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CIVILTA' di THAPSOS            tratto da: G.Alberti del  centro Archeologia Cretese Università Catania



Il quadro storico-culturale della Sicilia orientale subisce un profondo mutamento nelthapsos corso della seconda metà del XV secolo A.C. Questo quadro appariva fino a questa età notevolmente frazionato. Su tutta la regione si afferma ora una cultura del tutto nuova e sostanzialmente unitaria: la cultura di Thapsos. Il cambiamento sembra radicale e improvviso e non preannunciato da alcun elemento nella cultura precedente.  


il sito archeologico di Thapsos

Possiamo datare questo mutamento intorno al 1430 a. C., basandoci sui rinvenimenti di ceramiche che appartengono per la maggior parte al Miceneo III A e in piccolissimo numero al Miceneo II e al Miceneo III B. Il cambiamento non è solo nello stile delle ceramiche e in un progresso della metallotecnica, ma investe assai più profondamente l`intera organizzazione sociale ed economica. Segna cioè il deciso prevalere di interessi commerciali e marittimi a largo raggio mediterraneo su quelli agricolo-pastorali che prevalevano nell`età precedente.
A differenza di quelli della cultura castellucciana gli insediamenti della cultura di Thapsos sono infatti quasi sempre situati sulla costa
((vedi figura sottostante)), in rapporto con insenature o spiagge che si prestavano ad essere scali marittimi: Catania, Barriera del Bosco, Paternò, S. Mauro di Lentini, Molinello (Augusta), Ortigia, Plemyrion, Cozzo del Pantano (Siracusa), Tabaccheddu (Floridia), Avola, Pachino e Ispica.




tapsos.jpg (15457 byte)



L`insediamento di gran lunga più importante di questa età è quello di Thapsos, del quale, oltre alle necropoli, conosciamo anche l`impianto urbano. Esso si è sviluppato sulla penisoletta rocciosa e pianeggiante di fronte alla costa di Priolo alla quale è congiunta solo da uno stretto istmo sabbioso. Questo istmo separa due insenature portuali contrapposte. La necropoli presenta tombe di tipo più evoluto rispetto a quelle castellucciane, celle più ampie, nicchie alle pareti, spesso decorate con cornici. L`abitato si estendeva per quasi un chilometro di lunghezza lungo la sponda rocciosa delle due insenature. Le capanne, generalmente tondeggianti, talvolta quadrangolari, sono circondate da un muretto perimetrale di pietrame a secco. Plinti litici o fori per i pali reggevano la travatura del tetto. Nella zona centrale sono venuti alla luce i resti di fabbricati più evoluti, rivelanti un apporto miceneo, costituiti da una successione di vani rettangolari disposti intorno a cortili lastricati, attestanti un`attività commerciale connessa al porto.
La durata di questa civiltà è stata di circa un secolo e mezzo.



                                                              il sito archeologico di Thapsos
THAPSOS

The archaeological site called Thapsos is a Middle Bronze Age site on the island of Sicily near Syracuse, and the type site for the Thapsos culture. The site dates between about 1400 and 1200 BC, and consists of a collection of round or oval huts and a huge cemetery of about 450 rock-cut tombs. Thapsos culture people were very fond of the classic Aegean Sea cultures, and their rock cut tombs are remiscent of traditional Mycenaean tholos tombs. The site was investigated by Paolo Orsi in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

It lies in south-eastern Sicily, in the gulf of Augusta, on a low-lying limestone promontory connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The site was systematically investigated by Paolo Orsi at the end of XIXth century: these first researches were focused on the cemetery of rock-cut tombs, in the north-eastern part of the site, that yielded the first bulk of the local grey hand-made pottery along with a number of Mycenaean vessels. In the same period (between the end of the XIXth and the first years of the XXth century) Orsi unearthed a group of Middle Bronze Age cemeteries that were located around the eponymous centre: Cozzo del Pantano, Plemmirio, Matrensa, Molinello. These centres yielded both the local pottery and a few Mycenaean imports. In this area the archaeological investigations were resumed between the end of the 1960’s and the first half of the 1980’s, and were for the first time focused on the residential quarter on the isthmus of Thapsos’ site. Two elaborate rectangular complexes were unearthed, standing out from the circular huts of local tradition. The two structures were regarded, although not unanimously, to be of Mycenaean inspiration, similar to that found in the tholoi-like profile of a few rock-cut tombs. In these years a new area of Thapsos’ cemetery was investigated: the tombs A1 and D yielded local vessels along with Mycenaean and Cypriot pots.

Despite the fact that knowledge of the Middle Bronze Age culture in south-eastern Sicily has grown enormously in the second half of the past century, the aspect of the chrono-typological seriation of Thapsos’ ceramic repertoire has so far been neglected. This paper will firstly try to fill this gap, working on the bulk of the pottery that has so far been published: we will take into account the tombs with a few burials in order to sketch out a possible development of the local pottery’s types; we will distinguish, therefore, three different phases. On the grounds of the association with Mycenaean pots within the local contexts and/or using the cross-dating with other contexts and/or on the basis of the influence of Mycenaean pottery on the local types, we will link our phases to the MIC IIIA1, MIC IIIA2 and MIC IIIB1. The characteristic types and decorations of each phase will be taken into account in order to find out the so-called “fossili guida” of the repertoire; we will point out the ties (and/or the differences) with both the preceding Early Bronze Age cultures (facies of Castelluccio and Rodì-Tindari-Vallelunga) and the contemporary Aeolian Milazzese culture. We will take into consideration, moreover, the influence of the Mycenaean culture on the local repertoire in terms of both pottery types and decorations; this topic will be useful, moreover, in order to determine the lower chronological term of the Thapsos’ sequence, which we fix, as we have said above, to the early part of MIC IIIB.

Subsequently, on the grounds of the different trends of use of the cemeteries under discussion, this paper focuses on sketching out the historical dynamics in south-eastern Sicily in the Middle Bronze Age, with special attention to the problematic cultural and chronological relationship with the following Pantalica Nord culture. During our last phase only Thapsos (and, possibly, Cozzo del Pantano) survives, while the other sites (Plemmirio, Matrensa, Molinello) seem to disappear. At the same moment the presence of a few (but meaningfully late in date) Thapsian sherds found at Pantalica (the name-site of the Late Bronze Age) could be explained by the transfer of people from the coast. This sign of insecurity could be linked to the Siculi’s invasion from the Italian peninsula, which had a destructive effect on the Aeolian islands. Moreover, was this “geo-political” situation encouraged by the first problems suffered by the Mycenaean centres? In conclusion, as regards the relation between Thapsos and Pantalica Nord, our analysis agrees with the recent overall study of the Late Bronze Age culture, and strengthens Bernabò Brea’s historical frame based on the diachronic sequence between the Middle Bronze and Late Bronze Age cultures.

 

thapsos
                                                                                            il sito archeologico di Thapsos




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