. Padru Jossu. Scatterplots of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa and of apatite 13C vs. 18O in the two main phases (A and B). The diet seems to have experienced a shift, probabl y within a few generations, between some consumption of meat to a very slim amo unt of animal products. The lapse of time is suggested by the AMS dates, which have larg ely overlapping ranges and indicate that the depositions that can be documented are probably concentrated within 150 years or less, and each of the two main phases A and B could even represent two or three generations of 25-35 years. The general climatic profile (see sect ion above) derived by corrected 18O values generally supports the remarkable dry spell already detected by several studies at exactly this time period, ~2300-2250 BC, which must have generated widespread disturbance in the environment, determining a strain in the eco nomy and practices of the local communities and interfering with daily social and i ndividual decision making. Diet seems to have maintained some difference along gender lines in phase A, with males consuming more animal protein, whereas such a difference, possibly for the occurring general scarcity of animal products, virtually disappears in phase B. A lso, in phase A the more mature males maintain better access to animal products. Related to diet is mobility, suggested by the diffe rent clustering of males and females according to 18O values. Seasonal mobility was apparently practice d mainly by adult men, who would spend part of the year at higher elevatio ns with the flocks, mostly sheep. It is possible that they were striving to keep these floc ks intact during the bad years of phase A. This is a practice widely documented for cattle as a way of preserving social, symbolic and

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333economic assets, counter to the relatively simplist ic view that was assumed at the beginning of this research. On the other hand, sheep may inde ed have been favored precisely because of their better resistance to drought, which is a risk -buffering mechanism documented in relation to the first stages of famine (Shipton 199 0: 363-364). The number of animals was probably drastically reduced by phase B, when there is a lower consumption of high-trophic level products, and plants are the main basis of th e diet. Average life span was probably reduced, and disease related to malnutrition was co mmon during a time that seems to have been critical: another strategy for coping with foo d insecurity is that of emphasizing highcarbohydrate, starchier foods over less-satiating b ut more nutrient foods (Shipton 1990: 364). However, the maintenance of mobility indicates that the fabric of society was not ripped, there were still assets to keep in hope of better times, and animals were still offered or consumed in funerary rituals (Sorrentino 1982). Gen der differences in diet were loosely maintained for a while, but abandoned in phase B, a nd probably women suffered more from food insecurity as possibly reflected in their broa der range of isotopic values. Iscalitas (Early Bronze Age) Dietary variation within the sampled community of I scalitas does not show sharp differences, but some variation by sex and age in t he averages of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa (Figure 115) does indicate that males had an overa ll slightly better access to animal protein, and that older individuals had b etter access than younger adults (see also Figure 93). The four mature males (above 35 years o f age) all have 15N values over 10.5‰, indicating that within the context of a mainly plan t-based diet, they had slightly better access to the scarce meat, possibly pork, which with its e nriched adipose fat would keep the 13Ccolapa spacing large. However, the gap in values accordin g to sex are smaller if compared with those recorded in both phases of Copper Age Scaba ’ e Arriu and with Padru Jossu A, indicating milder gender differentiation in consump tion patterns. Differences according to age are in line with San Benedetto and Padru Jossu A and B, although somewhat diminished compared with the latter site (Scaba ’e Arriu, Mont e Claro phase shows a reversed pattern, with better access to animal protein in adults than in the elderly). The values of the four children are generally compatible with the 15N curve expected in an average life, with values

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334 Figure 115. Iscalitas. Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa by sex and age groups. depleted relative to adulthood in the age range ~420, and especially ~5-13 (O’Connell and Prentice forthcoming; see also a compatible archaeo logical study: White and Schwarcz 1994); this is more likely than dietary change thro ugh life, since the spacing does not show a similarly clear corresponding pattern, which would be that of lower (smaller 13Ccol-apa difference) values in more mature individuals, mirr oring the higher intake of animal products. The distribution of 18O values by subgroups (Figure 116) is as well not p articularly revealing of any differentiation in mobility patter ns. The general homogeneity of values is higher (1 = 0.4‰, vs. 0.8 and 0.6‰ at Padru Jossu), and the range where most values belong is lower than 1‰. This could indicate some d egree of isotopic difference in drinking water, but it does not seem related to any specific portion of the community, and does not therefore suggest gender or age as a factor for a s ustained practice of mobility. A speculative hypothesis is that the family unit, or household, m ight have affected food availability or choices more than symbolic codes and practices shar ed at the community level. DNA analyses would help in gaining insights for this pu rpose. The breaking up and simplification of social organization into single households pract icing farming with reduced emphasis on domesticated animals has been suggested for the Ear ly Bronze Age by Perra (1997), and the

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335 Figure 116. Iscalitas. Scatterplot of apatite 13C vs. 18O by sex and age groups. scanty evidence of the only excavated habitation si te seems to support this (Usai 1994). The observed isotopic patterning could be a further, te ntative support. No clear link was found between the few detected pa thologies and isotopic data, while a possible trend can be recognized by looking at the isotopic data integrated with the grave goods associated with specific individuals. T his site is the only one where detailed documentation and the active collaboration of the e xcavator, Dott.ssa M.R. Manunza, enabled an optimization of the knowledge that can b e produced from the isotopic data in social terms. Considering the scatterplot of collag en 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa for adults only (Figure 117), many individuals with grave good s cluster tightly in an area comparatively low in 15N and high in the spacing that indicates lower cons umption of animal protein and of animal products in general. Values reflecting prote in are particularly distinct, with five out of eight individuals provided with grave goods that ar e within the seven out of twenty-two lowest-trophic level data points. This trend, that seems unlikely to be a random effect, might suggest that some dietary practice was connected wi th somewhat higher social standing. In a

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336 Figure 117. Iscalitas. Scatterplot of collagen 15N vs. the spacing 13Ccol-apa with indication of the grave goods associated with specific remains. Only adults are shown. context where, as indicated by overall values, the diet was mainly based on plant foods, we would expect somewhat distinct individuals to have better access to meat or other less ordinary dishes. To the contrary, a higher proporti onal consumption of grains appears to mark the social status of the deceased in life as m aterials deposited in the tomb do in death. It is suggested that this item was likely to be have b een some beverage, probably alcohol brewed from cereal. The best candidate is of course barley, particularly considering the shift from naked to hulled barley over wide areas of the western Mediterranean around the Copper Age and before the Middle Bronze Age, a shift that in some Mediterranean areas consisted in full replacement (Bakels 2002). Hulled barley is co mmonly considered the best malting/brewing variety. It may not be coincidental also that the individual whose cranium was laid into a tripod vessel with a brassard, the archerÂ’s wrist-guard, shows comparatively high 15N values and small spacing: somewhat more meat seem s appropriate for someone who is buried with an element of the hunting/war pa raphernalia of the time.

