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Societal change and Internationalisation in Central Italy during the Bronze and early Iron Age. The case of Luni sul Mignone

Johnny R. Bengtsson

This project concentrates on socio-economic and demographic changes during the Late Bronze Age and early Iron Age in Central Italy. Research on the transfer of knowledge, as well as international contacts, will widen the perspective. The study is based to a large degree on unpublished material from the Swedish excavations in the 1960s at Luni sul Mignone, which lies c. 65 km northwest of Rome. At Luni several unusual building remains have also been found, consisting of wide trenches cut out of the rock. Some have been interpreted as longhouses from the Middle and Late Bronze Age (XVII-XI centuries B.C.) Finds of Mycenaean body sherds in two of them suggest international contacts. These finds may display a Mycenaean interest in the copper deposits of the Tolfa mountains, a few kilometres to the south, or the presence of travelling specialists who taught more sophisticated metallurgy to the local population. Problems such as these are of special interest as well as a unique house, probably two storeys, from the Early Iron Age or the Tolfa Allumiere culture (X-VII century B.C.), which was a local branch of the Protovillanova culture. The house has been interpreted as a residence for a chief or leader of a clan and suggests social stratification and the growth of elite groups. Demographic changes in the environment are today well-known, thanks to various studies. Through the combination of landscape and excavation data, we gain a greater possibility of understanding the processes that led to, among other things, Etruscan culture.

Bibliography: see Luni sul Mignone 1960

Johnny R. Bengtsson
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