Capo Graziano Decorative Motifs and Milazzese Pottery Marks: A Phenomenon of Cultural Memory?

Marco Bettelli, Sara Tiziana Levi, Andrea Di Renzoni, Maria Clara Martinelli, Valentina Cannavò

This paper focuses on the phenomena of continuity and discontinuity between the Capo Graziano facies and the subsequent Milazzese facies in the Aeolian Islands, observed principally through incised motifs on pottery. Between the end of 15th and the early 14th centuries BCE, after centuries of transmission and reproduction of the same cultural traits, especially in the field of pottery production, a new pottery trend eventually replaced the old one. The new Milazzese style shares many formal and decorative similarities with the Thapsos style of pottery – widespread from Sicily to southern Calabria – while apparently not preserving any formal elements typical of the previous Capo Graziano tradition. A thorough analysis of the general archaeological framework shows that the formal and decorative innovations in Milazzese ceramics nevertheless bear some features in common with the earlier Capo Graziano world. These are namely the numerous and various incised motifs, usually isolated on vessel bodies, known in the literature as ‘pottery marks’. We suggest that there was a continuity in the usage of specific incised marks which probably had a particularly important significance to the entirety of the Capo Graziano decorative repertoire, possibly linked to the seascape. We discuss the manifold connections between Capo Graziano decorative motifs and Milazzese pottery marks in the framework of the transmission of social memory.

Marco Bettelli is Research Director at CNR_ISPC

Andrea Di Renzoni is Research Fellow at CNR_ISPC

Sara Tiziana Levi is Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, and Visiting Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University

Maria Clara Martinelli is an archaeologist of the Regional Archaeological Museum “Luigi Bernabò Brea” at Lipari (ME)

Valentina Cannavò is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Humanities, University of Ferrara

Full Bibliographic Reference

Bettelli M., Di Renzoni A., Levi S.T., Martinelli M.C., Cannavò V. 2021, Capo Graziano Decorative Motifs and Milazzese Pottery Marks: A Phenomenon of Cultural Memory?, SMEA NS 7, …

Aeolian Islands, Bronze Age, pottery marks, cultural memory
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