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3378.3. Integration on Diet and Economy: Previous Data and Stable Isotopes Two factors are to be considered limitations to the integrated interpretation of the previous proxies for economic practices and the iso topic data presented in this study. One is the number of sampled individuals, which is not as high considering the subgroups by phase, especially for phases represented by one group only (the Late Neolithic by San Benedetto and the Bell Beaker phase by Padru Jossu A). The second as concerns the Late Neolithic is the site location, which is not typical of Late Neolith ic sites and does not compare well with most lowland sites, which make up the majority of the to tal population of this study. With this premise, I can attempt to make a few points, combin ing the different types of data now available, and following the synthetic prospectus o f the main kinds of data discussed (Table 27). The picture of a Copper Age where there is som e diversification in the animal husbandry is confirmed by stable isotopes: there are sites th at appear to have relied mostly on ruminants, which from the faunal data can with confidence be i dentified as sheep (and probably to a lesser extent to goats, considering the sites are n ot in rugged and highland regions). Among these are the groups of Santa Caterina di Pittinuri and Scaba Â’e Arriu M. Other groups that may have relied more on swine products are Scaba Â’e Arriu A and Su Stampu, while still others that are in between are Seddas de Daga, Cann as di Sotto and Serra Cannigas. It must be considered likely, however, that the high 15N values of Scaba Â’e Arriu A and Su Stampu are due to some extent to the effect of aridity sug gested by the enriched 18O values: therefore, these sites can be attributed an overall diet more based on plant foods and less on animal products. Such a possible dichotomy has been identified very convincingly in Southern France through detailed studies of age-at-death and season ality, with a statistical comparison between open-air sites and cave sites. Helmer et al (2005) have documented and defined a persistent integration between cave-shelters and op en-air sites, the former mostly dedicated to ovicaprine penning and the latter more generalized. The relationship between such types would have been similar since the Early Neolithic, and radicalized in the Final NeolithicCopper Age, when caves experience reduced human pre sence and higher proportions of ovicaprine bones. Such a scheme is perfectly approp riate to describe the history of Filiestru Cave as reconstructed above (chapter 5). What is im portant to underline is that the French

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338Table 27. Comparison of 15N and the spacing 13C col-apa with other indicators of subsistence and diet from previous works: biotic remains, landscape archaeology, material culture, and osteol ogy. Phase Domestic Animals Changes in Plant Foods Landscape Occup. FoodRelated Ceramics Subsist. Technol. Avg. 15N (corr.) Avg. 13Ccol-apal spacing Caries Occlusal Wear Stature Sexual Cranial elong. Cribra & hyperos. LN (Ozieri) 4000-3200 BC cattle ? alluvial lowlands, coasts bowls + cooking tripods microliths decline 11.3 0.3 [16] -5.7 0.4 [16] + -? + ECA (Post-Ozieri) 3200-2500 BC + ovicaprines ? (locally + pig?) + acorn? continuity (S) + highlands (N) + jugs, bottles, beakers, strainers cooking tripods + grinding stones + hoeweights + loom weights adzes 10.9 0.2 [26] -7.0 0.3 [26] + +? + LCA (Monte Claro) 2700-2300 BC olive cultivation ? hills & lowlands no coastal; hilltops + large jars + cooking tripods 10.8 0.2 [26] -7.0 0.3 [25] + +? + Beaker 2400-2200 BC + ovicaprines ? occupation break, Mostly lowlands + beakers, + serving tripods + arrowheads 10.1 0.3 [18] -6.4 0.4 [17] ? ? -? + EBA 2200-1900 BC (locally + pig?) + hulled barley? lowlands, + highlands beakers, + serving/ drinking tripods/cup s ? 9.5 0.2 [48] -7.9 0.2 [47] + -? +

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339 evidence and the Sardinian isotopic data contribute to depict a model of Neolithic animal husbandry that seems rather different from the one documented for Neolithic Greece, where Halstead (2006) concludes that animal husbandry was tightly connected to cereal fields, small-scale and intensive rather than extensive. Co nversely, for Mediterranean France a picture of specialized niches since the inception o f Neolithic life has been outlined, and even a case of dairy production for exchange, beyond hou sehold consumption, in the Final Neolithic (Helmer, et al. 2005: 178). This is the s ystem I believe may apply to Sardinia from Ozieri or Post-Ozieri times, a system that might de rive from the different trajectories of Neolithic package adoption (the Aegean that continu ed overland through the Balkans vs. maritime, towards Southern Italy and the Western Me diterranean). An additional factor involved in raising sheep coul d have been the production of wool; this could be reflected in the high numbers a nd sophistication of loom weights (Melis 1993). At the only multi-layered site spanning the two main traditions of the Copper Age, Scaba Â’e Arriu, there is an increase in animal prod ucts consumption in the Monte Claro phase, which can be interpreted as higher reliance on meat and milk; this could be a symptom of a further step in the intensification of exploit ation of secondary products, but could also reflect a localized, specific development which bas ed on current data, cannot be extended to the whole island. The heavier reliance on plant foods as compared wit h the only Late Neolithic group is consistent with the general increase in frequency o f hoe weights and of grinding implements recorded for the Copper Age in Sardinia (Contu 1997 : 205, 344-345; Lilliu 1988a: 122, 140), and with the flaked adzes identified in settlements in the Western lowlands (Lugli 1999); these two phenomena combined fit a picture of agric ultural intensification and of specialization. The latter in turn fits general tre nds observed for the Copper Age, with clues of more intense contacts and possibly exchange of g oods, represented by metal items and by the clear similarities to pottery shapes of mainlan d Italy (Basoli and Foschi Nieddu 1993). The decline in the presence of obsidian microliths in the Late Neolithic and Early Copper Age, which represented a long-lasting tradit ion since the Early Neolithic, could be related to two factors: the better standardization and distribution mechanisms of long obsidian blades, which could be made in large numbe rs and with no need of retouch (Cappai,

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340et al. 2004; Lugli 2000b), and, increasingly durin g the Copper Age, the potential use of metal implements for harvest. With the emergence of a new ideology of maleness and the status symbols more related to hunting, adumbrated by the contemporary decline in hardstone axes and increase in arrowheads inside tombs, it is not surprising that no metal tools that could have been used for farming were recovered, si nce they could have been sharpened for decades and finally re-melted. These possible new t echnologies, rather than a widespread use of the plow, for which there is currently no eviden ce, could also feed into a heavier reliance on agricultural products. Another factor to take into account is the change i n social practices reflected in the parallel increase in containers of liquids and smal l vessels for individual consumption (Cocco and Usai 1988; Melis 2000d: 49-55). Such an increas e in drinking, which is likely connected to either sweet or alcoholic beverages, could have had profound implications in land-use practices. The decline of communal, Neolithic forms of consumption indicated by the middle-sized bowls might also be an indication of t he use of drier solid foods, following TrumpÂ’s (1990: 41-42) interpretation of tripods as porridge heaters. Baking would require more processing of the grains through reduction int o flour, its refinement and preparation into dough. Finally, the increase in large jars might be connected to the storage of beverages or processed cereal versus grains, which can be stored in sacks or baskets. Besides an intensification of herding, the accentua ted interest for highland locations could be related to higher demand of cereal cultiva tion if this was to be used not only for more processed grains for daily needs, but also for malting (Dineley 2006). The interest for areas with high cereal-yielding potential is clear in the choice of settling the low hills of Marmilla and Trexenta in Monte Claro times (Dess 1 989; Lilliu 1985; Puxeddu 1962), whereas the reduced presence at several sites in th e alluvial lowlands (Atzeni 1962; Locci 1988) could be caused by increased aridity and lowe red water table during the first of the two arid events suggested based on previous data and co nfirmed by 18O isotopes, around the 29th-28th centuries BC. In this picture, the few, rather impressionistic da ta from osteology and dental health might be significant to help our understanding of d ietary practices beyond simple proportions of foods, into nutritional details and beyond. In f act, if we put together the increase in drinking with the increase in querns, and the choic e of land good for cereal-growing, it is not surprising to find in Copper Age teeth higher carie s, and lower toothwear frequency, than

