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Title: The Persistent Past: Refoundations in Sicily in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C.E.
Authors: Lieberman, Leigh Anne
Advisors: Arrington, Nathan
Luraghi, Nino
Contributors: Art and Archaeology Department
Keywords: Identity
Subjects: Archaeology
Classical studies
Ancient history
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In this dissertation, I examine the ways in which communities negotiated the physical and ideological remains of the past. I argue that following moments of crisis which often involved demographic changes, ancient communities practiced particular rituals that allowed them to selectively and deliberately engage with the spaces, materials, and iconographies of the past. These communities did so in order both to define the terms of membership to their collectives and to make sense of their turbulent present. I demonstrate that, through a careful consideration of the built environment, material remains, and habits that have been preserved in the archaeological record, we can begin to understand how these rituals enabled communities to construct their collective identities. To fully explore this concern, I focus on a group of Sicilian settlements that were destroyed and refounded in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E., a period of significant political and social turbulence on the island. The settlements of ancient Sicily endured the rise of powerful tyrants and assaults by foreign forces; they forged both hostile and friendly relationships with immediate neighbors and more distant communities. As populations were forcibly moved, their settlements were often repopulated with free citizens and hired mercenaries at the whim of the island’s many demagogues. The diverse communities that came to occupy these settlements had to necessarily engage not only with the physical debris of the past but also with the ideological burdens of their predecessors. Each of my case studies examines one specific technique by which a community negotiated its past through ritual engagement with the places, monuments, and images of their predecessors. I consider the reuse or abandonment of sacred space at Morgantina; the distribution and rearticulation of funerary space at Leontini; and the messages communicated by coins minted by several settlements following the destruction of Naxos. Ultimately, this dissertation poses and offer answers to questions that are critically important for our understanding of the ancient world about the ways in which communities manipulated the past in order to construct their collective identities.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Art and Archaeology

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