In the Capo Graziano settlement at the Lipari acropolis, Mycenaean pottery appears to have been used by all inhabitants at the site during this period, but the people living near structure 8 IV possessed more of it than others. On the nearby island of Filicudi, the Mycenaean material found in contemporary levels was widely distributed, but a concentration of Mycenaean finds in structure no. XXV indicates that a particular group within society made more use of this material than others.66 Most of the Mycenaean pottery on Vivara (site no. 342) has been found at Punta d'Alaca at the western end of the small island.67 This concentration may have chronological reasons, since the site at Punta Mezzogiorno predates the one at Punta d'Alaca.68 At both sites, Mycenaean drinking and storage vessels have been found in average domestic contexts.69 A concentration of this pottery, however, was discovered in association with two storage pits in Punta d'Alaca, which probably belonged to the single large building excavated in the area. It may be that also on Vivara a specific group in the society also made more use of Mycenaean pottery than other groups.
At Molinella (site no. 298) a LH IIB fragment was found below the floor of a Middle Bronze Age hut, which yielded a variety of domestic implements.70 A LH I goblet was found on the floor of hut a at Porto Perone-Saturo (site no. 313), in which a matt-painted fragment was also found.71 Another matt-painted fragment derived from structure g. A fragment dating to LH II from Capo Piccolo (site no. 320) also came from a domestic context.72 These examples indicate that during the first phase of Mycenaean contacts with Italy Aegean pottery occurred in average habitation contexts. At Monte Grande (site no. 334) in southern Sicily, a number of LH I-LH II sherds have been found in association with a sanctuary dating to the Sicilian Early Bronze Age (ca. 2000-1400 BC).73 This shows that Mycenaean pots could be part of activities with a high symbolical content. Possibly, the few Mycenaean finds which were found together with miniature cups in the fill of the large building d IV on Lipari testify of use in similar circumstances. The fact that some inhabitants of Lipari, Filicudi and Vivara made substantially more use of Aegean vessels than other people in the same societies may be related to such symbolic use of this material in native ceremonies.
LHIIIA2 and LHIIIB pots were used widely among the populations of Milazzese Lipari and at Broglio. This was also the case at Thapsos, even if this material had a special significance for the groups associated with tomb XXI/47 at this site. At Taranto (site no. 314) a large quantity of Mycenaean pots has been found at Scoglio del Tonno, in association with a large building.74 Habitation at this site extended to the peninsula of the citta vecchia, where Mycenaean pottery has re-
66 Vagnetti 1991, 285.
67 Panichelli & Re 1994, 178-211; Re 1994, 229-267.
68 Giardino 1994b, 69-71.
69 Cazzella & Moscoloni 1994, 107-109; Tusa 1994, 118119.
70 Nava 1982.
71 Lo Porto 1963, 301.
72 Marino & Festuccia 1995, 241-242.
73 Castellana 1993-1994a, 51; 1993-1994b, 737-741; 1999.
74 Quagliati 1900, 417-420.
cently been found at San Domenico, some 200 m from Scoglio del Tonno.75 This wide dispersion of the Mycenaean material suggests that it was used by different groups in the society of Bronze Age Taranto. At Scalo di Furno (site no. 310), also in Apulia, a number of huts have been discovered, some of which may have served as workshops for impasto pottery.76 LH IIIA2-LH IIIB finds were made in several of these huts, which suggests that it was not restricted to specific inhabitants. These examples seem to confirm the picture from Lipari that Mycenaean pottery was not concentrated among specific groups in society. However, at the site of Capo Milazzese (site no. 324) on the island of Panarea, Mycenaean pottery has also been found distributed widely between several houses, but with a concentration in structures X and XI.77 Both huts also yielded a large amount of locally made pottery and have been considered as evidence for social stratification in the settlement. If true, it would indicate that Mycenaean pottery was more extensively used by local élite groups. At Cannatello (site no. 333) in southern Sicily, a concentration of pottery has been discovered in a rectangular hut, among which several Mycenaean pots.78 At both Capo Milazzese and Cannatello, the concentration of Mycenaean finds is associated with an abundance of local objects, which suggests that the Aegean pottery was part of processes in which many different goods were controlled by specific groups of people.