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341both in the Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age (Cop pa unpublished; German 1999). The consumption of higher proportions of highly process ed starch, and particularly of sugar drinks from malting cereal, seems a likely cause fo r such a combination. The following centuries, marked by a remarkable occ upational break at most of the islandÂ’s sites, seem also marked by a clear dietary shift. The Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro A groups analyzed have yielded isotopic results indic ating a heavier reliance on plant foods than ever before. A correspondence with faunal rema ins data, which are partial and not unequivocal, is less visible than for the Copper Ag e. The main piece of evidence comes from the site of Padru Jossu, where the shift from high animal protein consumption giving way to more plant foods parallels the faunal data that sho w strong prevalence of ovicaprines in the Bell Beaker phase and more balanced presence of cat tle and pig remains in the Early Bronze Age layers (Sorrentino 1982; Fonzo, personal commun ication). As concerns the connection with material culture of food processing and consumption, similarly to the rest of the Bell Beak er realm in mainland Europe, there is an increase in polypod (multi-footed) vessels and beak ers for individual consumption. Whereas tripods of Monte Claro times were tall, following t he Neolithic tradition, and work well to heat up and cook foodstuffs, many of them from this period are low, and seem to be platters for serving rather than cooking. The advent of a so cial practice of drinking and possibly eating following different rules of etiquette seems to have been brought successfully to the island. The difference is that such table sets are mostly found in caves that may once again have become dwellings, and no evidence for open-air settlements has been found (only two sherds within Monte Claro villages: Ferrarese Cerut i 1981a): all Monte Claro stone-built villages were abandoned at the same time that the e ponymous pottery was. What is lacking for both Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro A phases is any substantial evidence for settlements, or for food-processing im plements in reliable stratigraphic contexts. It is clear that there is continuity between the tw o phases, both in site occupation and material culture repertoires, although they do not say much about food preparation. The possible introduction or intensification of hulled barley cu ltivation by this period, based on broader trends and its presence in the later Bronze Age of Sardinia (Bakels 2002), could fit the emphasis on drinking vessels, and could mark a diff erent processing of grains. Judging from the limited data on dental health, if the Copper Ag e was the age of sugar drinks, the Early Bronze Age might have coincided with a more intense diffusion of alcohol. A full

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342fermentation allows the conversion of sugars into a lcohols (Jennings, et al. 2005), so the drop in the occurrence of caries could be associated to this shift in tastes and habits. Apparently discordant are the data between preferen ces in the location in the landscape and the stable isotopic values at Padru J ossu A, but there are Bell Beaker sites also in the highlands (e.g. Fadda 1989b), and Padru Joss u is the only site analyzed. Moreover, as for Scaba Â’e Arriu A and Su Stampu, also Padru Joss u might show 15N values enriched due to aridity, so that the diet might be in both phase s (A and B) more plant-based than the comparison with the remaining groups shows. The gen eral increase in cribra orbitalia in connection with a more plant-based diet could point to nutritional anemia, and some limited evidence in support of this view comes from stable isotopes (see above). Especially in an environmental crisis such as the one triggered by c limate change around 2300 BC on a heavily transformed landscape, a scenario of reduce d milk and meat consumption seems to make sense, and so does a diet poorer in micronutri ents that are disconnected from the perception of hunger (e.g. vitamin C, contained in fresh fruits and vegetables). The higher occurrence of tooth wear remains disconn ected from other indicators. The traditional explanation, that of lithic grit in the food due to grinding of grains into flour with stone implements, goes counter to the documented tr end that caries is generally associated with cereal-based agricultural economies, whereas t oothwear is inversely proportional to caries (Molleson and Jones 1991; Molleson, et al. 1 993). However, a wide range of possible causes exists (Molnar 1972), and there is not much evidence for a change in processing implements to justify such a variation based on nut rient proportions in the diet, nor is there much evidence for processing implements at all. A m ore integrated explanation is related to bruxism. This is more commonly known as grinding te eth, usually associated with stress, anxiety, and one study found a positive correlation with tooth wear, besides documenting prevalence in males and a weak but significant rela tionship with unemployment (Bernhardt, et al. 2004). This already leads, however, to more complex interactions of factors other than diet, which is the subject of the next section. 8.4. Cross-Comparison and Integration of Domains: E xplaining Change? In this last section an attempt was made to assess, interpret and organize in a series of causal relationships the information that was avail able and has been summarized and the new

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343data, addressing the different components that inte ract to generate change. The visual reference model in chapter 2 (Figure 4) is meant to clarify how this large mass of information is organized. Different ways could be equally corre ct, nevertheless this seems a reasonable simplified way of organizing the different causal l inks between broad interacting domains. This does not imply that these domains are consider ed truly and intrinsically separate, which is clearly not the case (Robb 1998), but only a way of structuring a discussion that concerns them. Humans are part of the environment, rather th an a separate entity that interacts with it; they are simply the environmental element we as ant hropologists are more interested in, and their world is, as ours, deeply symbolic. This study has confirmed previous evidence from sev eral sites across the Mediterranean, against common skepticism, that impo rtant climatic changes did indeed occur in the period of interest. The direct effect of suc h climatic changes on environment, with particular reference to vegetal communities, soil d eposition/erosion histories and the like, is currently impossible to determine for Sardinia, due to the lack of any relevant pollen studies or well dated soil profiles. The argument that ther e was indeed an impact of climate on the environment can however be made: the level of varia tion that has been reconstructed, even considering some degree of error in both values and interpretation, seems to have been relevant for contributing to substantial changes in plant communities, human livelihoods and what is related to them. A rainfall variation over 500 mm, as suggested by corrected 18O values, can impact severely the equilibrium among s pecies and the outputs of food production, particularly if the change occurs fast enough to make human adjustments more difficult. This seems to have been the case for the dry period between 2850 and 2600 cal BC and particularly the one between 2350 and 2200 cal BC. Such climatic events, occurring within two centurie s or less (the first apparently in the 29th, the second in the 24th century cal BC), seem to have unfolded within rela tively few generations, so that their effects must have been f elt and must have been perceived as severe problems to face for the maintenance of the lifesty les that the involved communities were accustomed to. The effects can be tentatively trace d by drawing parallels with betterdocumented areas of the western Mediterranean: comp etition between forest species was impacted by favoring plants well adapted to long dr oughts, like olive trees (both wild and cultivated), juniper, evergreen arboreal species in general and in particular oak (Carrin, et al. 2001; Magri 1997; Reille, et al. 1999b; Yll, et al. 1997); conversely, black pines and high-

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344altitude species, still present in the Middle Neoli thic (Castelletti 1980), may have disappeared completely from their post-glacial refugia on the Gennargentu massif. The vegetation changes documented in Corsica, certainly fueled by human practices and particularly fires, may have had an acceleration due to these dry event s: the areas covered by deciduous oak, Arbutus unedo and Erica probably widespread before heavy anthropization s tarted, were more and more limited by grassland and scrubland wi th higher frequency of Pistacia and evergreen oaks. Plants requiring some degree of hum idity such as hazel or alder must have become rarer, causing some loss in biodiversity. On the other hand, it is possible that Mediterranean coastlines were modified by marine re gression during the Copper Age (Kayan 1997; Lambeck, et al. 2004), and that this, coupled with increased erosion due to grazing and farming, and enhanced by aridity, determined the in filling of estuaries and the formation of coastal lagoons and marshes, with a potential incre ase in biodiversity. A separate, circumstantial rather than compelling a rgument is that of the correspondence between change in material culture a nd climate change. This could be, to a certain extent, an artifact of our approximation in categorizing and defining periods in both domains. However, from the data presented in this w ork, it appears that the whole island shows aspects of the same Ozieri/Post-Ozieri tradit ion up to the first dry event, when the Monte Claro culture begins; its material culture sp reads over the whole island by the 23rd century cal BC, when a second, sharp dry event is r ecorded. At this point, occupational continuity is clearly broken before Early Bronze Ag e material culture and sites appear, and similar occupational breaks are registered at the s ame time in several Western Mediterranean regions (Colomer, et al. 1990; Di Maio, et al. 2003 ; Webster 1996: 62). It is argued, therefore, that climate change must be considered a t least as an important co-factor in any explanatory model for this segment of Mediterranean prehistory. Causal links between environment and human practice s are more complex and definitely bidirectional. Environmental change rela ted to climate can affect the choices available to human groups in several ways: a loss o f biodiversity can reduce the ease of acquisition and the density of certain species, inc luding plant foods such as hazelnuts and strawberry tree fruits, and game such as Prolagus. Conversely, new resources could have become more available: possibly mollusks, migratory birds and natural salt in lagoons and marshes, and fruits and plants well adapted to drie r conditions, such as acorns, olives, lentisk berries. Besides wild resources availability, sever e constraints can be set by environmental

