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Routledge Year of Publication: Details The first study to bring together such a breadth of data, this book compares responses to colonization in the Iron-Age Mediterranean.

2. The Dark Ages

From North Syria to Sicily and North Africa, Tamar Hodos explores the responses to these colonies in areas where Greeks and Phoenicians were in competition with one another via the same local communities. Highlighting the diversity of interest displayed by local populations in these foreign cultural offering, Hodos charts their selective adaptation, modification and reinterpretation of Greek and Phoenician goods and ideas as their own cultures evolve. Additional Information Edition No. Product Tags Add Your Tags: I was therefore disappointed to find that this discussion was fairly general, with only occasional attempts to place consumption patterns or artistic developments in specific social contexts e.

Hodos focuses more on the cultural identity of those making or distributing the products than on the meanings they may have had for their recipients, and one is left with a better picture of the economic preferences of North Syrians, Greeks, and to a lesser extent Phoenicians than of the social effect of their interactions on each other.

The remaining two case studies fit more closely with the stated goals of the book, both in the settings they describe and in their theoretical discussions. This is especially true of chapter 3, on Sicily. This impression may be partly due to my own greater familiarity with the Sicilian material record, but objective differences in Hodos's approach in this chapter may also be the result of the more explicit theoretical attention colonial Sicily has recently received.

The interaction between populations is also clearer here in both the historical and the archaeological records.

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Local Responses to Colonization in the Iron Age Mediterranean [Hardback]

The arrival of Greeks and Phoenicians, documented in both sources, corresponds with specific changes in local settlement patterns and material culture, and Hodos provides a well-organized and accessible review of this complex body of evidence. Her discussions of domestic space and burial practices, which consistently set local and Greek practices side-by-side to reveal variation and overlap, are particularly fine. The sites she includes are rarely compared in print either to each other or to Greek Sicilian sites on a general level.

The discussion of artistic styles provides an especially compelling summary of the active process of stylistic change in local contexts, following particular items e. The section on writing is somewhat harder to follow, since Hodos seems to conflate ethnic and geographic boundaries "central Sicily," on p. Her conclusions for this chapter are detailed and thought-provoking this is the longest concluding section among the three case studies, and it is as long as the concluding chapter of the book itself , and the evidence presented is contextual enough to allow her to apply theoretical frameworks more successfully.

The case-study of North Africa in chapter 4 is the shortest of the three and provides an interesting contrast to the first two. Where those chapters highlighted energetic trade and extensive cultural interaction, the North African discussion dwells on the almost total absence of evidence for local responses to colonization until the very end of the Iron Age -- here, essentially the Roman period, which stretches the chronological and cultural framework of Hodos's work somewhat beyond its stated concentration on Greeks and Phoenicians.

Pre-Roman chronology in North Africa is problematic, as Hodos notes, and as a result it is sometimes hard to place in time the examples she uses. Most of them, however, seem ultimately to date from the last century or two of the first millennium BCE, and Hodos can only speculate that her late evidence reflects earlier practice. That said, the late evidence for cultural continuity, change, and interaction is very compelling, especially in the spheres of religion and burial.

It is hard to think that there were not interrelations in earlier periods as well, and the reader is disappointed, like the author, that contextual archaeological evidence is lacking. One area in which the literary and material records might be usefully compared is that of communal feasting: Herodotus observes that pork and beef are taboo for the Libyans, and that the women of Cyrene thus do not eat cows, while the women of Barca eat neither pork nor beef.

Local Responses to Colonization in the Iron Age Meditarranean - Tamar Hodos - Google Книги

Drawing on this statement, Hodos argues that the prevalence of pig bones in the sanctuary of Demeter at Cyrene is evidence for cultural hybridity. We are not informed, however, if there is any contrasting faunal evidence from Barca, where one might expect a more dramatic contradiction or confirmation of the written source.

The tension between generalization and the application of theoretical approaches to specific bodies of material is the main theme of the concluding chapter. Here Hodos calls for increased attention to individual agency and for the investigation of local contexts.

She also concludes that Greek and Phoenician colonization were in fact very different, especially when seen from the local perspective, and that this may be due to the differing interest of Greeks and Phoenicians in occupying agricultural territory. Finally, she restates her emphasis on consumption and the movement of consumer goods as foundations for social interpretation. The conclusion, like the rest of the book, is in many ways a manifesto about the future of archaeological research in the Iron Age Mediterranean: Hodos asserts that the most interesting and productive studies will be those that pay more attention to local contexts and interactions between neighbors than to global patterns of unidirectional cultural influence e.

At the same time, the scope of the work and the absence of existing contextual studies undermine Hodos's own attempts to apply theoretical concepts. This is a general risk in this area of research, since the concepts involved are usually drawn from historical or ethnographic research, and it is hard not to oversimplify them when objects are substituted for human voices. Hodos has clearly been strongly influenced by Irad Malkin's use of the concept of the "middle ground," and the term is used throughout the book to characterize areas of cultural interaction.

Yet it is not always easy to understand in this setting how the concept enriches our understanding of that interaction. In Richard White's original formulation, the "middle ground" is more than simply a space in which different peoples meet and exchange objects or ideas. It is also a mental zone of negotiation and mutual misunderstanding, in which very different groups absorb and reinterpret enough of each other's material and immaterial culture to create new meanings and relationships that each group seeks to use for its own purposes.

When this concept is applied on an archaeological rather than an historical level, however, it runs the risk of being reduced to the simple observation that new styles or objects are borrowed by one culture from another.

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Since the choices involved in this borrowing and the social meaning of those choices can only be explored archaeologically through a close reading of the material record on a local level, the "middle ground" loses most of its explanatory power in generalizing discussions. At that scale, the individual choices that define it disappear. Hodos's book provides a sense of the variety of decisions made by the producers and traders of objects, and -- to a somewhat lesser extent -- an impression of the diverse reactions of consumers to those objects, but it does not always leave the reader with a better understanding of the social and economic dynamics that conditioned those choices on either side.

The book is very well illustrated with both plans and photographs, and for the most part the illustrations complement the text nicely the maps in chapter 2, which show some information that does not appear in the discussion and omit other information that does, are an exception. The notes for the North Syrian case-study are extensive, but there are fewer for the Sicilian chapter, and fewer still for the North African case-study 66 for North Syria, compared to only six for North Africa.


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The editing of the book is surprisingly poor. There are too many typographic and editing errors to enumerate, although it is worth pointing out several that affect the reader's understanding of evidence: A reference included in the chapter on Sicily, but strangely absent from the bibliography, should read "I vasi attici ed altre ceramiche coeve in Sicilia," not "II vasi offici ed altra Other errors are simply jarring or confusing to the reader:


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