The LH IIIB and LH IIIC pottery at Broglio di Trebisacce was concentrated at the complesso a monte in excavation area D, while at Lipari the Mycenaean pottery from Ausonio I levels was concentrated in a few atypical buildings. At Coppa Nevigata (site no. 299) in Apulia, which had a distinctively urban organisation during the Late Bronze Age, most Mycenaean sherds from sub-Appennine levels came from a relatively restricted area near the top of the hill,79 which may indicate a restriction of this material to specific social groups. In strata b and c at Porto-Perone (site no. 313) four oval huts dating to the sub-Appennine period have been discovered.80 On the floors of structure A lay six LH IIIB-LH IIIC sherds, while other huts did not produce such ceramics. In structure D, a complete LH IIIB stirrup jar has been found. At Termitito (site no. 316) a large deposit of LH IIIB-LH IIIC pottery was discovered in association with a pit, which has been interpreted as a silo serving purposes of ostentatious possession.81 Obviously, the Mycenaean pottery served an important role in such a strategy. However, Mycenaean pottery has also been found elsewhere at Termitito, which shows that its use was not limited to symbolic display. At Luni Sul Mignone in Lazio (site no. 346) two of the three rectangular structures have yielded Mycenaean pottery and a concentration has not been attested.82 The same may be said for Nuraghe Antigori (site no. 348) in Sardinia, where Mycenaean pottery has been found widely dispersed.
It is difficult to identify social groups in the population of central and southern Italy during the Middle and Late Bronze Age. It is generally recognised that these regions should be considered 'proto-urban', in the sense that a differentiation of wealth between settlements and concentrations of people in larger communities existed only to a limited extent.83 Nevertheless, the evidence of houses and tombs suggests that in most areas there existed hierarchies between groups and that dominant
75 Gorgoglione 1996, 1571-1575.
76 Lo Porto 1986, 15-16.
77 Taylour 1958, 44-47; Bernabo-Brea & Cavalier 1968, 50-70; Vagnetti 1991, 290; Malone, Stoddart & Whitehouse 1994, 176.
78 De Miro 1996, 997-999; 1999.
79 Cazzella & Moscoloni 1987, 141.
80 Lo Porto 1963, 292-300.
81 De Siena & Bianco 1982; De Siena 1986, 43-45.
82 Ostenberg 1967, 128, 141-145. The middle structure, which was somewhat smaller, did not yield any Mycenaean pottery.
83 Whitehouse 1973; Bergonzi 1985, 355; Tusa 1983, 473-475; Bietti Sestieri 1983, 78; Malone, Stoddart & Whitehouse 1994, 171-172; d'Agata 1997, 457.
élites were able to control specific sectors of society, such as subsistence, trade and religion.84 The presence of warriors, attested by an increasing number of weapons, and the presence of specialised artists working with metals and pottery also suggest some differentiation within the societies.85
The evidence presented above shows a development in the extent to which Mycenaean pottery may be associated with specific groups in the Italian Bronze Age societies. In the earliest period, Mycenaean vessels appear to have been used widely, but at some places specific groups were able to acquire substantially more of this material. Such concentrations have been attested in particular at the islands of Lipari, Filicudi and Vivara, which may suggest that the symbolic significance of overseas contacts was of importance for the social use of Mycenaean pottery. In a later period, LH IIIA2-LH IIIB pottery appears to have been used everywhere among many different population groups and to have been an integral part of the material culture. At the end of the Late Bronze Age and in the beginning of the Final Bronze Age, Mycenaean pottery was monopolised by specific groups in society in almost all regions. Apparently, this pottery served in social strategies by which élites distinguished themselves from other people.
Was this article helpful?