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345variation on food production: soils thinned by arid ity are more prone to erosion and progressively lower outputs, lower water tables can negatively affect both agriculture and inhabitability of specific locations, forcing human groups to abandon alluvial soils and relocate near freshwater springs, as has been docum ented in the Post-Ozieri contexts (Melis 2000d: 93-108). A flip side of the potentially new resources of marshes and lagoons could have been the spread of malaria, notoriously epidem ic in the vicinity of Sardinian stagnant waters up to the 20th century. Among the potential unexplored consequenc es of reduced hardwood forest cover could also be the difficulty in finding materials for canoe manufacturing, conditioning and restricting navigat ion capability. On the other hand, human practices have been shown across the Mediterranean to have had an early impact on the environment. Mining has recently been found to have a powerful transformative potential on the landscape (Jouffroy-Bapicot, et al. 2007), even as early as in the Late Neolithic and Copper Age (Magg i 1998), although no such evidence exists in Sardinia. The presence of copper and espe cially silver at late-4th millennium BC sites (Ugas 1993a; Usai 2005b) probably implies the exploitation of deposits that often involved breaking the rocks with heat to reach the mineral-bearing ore. This, and the following smelting and casting, all require large q uantities of firewood. The adoption of specific gastronomic tastes may have led to the int roduction of the vine, recorded in mainland Italy in the Neolithic but still undocumented in Sa rdinia, and cultivated olives, well suited to arid and rocky soils. The introduction of hulled ba rley for malting and brewing purposes can also have impacted the environment, rendering neces sary larger tracts of land to be cleared for this product, probably by the Early Bronze Age (Bakels 2002). All these phenomena may have also coincided with the increasing aridity pun ctuated by the two important events around the 29th and the 24th centuries cal BC. However, the intensification of agricultural outputs by means of extending farmland and pasture and widening the pool of exploitable products is likely to be the single most important element of environmental impact during the Copper Age and particularly toward its conclusion. This may have been done by felling trees, especially up until the Late Neolithic (since more temperate forests are less easily burnt than Mediterranean-type macchia, and the real and symbol ic value of hardstone axes could be related to this important aspect of Neolithic life) and increasingly through fire, as documented in Southern France, where the highest fr equencies are recorded between the Late Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age, with a surge to wards the conclusion of the Copper Age

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346(Carcaillet 1998). All these habitat modifications, coupled with hunting pressure, could be responsible for the decrease of Prolagus, which, co ntrary to some claims, became extinct probably in the later Bronze or Iron Age (Wilkens a nd Delussu 2002). Technology as a factor to determine human practices is not to be considered in a vacuum but embedded in the socio-cultural system of pertinence. Keeping in mind this perspective, it can be underlined that changes in l ithic reduction technology are more in degree and relative proportions than in kind (Locci 2000; Lugli 2000b). Therefore, the availability of specific lithic technology does not appear to have been a factor in any of the changes. The preference for some over other types o f artifacts seems to have been rather determined by the different functions of tool types : some have been hypothesized to relate to different ways of harvesting, others to the increas e in hunting. There is no clear evidence for the adoption/introduction of the know-how of plowin g (Wilkens 2004: 185) and the taming of oxen for the purpose. This does not imply that p lows were not used, since even in the Middle Ages farming with hoes was prevalent. The ab sence of clear evidence may even confirm the elite connotation of possessing an oxen yoke, as a status symbol and as a means to strengthen social inequalities by lending or ren ting it, as the bovine heads of northwestern Sardinia may induce one to think. The availability of wool sheep probably from the Copper Age (Sherratt 1997a) and the previous experience in processing and weaving flax (witnessed by the widespread kidney-shaped weights), may have enabled the development of a flourishing woolen textile manufacture, as indicate d by the increase in sophistication of loom weights (Melis 1993). Certain weight types that are not documented on the mainland are also the possible reflection of a further, uniquely Sard inian, innovation and complexity in weaving techniques. A technical know-how that has been long recognized to have brought about profound changes is metallurgy. In Sardinia, it seems that l ocal silver metallurgy may have preceded the beginning of copper metallurgy; alternatively i ts early development was a local adaptation of copper metallurgy to more valued, or simply more easily accessible or known metal ores. What may have changed in metalworking i s the scale of production, which may have derived from a refinement of the knowledge nec essary to make many sturdier tools rather than a few shiny jewels. The increase in uti litarian over ornamental objects points in this direction; in this light, the apparent tempora ry decline in metal finds in Monte Claro contexts could be a bias deriving from the higher p roduction of utilitarian tools that were not

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347status symbols and therefore did not end their life cycle in a permanent burial (compare with the copper axe of the Alpine Iceman). Rather, the m ajority of tools such as knives, sickles, axes, spears and the like were likely used until bl unt or broken, then melted again into new objects generation after generation. If this is the case, this technological leap would have occurred during the Monte Claro phase, and could be an example of subsistence needs and practices that prompted the adoption of a new techn ology (in this case possibly made available by contact with Bell Beaker groups). It m ay not be coincidental that such a technological innovation that, in absence of hoardi ng, can only be postulated ex silentio occurred after the first of the two major arid even ts documented, in between the 29th and the 24th centuries BC. The last three elements, the likely development of wool weaving, the ascertained development of silver metallurgy, and the adoption of more utilitarian-oriented metalworking, represent examples of the inverse cau sal link between practices and technology, since the previous practice of weaving and metalworking likely made possible the choice of innovations necessary for a finer tex tile production and for silver metallurgy. Whereas the technology of fermentation may have had antecedents in processing wild fruits, that of malting cereals, which may or may n ot have been followed by fermentation, was first documented in the Near East around 4000 B C (Dineley 2006) and could have been adopted in the Western Mediterranean and Sardinia t owards the end of the 4th or during the 3rd millennium BC. This could be related to the increa se in grinding stones tentatively recognized in the Sardinian Copper Age, and particu larly to the increase in ceramic liquid containers and beakers for individual consumption. Again, the ceramic shapes adapt to new exigencies that pertain to a symbolic, cultural ord er. The adoption of sugar-based cereal drinks could also match the increase in caries reco rded at some Copper Age Sardinian sites (Coppa, unpublished; Vargiu and Coppa 2007). There is no clear sign of an effect of new technical-technological knowledge on basic nutritio n; in other words, there seems to be no evidence that new technologies changed the basic di et, as has been documented by previous proxies and the stable isotope results. From this discussion the inextricable ties between technological change and the social and symbolic milieu of social groups emerge clearly : metals seem to have been used first to express or create differentiation, due to their nat ure of exotica and to the association between objects, skills/means to acquire it. Both items and related skills and persons were connected

