Sardinia and Cyprus: an alternative view on Cypriotes in the central Mediterranean

Russell, A. and Knapp, A. B. (2017) Sardinia and Cyprus: an alternative view on Cypriotes in the central Mediterranean. Papers of the British School at Rome, 85, pp. 1-35. (doi:10.1017/S0068246216000441)

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Abstract

Recent research reveals what we term a ‘discourse of certainty’ regarding an assumed predominant socio-economic and cultural impact of Late Bronze Age Cypriotes or Mycenaeans on the local peoples of Sardinia and/or Sicily and Italy, not least in terms of a systematic, seaborne trading network extending from the Cyprus to the Tyrrhenian Sea. ‘Minimalist’ approaches to such a phenomenon have a long and venerable but more limited pedigree. In this study, we question why minimalist views have been so summarily dismissed in much current literature that seeks to evaluate an eastern Mediterranean presence or influence in the central Mediterranean. We focus on Sardinia, and on the range of Cypriot or ‘Cypriot-type’ materials found there. We consider the nature of the Cypriot–Sardinian relationship, and suggest that we should decouple foreign objects from foreign agents. We question several of the perceived Cypriot influences on Sardinian artefacts, and consider possible alternative mechanisms and routes of exchange between the east and central Mediterranean. We outline and discuss the array of presumed or actual Cypriot artefacts found on Sardinia, and argue that these do not add up to a ‘significant’ corpus of Late Cypriot materials and connections.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Knapp, Professor A Bernard and Russell, Dr Anthony
Authors: Russell, A., and Knapp, A. B.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Papers of the British School at Rome
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0068-2462
ISSN (Online):2045-239X
Published Online:10 January 2017

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