Davide Schirru (UCL) - 2017-18 Students

Sardinia’s Bronze Age Nuragic landscapes and their functional dynamics

My project will focus on Sardinia’s Bronze Age (ca. 1600-880 BC), a period characterized by the so-called Nuragic Civilization and featuring spectacular shifts in settlement patterns and material culture. While monuments such as nuraghi and “giant’s tombs” have so far been interpreted as the outcome of a process of increasing social diversification, I intend to broaden and improve the baseline data on which such models have been based.


With such aim in mind, I will employ GIS-based spatial modelling, ceramic petrography and intensive surface survey, three landscape-scale approaches that have yet to find full application in the island’s context. In particular, at an island-wide level I will consider Sardinia’s nuraghi for their locational properties, while conducting site revisitation and a small intensive survey in the sub-region of Marmilla. Typological and petrographic analysis of pottery assemblages from well-excavated sites will provide further chronological depth to the landscape-level analyses.


The adoption of these new methodological approaches to Nuragic landscapes will be of great value in order to gain an improved understanding of their diachronic evolution, and will allow to challenge and revise current models on Nuragic approaches to the landscape, as revealing of long-term cultural trajectories. Moreover, this work will be of great significance for researchers engaged with long-term reconstructions of Mediterranean landscapes: the adoption of updated and standardized methodologies will enable trans-regional comparison with different landscape trajectories found elsewhere in the Mediterranean, but the optimal conservation of Sardinia’s Bronze Age landscapes will also provide an exceptional environment for a thorough assessment of the theoretical and practical potential of these methodologies, thus increasing its potential impact.

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