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348with the cosmological powers associated with them, as suggested for other contexts such as one mechanism to generate power (Helms 1993). In a later phase, their significance seems to have changed, and their practical value (or, the sy mbolic value of their practical utilization) to have acquired importance. It could be that the a vailability of better technology made metal items progressively lose some of their exotic, arca ne power, or that, at the same time, the emergence of a more powerful status symbol eroded i ts significance, possibly causing the reduction of the protective exclusivity of a better technology that was already present. Among these could have been colorful textiles, for which wool is better suited than flax, and which seem to have become fashionable in mainland E urope around this time. Alternatively, the labor resources necessary to acq uire metal items could have pushed to surplus production and inand extensification, which in turn benefited from metalÂ’s practical functionality. This push for more product ion, which can be indicated by the increase in farming and cereal-processing devices in the Cop per Age (Contu 1997: 344-345; Lilliu 1988a: 122, 140) could have been due to the additio nal demand of grains for making beverages, as indicated by the increase in bottles, jugs, beakers, and possibly by tall jars and frequent caries in the same period (Coppa unpublish ed; Melis 2000d: 51-55; Vargiu and Coppa 2007). The implications of the adoption of such innovation s in terms of gender relations and role definition may have been profound, due to the specific requirements of labor and time. Processing wool is faster than flax, and since flax cultivation is more likely to have been in plots near the village it is also more likely to ha ve been carried out by both men and women or by the latter. Conversely, the herding necessary for wool production was likely within the masculine realm of activities, which agrees with cl ues for a progressive take over of public, external roles by men and the bounding of women to more domestic ones (Hayden 1998). Also, the tasks of systematically grinding into flo ur, malting and brewing have been crossculturally found to be often associated with women, and specific drinking modalities, or drinking itself, associated with men (Dietler 2006) Such laborious and time-consuming tasks (Jennings, et al. 2005), together with that of weav ing, could have been adopted and possibly exploited through insertion in a progressive redefi nition of roles, contributing to steering toward an increase in male dominance and appropriat ion of womenÂ’s labor (see McCorriston 1997 although in a very different context), which t he portable figurines have been associated with (Cmara Serrano and Spanedda 2002). The isotop ic evidence shows that dietary

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349differentiation by sex, and likely gender, was alre ady in place in the Early Copper Age, and evidence for male seasonal mobility points to a rad icalization of such a phenomenon at the transition into the Bell Beaker and Early Bronze Ag e. Since there is definitely no evidence from the stable isotopes for an increase in animal product consumption, it is likely that male symbolism does not match malesÂ’ increased productiv ity in nutritional terms. Livestock accumulation was another strategy to maximize symbo lic capital, which is reflected in burial decoration (Cmara Serrano and Spanedda 2002; Tanda 2007) and clearly did not match the nutritional significance. There is again no clue fo r any relevance of the plow, nor of oxen as draft animals, in the value system of Sardinian pre history. From these processes it appears clear not only the relationship between technological change and cultural context, but also the importanc e of available technology and cultural exigencies on practices that in turn have an impact on the environment. Another clearly symbolic activity that seems to have gained progres sively importance in coincidence with a starker definition of gender differences is hunting Whereas elsewhere there are representations of hunting scenes in the Neolithic, in Sardinia it seems that they date to the Late Neolithic or more likely the Early Copper Age, with the first clearly sexed male figures (Basoli 1992; D'Arragon 1999b; Dettori Campus 1989a ). If this slight delay is real, it would not be surprising, since large game is the powerful symbol linked to maleness in the mainland and elsewhere even today; Sardinia lacked large mam mals after the Mesolithic, so that before stray pigs drifted enough to be perceived as wild, and before red deer was introduced and slowly spread over the whole island, no big game wa s readily available. Considering how deer particularly attracted the Neolithic peopleÂ’s attention (Morter and Robb 1999: 89-92), I would speculate that even wild boar was not as cruc ial in constructing identities through the practice of hunting. Neolithic Sardinians may have had a unique constraint in this respect. This lack of large game may also explain why during the Late Neolithic and Early Copper Age the emphasis was rather on the largest a nimal ever visible in anyoneÂ’s experience, cattle, which provided alternative sett ings for displays of maleness, as in the traditional East African societies or in the Americ an West cowboy image. If the dualism between megalithic and underground burials is under stood as an ideological arena for Neolithic/Copper Age politics, and we reflect on th e admittedly scanty evidence concerning the distribution of the two types (Depalmas 2001), it is also possible to see a clash, in northern Sardinia, between different conceptions of society. A Neolithic world where the

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350community was the living space, and assets and land were managed in common near the village, versus a Copper Age world, characterized b y increasingly generalized male authority, drinking and hunting, where the enlargement of expl oitable land opened avenues to social differentiation. This also emphasized the kin group and its ancestors traceable within lived memory, rather than the whole community and its myt hical ancestors: dolmens mark the use of the space and is a claim of more direct occupati on and use rights. This should not translate into a dichotomy between egalitarian Neolithic and ranked Copper Age as full structured realities, but rather as ideological-symbolic frame works in constant modification: in fact, as Cmara Serrano (2002) notes, communal principles ca n be manipulated to disguise and maintain inequality. The role of an impressive site such as Monte dÂ’Accoddi since the Late Neolithic was probably more important than previous ly thought for the setting of models that permeated most of Sardinia. The Monte Claro period appears, in this dialectic, on one side as a break, in its different pottery, neglect of lithics, burial custo ms, total aniconism, efficient organization in construction and ritual; on the other side, it appe ars as a possible reaction to the use of tradition to mask inequality: while the Post-Ozieri -pottery users were representing images of ancestors on stelae, depositing figurines in tombs, carving scenes in rock shelters and building monumental cemeteries in northwest Sardini a and at Pranu Muttedu (Antona 1998; Atzeni 2004; Atzeni and Cocco 1989; D'Arragon 1999; Tanda 1998), for the Monte Claropottery users there is not a single human figure do cumented at any site, whether in pottery or stone. Megaliths are erected in ritual areas within the village and are not connected to funerary rites (Castaldi 1999; Moravetti 2002). The burial customs in the south, and the arrangement of houses in the northern villages, poi nt to an organization based on households, with some kind of social glue that did not leave ma terial signs of power inequality. The isotopic values at Scaba Â’e Arriu M seem to indicat e such uniformity, and egalitarian instances, in their tight clustering together. It i s suggested here that the timing of the beginning of such changes in material culture and o f the relative social dynamics is compatible with a climatic trigger. The signs of co ntraction in village size in the southern and western lowlands, together with internal signs of e nvironmental deterioration already suggested by Locci (1988) and likely coinciding wit h the first dry event of the 29th-26th centuries BC documented by stable isotopes, seem to have provided an opportunity for a break with tradition and something that resembles w hat we would expect ethnogenesis to

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351leave behind in the archaeological record. Without any radical change in the quality of diet and in the relative proportion of its sources (grai ns, animal products), diet up to the 24th century BC had a similar basis. Efficient organizat ional knowledge may have been acquired precisely in times of stress in the parched lowland s, to prove successful later in spreading a model of large, nucleated, compact stone-built vill ages. Whether we interpret the large jars typical of this period (Depalmas and Melis 1989) as storage implements or festive utensils for large quantities of drinks at social events that pr ovided bonding experiences to the many households composing the fabric of society, this el ement appears to have been a symptom of an important phenomenon. Definitely there was no lo ss of personal identity as in the collective burials of most Ozieri and Post-Ozieri t radition: skeletal parts were often placed in distinct spots within the burials, as in vessels or within stone cists or simply stone-defined areas. The nuclear family and close kin seem to hav e been then at the basis of society. As the overall diet remains similar to that of the Late Neolithic, mobility, according to the first stable isotopic results presented here did not take off during the Copper Age either. Both Post-Ozieri and Monte Claro communitie s are sedentary relative to the Bell Beaker and Early Bronze Age as documented at Padru Jossu. It is reasonable to infer that the following dry spell in the 24th century, with the good correspondence of stable is otopic evidence, paleopathology and interruption in settle ment continuity, provided this time a temporary advantage to the more mobile Bell Beaker groups. All Monte Claro sites were deserted, and sporadic if any signs of Bell Beaker and Early Bronze Age frequentation are known; furthermore, at some sites there are clues p ointing to a sudden abandonment that left construction works unfinished (Moravetti 2002). The logical inference is that drought struck harshly the Monte Claro-pottery users, bringing the ir social system to an end. The inference made above for an augmented forest clearing related to mining and smelting activity in this period, along with the extensification of farming a nd herding suggested by the choice of hilly areas and by the implements to process grains and f iber, makes it likely that a heavier impact on thinner soils was in place. It is this combinati on of sustained exploitation and sudden climate change that determined the crisis, an inter action of human and natural factors as has been described and conceptualized (van der Leeuw an d Aschan-Leygonie 2000). The Bell Beaker-using community of Padru Jossu may have had a broader and especially more flexible resource base and/or specific know-how, as shown by a diet relatively similar to that of the Copper Age groups, or more likely the more m obile Beaker lifestyle could have

