Archaeologies of Recent Rural Sicily and Sardinia: A Comparative Approach


  • Antoon Mientjes University of Glasgow
  • Mark Pluciennik University of Leicester
  • Enrico Giannitrapani Centro di Studi Archeologi Mediterranea



fieldwork, Italy


Although there have been increasing amounts of archaeological work carried out in the Mediterranean on Post-Medieval periods, particularly in Greece, historical archaeology in the Anglo-American sense is so far poorly developed in Italy. For many, work on this period is seen as synonymous with the archaeology of capitalism and the growth of world systems. Such concerns require many different scales of analysis and an inter-disciplinary approach. One crucial question for archaeologists is how processes at different scales and perhaps different tempos articulate. While fieldwork typically contributes to the local and regional, the archaeological search for broader syntheses often privileges ecological conditions as determining the nature of possible responses; historians and anthropologists, for their part, have tended to emphasize the economic. Here we present two case studies from broadly ecologically similar areas, the central highlands of Sicily and Sardinia, both with rich archaeological, historical and ethnographic archives from the last two centuries. Our analysis supports work elsewhere in the Mediterranean which suggests that even under the homogenizing influences of global trade and regional ecologies, the specific sociopolitical conditions within which communities and classes articulate with wider forces are crucial in determining historical and cultural trajectories.

Author Biographies

Antoon Mientjes, University of Glasgow

Antoon gained his BA and MA in archaeology at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, and his PhD at the University of Wales, Lampeter. His research interests include historical archaeology and rural societies in the Med, in particular within 19th- and 20th-Century southern Italy.

Mark Pluciennik, University of Leicester

Mark studied at the University of Sheffield and was a lecturer in archaeology at the University of Wales, Lampeter, from 1995, until moving to Leicester in 2003. Research interests include the representation of hunter-gatherers in ethnography and archaeology, and European cultural politics.

Enrico Giannitrapani, Centro di Studi Archeologi Mediterranea

Enrico studies at the University of Genova and the Institute of Archaeology, London. Director of the Centro di Studi Archeologi Mediterranea, Enna, he is especially involved with projects for heritage development in central Sicily. Research interests include archaeological politics and public archaeology.



How to Cite

Mientjes, A., Pluciennik, M., & Giannitrapani, E. (2003). Archaeologies of Recent Rural Sicily and Sardinia: A Comparative Approach. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 15(2), 139–166.




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