Santuari "rurali" e dinamiche insediative in Attica tra il Protogeometrico e l'Orientalizzante (1050-600 a.C.)
D'Onofrio, A. M. (1995) Santuari "rurali" e dinamiche insediative in Attica tra il Protogeometrico e l'Orientalizzante (1050-600 a.C.). Annali dell’Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”. Rivista del Dipartimento di studi del Mondo classico e del Mediterraneo antico. Sezione di Archeologia e Storia Antica, Nuova Serie 2 . pp. 57-88.
The author draws a general picture of the Iron Age and 7th c. B.C. settlement pattern of the Attic region, based on an up-to-date list of the archaeological sites and a chronological table referring to the whole period. The geographical features of the region are also examinated, being regarded as an important factor in the formation of the populated landscapes emerging from the mapping of the sites. The latter are classified according to their main function (cult and/or settlement) and chronology. The author then observes continuity and discontinuity in the general contex of the settlement/cult indicators. Their clustering in a number of settlement areas indicates the main Attic local district. This contextual approach highlights the connection of the many hilltop cult sites with the settlement area of their district, which they overlooked. In these open-air small sanctuaries (the Acropolis of Athens also falls under this category), the inhabitants of the Attic proto-demes celebrated acrifices to Zeus. Once they were estabilished, these cults went on until the end of the period under examination, apparently offering a constant point of reference to people living both in permanent settlements and in ephemeral dwellings. The communal framework of these high-altitude sanctuaries is thus the settlement area extending below them, and their social function needs to be studied with a renewed approach, taking into account the possibility of wide social participation in the cults. Finally, a count of the sites according to the chronological grid is a good way to test the hypothesis of a general fall in the number of the sites in the 7th century B.C. The increase of the cult sites and a slight decrease in the number of settlement indicators, after the major Late Geometric take off, can be better understood in the context of the various settlement area, where district central places seem to flourish.
The author sees Athens as one (the main amd leading one, but first of all one among the others) of these Attic districts. It is still flourishing in the 7th c. B.C., when the archaeological evidence indicates the transformation of the network of discrete hamlets around the Acropolis into main settlement sites. At the beginning of the same century, the clearing up of the central area of the new Agora from burials marks a shift from private to public use, and the distribution of the pits turns out to be widley comparable to that of the 6th century B.C., when the first political buildings appear on the west edge. The "birth f the polis" now affects the former topographical order.
The author also deals with some problems concerning the distribution and the function of Protoattic pottery in Attic sites, and reviews some recent papers on the subject.
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