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352provided support between different groups that expe rienced critical phases at different times and locations, as opposed to strictly sedentary gro ups. What accompanied and followed the environmental cri sis well into the Early Bronze Age is a high incidence of chronic disease (German 1999). This, coupled with the shift of the diet toward a much heavier reliance on plant fo ods (detected isotopically), seems to be compatible with the archaeological record of severe food insecurity and malnutrition. Shortage of food leads to the inclusion of grain pa rts normally discarded, possibly reflected in increased occlusal wear; to cutting meal size, w hich can be easily done with grains unlike livestock; further phases in responses to famine ar e the decline in consumption of animal products and preference for starchy, nutritionally poor products high in carbohydrates (indicated by isotopic evidence); violence, raiding and stealing, for which trauma is the best archaeological proxy; all these phenomena are docum ented in present-day famine-stricken societies (Shipton 1990) and in Early Bronze Age Sa rdinia. Additionally, there is evidence for the breakdown of the existing social fabric int o smaller units, as inferred from the little available evidence (Perra 1997; Usai 1994). The dec line in pottery quality, in both plastic and paste refinement, is paralleled by the decline in t he human presence in the landscape itself, which is limited to caves and reused tombs. Another effect of nutritional crisis is the opportunity for increased gender-based unbalanced r elations, with women often at a disadvantage. This study shows one clear example of how the histo rical ecology of a given landscape can only be interpreted as the complex in terplay of various elements in the environment, including human groups, which must be understood in their general nature and in their arbitrary, symbolic, historically-specific context in order to account for their practices, and the (past) randomness of climate cha nge. The reconstruction and interpretation of these complex interactions in Sardinian prehisto ry during the 4th and 3rd millennia BC, here barely started, serves the purpose of contribu ting to the building of a long-term history of the resource-use and of landscape changes in the Western Mediterranean, which can be useful to policy-makers to assess potential outcome s of current dynamics (Crumley 1994). Stable isotopes have proved an ideal instrument tha t, integrated in a holistic perspective with all the other proxies, can provide unique insights into past natural and cultural history.

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353 Chapter 9. Conclusions and Suggestions for Future R esearch 9.1. Conclusions: Main Findings of This Study This chapter intends to summarize the main findings of this research endeavor. These include the synthesis of previous data, the newly g enerated isotopic data and their implications in dietary and climatic terms, and the historical processes and events that can be reconstructed by integrating such evidence holistic ally. The first, important point is that climate apparent ly did change significantly over the 4th and 3rd millennia BC; climatic phases are real, although n ot well defined quantitatively and chronologically (Bintliff 2002; Dincauze 2000: 23-7). The accurate translation of such phases in terms of temperature, rainfall variation and seasonality is not clear and often proxies for climate change are intermingled with th e effects of human impact on the environment. A reconstruction was attempted for a s equence of drier and moister periods based on western Mediterranean data, and such a seq uence was independently corroborated by the 18O data from Sardinian bone samples. Particularly, d ry events that occurred in the 29th-28th centuries cal BC (Drysdale, et al. 2006; Magny 199 3; Magri and Sadori 1995; Zielhofer, et al. 2004), and 24th-23rd centuries cal BC (Drysdale, et al. 2006; Jalut, et al. 2000; Magri 1997; Swezey, et al. 1999; Watts, et al. 1996 ) were confirmed, events which, it is argued, had profound effects on local ecology and h istory. Human activities such as fires, deforestation for agriculture, pastoralism and mini ng-related practices, widely documented in the rest of the western Mediterranean, are highly l ikely though yet unsubstantiated in Sardinia by positive evidence. The overview of material culture evidence pinpointe d, among other problems, the non-systematic and non-quantitative nature of most of it, with notable exceptions mostly related to the sphere of so-called artistic express ions (D'Arragon 1999b; Lilliu 1999; Tanda

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3541998; Usai 2005b). The lack of proper documentation and/or the lack of proper publication of the primary data for the vast majority of known exc avated sites often prevents any independent evaluation of the data. It was observed that the classification into archaeological cultures often is misleading since it stresses cera mic styles over more important indicators of continuity and discontinuity. Clues for changing so cial and symbolic systems are outlined and briefly evaluated, with the conclusion that whi le no institutionalized differentiation was ever found, the reproduction of such differentiatio n in terms of prestige and wealth may have been carried out through the use of ritual settings within a framework of segmentary societies. A less communal and more household-based ideology seems to have gradually permeated Sardinian communities from the Copper Age through the Early Bronze Age, with maleness (compare with Hayden 1998) and generalized wealth opposed to non-convertible sources of prestige, more typical of Neolithic soci al structure. This paralleled a political shift suggested for the Final Neolithic of mainland Italy (Robb 1999, 2007), from the ethnographically defined Great-Person model to the Big-Man, which would be archaeologically reflected in the occasional single articulated skeletons in contexts of generalized collective burial. The role of the Mont e Claro culture seems to represent ambiguously aspects of innovation along with aspect s of reaction to the transformation of the previous system, and some signs of adoption of olde r practices with modifications. Economic and dietary data from traditional proxies such as faunal and botanical remains are highly inconsistent, and several phases are not represented at all. Furthermore, not many published analyses of faunal remains invol ve a comprehensive approach that goes beyond the presence and counts of species. Lithic a nd ceramic material culture for the most part has been thoroughly studied stylistically but the functional and economic aspects are still largely unexplored. All inferences based on them th erefore remain tentative. For the first time on a large scale, the stable iso topic data were corrected for climatic/geographic variation, a procedure suggeste d by several studies for collagen (Schwarcz, et al. 1999; van Klinken, et al. 2000; 1 994) but not applied to the investigation of long-term, broad-scale variation. This allowed a mo re reliable comparison of different groups than is common in the literature. Furthermore, the use of the 13Ccol-apa spacing rather than collagen alone enabled a triangulation of data that is necessary to produce meaningful dietary knowledge in the prehistoric Mediterranean where no C4 plants, nor marine foods seem to have been relevant in human diet. This study indica tes, in fact, that seafood consumption was

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355negligible or non-existent at all sites and phases sampled. The Late Neolithic diet is known only from one site, San Benedetto, and it shows a s ubstantial role of animal products. The Copper Age and the Early Bronze Age, despite the tr aditional interpretation that identifies them as periods of immigration or influence of past oralists as opposed to an agrarian Neolithic society, do not show higher consumption o f animal products. Instead, the reliance on grains did not decrease, but possibly even incre ased after the turn of the 4th millennium BC in both the Post-Ozieri and Monte Claro sites an alyzed, and such a trend became stronger in the Early Bronze Age groups, when diet was mostl y based on plants. The integration of the processed information concer ning material culture, ideology and ritual, and economy, coupled with trends record ed elsewhere in the Western Mediterranean and the evidence of the isotopic data was used to produce a model to attempt to explain the dynamics of interaction between natu ral and cultural, and climatic and human factors (van der Leeuw and Aschan-Leygonie 2000). T he impact of humans on the environment was probably moderate until the 4th millennium BC. It seems that the emergence of social inequality was within a context of egalit arian ideologies, but it seems possible that in the north of Sardinia, possibly specifically fol lowing the model of the unique trajectory of Monte dÂ’Accoddi, ritual, mortuary practices and fea sting activities were used to reproduce, legitimize and even increase differentiation. An in crease in trade and availability of exotica, coupled with such an increase in feasting and displ ay, seems to have prompted intensification, definitely in agriculture, possibl y also in animal husbandry, although secondary products were not crucial on a wide scale and their exploitation was selective: no intense use of the plow, nor increase in dairy prod ucts were responsible for the economic change, but rather an increase in cereal cultivatio n. The possible intensification of ovicaprine herding was likely a byproduct of the higher demand for wool, and of the development of a n ideology of maleness that received strength by separation from the domestic village ac tivities, increasingly assigned to women, which plausibly included horticulture, weaving and cereal processing. Stable isotopes show that the nutritional importance of grains increased over time: this fits with the more frequent hoe weights and grinding stones; the diffusion of h ulled barley points to a specialized destination of part of the cereals to the productio n of beverages, which matches the increase in pottery shapes related to liquids and to individ ual consumption. Conversely, the increase in arrowheads as a percent of the total lithic tools c ompounds the male ideal of the hunter-

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356herder, emphasizing the construction of gender arou nd the relationship with large-sized animals. The gendered female figurines during the O zieri and Post-Ozieri Copper Age mirror such developments while being secondary agents for such a construction through material culture. Economically, these cultural transitions signify th at increasingly vast extensions of the landscape were devoted to pasture despite the n utritional relevance of animal products that did not increase at all. The spread of dolmeni c burial monuments, particularly during the end of the 4th and the early 3rd millennium BC, symbolize the occupation and use of the territory between villages, with the double effect of strengthening and legitimizing land use rights and subtracting the household from the socia l obligations toward the community, which were expressed in the collective burial that involves the disassembling of bodies as the epitome of the normative, formal suppression of ind ividual familiesÂ’ aspirations to wealth and authority. This suggests the progressive use of marginal land for grazing, likely to have increasingly put a strain on vegetal cover and soil s. Metalworking and mining, activities little investigated for prehistoric Sardinia, must have be en important, as shown by the early silver artifacts and by the increasing presence of copper items during the 3rd millennium BC. The consequences of all these practices in terms of def orestation are still to be assessed, through pollen, phytolith analyses and all the other tools available. Nineteen new AMS dates, still few but significantly more than those available prior to this study, in connection with the stable isotop ic data and evaluated in light of the general trends recognized from other proxies, make it possi ble to outline a first overall reconstruction of the historical ecology of central-southern Sardi nia and suggest the possible interplay of causes and effects that can account for the recorde d changes. Climatic variation appears to have been mostly gradual until the 3rd millennium BC. In the 29th century, an unpredictable climatic oscillation lowered water tables, putting a severe strain on lowland environments where rainfall is normally much lower than the high lands. This, unless it refers to an earlier time, could be reflected at Su Coddu by the excavat ion of wells and by the deepening of the sunken houses (Onesti 2001; Ugas, et al. 1989). Mos t sites in the Campidano, in the southern and western lowlands, show abandonment or contracti on in the number of inhabited huts in the following period, characterized by Monte Claro pottery (Atzeni 1962; Locci 1988), which has been AMS dated to ~2700-2300 cal BC. It is in t his critical time that the culture of Monte Claro-pottery users takes shape, possibly within a context of intense contacts with other

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357Mediterranean regions such as southern France and S icily. Rather than focusing on the coasts and the lagoons, which probably became shallower an d brackish, it seems that the preference for new settlements goes to hills and dominant loca tions. A new conception of the person and of the family is mirrored in the single burials of the southern lowlands; however, the adoption of the Monte Claro pottery in the rest of the islan d is accompanied by a continuation of the collective burial. On the other hand, there are sig ns of clearing of previous remains and restructuring of the burial (Pitzalis 1996; Usai 19 98), which point to a somewhat different sense of identity. This is also reflected in the fu ll aniconism (no figurative art) and sobriety in every craftwork expression, as opposed to the PostOzieri tradition, rich in anthropomorphism, painting, and decoration. If the ethnic interpretative key will be found to be correct, the borderlines between the areas of di stribution of the two groups might be documented in the 25th century BC around the hills of Marmilla, Sarcidano Mandrolisai and Gerrei (Atzeni 1996c; Atzeni and Cocco 1989; Perra 1994; Saba 2000), where there is a high concentration of statue-menhirs and megalithic monu ments from the latest successors of the long Ozieri tradition. The first appearance of defe nsive-ceremonial enclosures in the north of Sardinia dates to this period, and while it regards mostly the Monte Claro contexts (Castaldi 1999; Moravetti 2000), it also characterizes some P ost-Ozieri sites. The opportunity for a faster pace of gender definit ion along the lines described above may have been provided by the dry event of the 29th-27th centuries BC: from this period on, there is an average difference in 18O between males and females that can be connected w ith periods spent in the summer pasture preferably by m en, a trend that is radicalized at Padru Jossu during the Copper to Bronze Age transition. T his can be read both functionally and as a result of agency, since it had the purpose of prese rving the assets (livestock) from loss during summer drought while providing a way of reproducing and emphasizing gender relations through practice. At this time, mobility was for sh ort periods of time and/or within a shorter radius from the village. Ovicaprine pastoralism may have been still related to wool production, as indicated by the loom weights at Monte Claro sites and as arg ued for the Bell Beaker period in the European mainland based on the new designs. Some di etary contribution of animal products is still documented isotopically for the Monte Clar o sites and Padru Jossu A. The same practices that rendered the soils and the environme nt in general fragile at the moment of the 29th century BC dry event were likely still occurring i n the 24th century BC. Metal was more

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358common, as shown by the common utilitarian items as compared to the prestige jewelry of the Post-Ozieri tradition; this probably involved e xploitation of the local mines with the related wood consumption. Grazing of ovicaprines wa s likewise likely practiced, despite no faunal analyses being available so far for Monte Cl aro sites. We can imagine a landscape where land was mostly cultivated around the village pasture lay between villages, with patches of evergreen oak, shrubs and secondary fore st deriving from growth after periodic fires, which the presence of pigs and deer made hun ting grounds. Some Bell Beaker groups, whether acculturated locals or to some extent immig rated, were present, possibly in ore-rich areas, probably since the 27th-26th century BC. Interestingly, no intermingled dwellin g contexts have yet to be found, which could be due t o the Bell Beaker users camping in perishable shelters and caves as opposed to the Mon te Claro settlements. After the second dry event struck the island as it did for the rest of the Mediterranean area in the 24th century BC, it appears that the Monte Claro potter y users were not as well equipped as the Bell Beaker groups: Monte Claro vil lages, whether they had been inhabited from previous phases or founded anew, were all dese rted afterwards. Only sporadic frequentation is attested in the Early Bronze Age. The magnitude of the environmental crisis, which could have resulted in over 500 mm/year less than the previous several hundred years, was evidently greater than the coping capacity of t he village-dwellersÂ’ communities. A social system apparently concentrated on the large nucleat ed village and on the household, as shown by the data on house layouts and domestic eco nomy (Castaldi 1999), which probably enjoyed fewer or weaker connections with neighborin g groups for mutual support, and did not have the means to react to the changing conditi ons. Conversely, the more mobile Bell Beaker groups, whi ch quite limited faunal evidence (Sorrentino 1982) corroborated by isotopic evidence (both in terms of diet and in terms of mobility) depicts as communities reliant on grains and ovicaprines with a substantial role of seasonal movements, are the only group that leaves a visible and lasting legacy into the Early Bronze Age. It seems likely that the dry spell, aft er favoring the decline of the village social structure, within less than two centuries also affe cted heavily the Bell Beaker lifestyle. Average life expectancy may have declined, chronic illnesses due to malnutrition and possibly multiple interacting factors like parasite s and infectious diseases are reflected in the high levels of cribra The apparent increase in tooth wear, particularly surprising if coupled with the lower average age at death, could have bee n due to a widening of the resource pool

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359to less processed and ‘emergency foods’ (Shipton 19 90), and possibly, to a certain degree, also to anxiety-related bruxism (grinding teeth). A broadened and highly diversified diet such as detected isotopically at Padru Jossu, not at a c ommunity scale but at an individual scale, also points to phenomena related to times of crisis The crisis seems to have profoundly modified social relations at Padru Jossu as detecte d through stable isotopes, within a few generations. At Padru Jossu A we can recognize a st ructure where men and women had more distinct roles visible in a differential access to animal products and in their differential mobility; moreover, mature individuals also appear to have had a better access to animal products than young adults. The nutritional crisis of the 24th-23rd centuries BC broke these gender roles, reducing dietary differences between males and females and probably causing the contraction of the transhumance that characteri zed the Bell Beaker phase, which is not detected at the later site of Iscalitas. In this ca se, women seem to have taken the opportunity to redefine their identity, also based on their rol e in overcoming the crisis. If, as seems reasonable, agricultural production was part of the ir tasks, women could have gained negotiating power due to their fundamental role in providing daily foods in times of scarcity. The assumed better adaptive fitness of mobile resou rces during droughts that was hypothesized at the outset of this study does not s eem reflected in the data. As supported by present-day reviews on the effects of food insecuri ty and famine, grains and starchy foods have the advantage of being potentially partitioned in smaller units based on need, a quality that livestock does not possess. In fact, it appear s that pastoralists today suffer from famine more than agriculturalists do, since their reliance on traded grains makes them more vulnerable (Shipton 1990). A pattern compatible wit h this scenario can be recognized in the Sardinian lowlands during the environmental crisis of the 24th-23rd centuries BC. This highlights an area of broader anthropological inter est that, due to the type of evidence generally available, has been comparatively neglect ed by prehistorians, who lack historical sources: the archaeology of famine. Famine is commo nly related to marginalization in the context of complex and hierarchically organized soc ieties, whereas it has not been investigated as much in less complex organizational contexts. Among the methodological contributions of this stud y to prehistoric archaeology, some revolve around the connection of two aspects r arely joined: one is the integration of several isotopic indicators providing data on diet, mobility and climate; the other is the timedepth, which aims at detecting change over time. Mo st in-depth isotopic studies examine

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360single sites or groups of sites, emphasizing a sync hronic perspective. The rare attempts of synthesis have concerned only collagen (e.g., Craig et al. 2006), and are a collection and commentary of previous studies, not original resear ch designed as a unit. This is what was attempted here. Furthermore, the holistic perspecti ve adopted in the interpretation brought insights to explain change in a framework of intera ction of natural and cultural factors. This helped reconstruct the dynamics that shaped the Sar dinian natural and cultural landscape between the 4th and 3rd millennia BC, showing the relevance of climate cha nge in affecting environments that were already fully transformed by human practices. The importance of changing values, agents and roles in the history of ecological relations among the natural and human counterparts was also highlighted. It seems that the likely intensification/extensific ation of agriculture, animal husbandry and possibly mining thinned the soils, ma king the ecological system vulnerable to climatic shifts. While this was part of a gradual d evelopment until the Early Copper Age for the communities of Post-Ozieri heritage (ca. 4000-2 850 cal BC), a first impact of climatic change (ca. 2850-2600 cal BC) offered the opportuni ty for a different kind of social and ideological model to take shape and thrive. Such a different complex of practices and meanings that was advantageous, with better climati c conditions, to the Monte Claro pottery users (ca. 2600-2350 cal BC) became a disadvantage when conditions changed again. At this time, different lifestyles and maybe human groups h ad entered the scene, who were less sedentary, possibly more flexible due to their orga nization in smaller kin groups, and probably had better trade and exchange networks as buffers in critical times. The speed and magnitude of the second arid event (ca. 2350-2200 c al BC) was evidently enough to determine the breakdown of organized village life a nd of the cultural landscape as was known up to that period. The severity of the crisis is reflected in profound changes in the communities of descendants of the Bell Beaker users : gender roles were again redefined in a social context of largely autonomous yet intensely interacting households, which would be the foundation for the Middle Bronze Age societies (Sa Turricula and Nuragic). 9.2. Suggestions for Future Research and Final Rema rks A few directions can be suggested for future resear ch to address the large gaps in our documentation and understanding of 4th and 3rd millennium societies in Sardinia. The huge

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361mass of data on material culture, particularly in c eramic and lithic implements and tools, needs to be organized and quantified. Old reports, both published and unpublished, should be used to gather such information and organize it mea ningfully. Similar efforts are also needed concerning site sizes and location: the use of remo te sensing, systematic surveys and GIS systems is still at its first steps. As far as preh istoric economy goes, zooarchaeological and botanical reports and studies are still scarce. An effort to include them in the design of excavation projects has to be made, rather than lea ving their analysis to separate initiatives: this way, recovery can benefit from truly interdisc iplinary teamwork, producing data that are better and readily available. Analyses of soils are still virtually unknown at most excavations in Sardinia. As concerns osteology and paleopathology, there is a great need of data on specific aspects beyond basic age and sex identification and classification of skeletal elements. The production of large datasets using standardized met hods, and their investigation through statistics, is extremely important to assess in a q uantifiable and comparative way indicators such as dental health, trauma, malnutrition, infect ious diseases, sexual dimorphism, and stress markers. Large, coordinated efforts are needed to t ake our knowledge of Sardinian skeletal collections above the consideration of single indiv iduals or small groups. Paleoclimatic studies are needed to test whether th e data from the rest of the Western Mediterranean and those presented in this dissertat ion find correspondence in other proxies. Sardinia is still almost a black hole in the larger picture of the Middle and Late Holocene climate reconstruction in the Mediterranean area. P aleoenvironmental studies are absolutely necessary to provide the missing link between what can be documented in the cultural realm, in bioarchaeology and paleoclimatology. The effects of humans and climate on the environment, in the present work mostly inferred by analogy with the rest of the Western Mediterranean and from isotopic data of related ind icators, need to be measured in terms of changes in pollens, soils and the like, which for S ardinia are still almost totally absent. The use of AMS dating should as well be included in excavation budgets. This way it can be incorporated as standard information and it can also inform the project design in progress in campaigns lasting several years. The ac curacy of the chronology of Sardinian prehistory is light-years behind if compared with s outhern France, Northern Italy, and even with Corsica and the Balearics, where the dates go by the hundreds or thousands. In Sardinia,

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362dates are still counted by the tens for each broad phase, over forty years after radiocarbon dating technology became available. Finally, in addition to the above points mostly rel ated to methods and data collection, more theoretical work is necessary to guide all suc h activities. Too much archaeology in Sardinia is done with no clear research questions d eriving from theoretical debates, and still strongly attached to the culture-historical beginni ngs of the discipline where the main aim is still documenting material culture and the related chronologic sequences per se. Relatively little has been attempted to understand dynamics of social reproduction and change, economy, and meaning systems. There are no specific courses in Archaeological Theory at the main Sardinian universities, and a large part o f scientific production is limited to the presentation of data and their description. Signs o f change are present, but slow to spread and widen. Archaeology must be meaningful for the prese nt, and this must go beyond the income for local communities provided by museums. Archaeol ogy has the unique strength of possessing a long-term perspective, methods that ca n push back the extent of history several thousand years earlier than the arbitrary cut off p oint of the beginning of writing. In this sense, it is in a special position to identify long -term processes and punctuated turning points. Making this history, and reading it as the historical eco logy of interaction among environmental elements and human groups (Crumley 19 94), can help shape the public opinion in view of modern resource management, at a time of incipient climate change and fast-changing economic relations. It can also provi de policy-makers with useful knowledge to bear upon decisions on the use and management of a territory and, it is hoped, help solve the problems of todayÂ’s world (van der Leeuw and Aschan -Leygonie 2000).

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