Investigating Social Exclusion in Late Prehistoric Italy: Preliminary Results of the ‘‘IN or OUT’’ Project (PHASE 1)

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  Introduction  This report presents the preliminary results of the “IN or OUT” Project, a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort which aims to inves-tigate social exclusion, marginality and the adoption of anomalous funerary rites in late prehistoric Italy. In particular, research focus-ing on Practices of Ritual Marginalization in Bronze Age Veneto   (“IN or OUT” Project PHASE 1) has been carried out by our team (Perego, Saracino, Zamboni and Zanoni) since April 2013 (see Perego et al.  2013a, 2013b, forth-coming; Saracino et al.  2014). To the best of our knowledge, this research represents the first systematic attempt to investigate funer-ary deviancy and social exclusion in Bronze  Age Italy. Research Background Recent research by the authors of this con-tribution has investigated the incidence of practices of marginalization and funer-ary deviancy in the Italian region of Veneto between the beginning of the Iron Age and the early Roman period ( c. 10th-9th century BC – early 1st century AD) (e.g. Perego 2010, 2012a, 2012b, in press, forthcoming; Perego et al. 2013a, forthcoming; Saracino 2009; Saracino and Zanoni 2014; Zamboni and Zanoni 2010; Zanoni 2011). A fundamental aspect of this research was the attempt to connect the adoption of rare or anomalous funerary rites (e.g. prone or settlement burial) to genuine occurrences of social exclusion, potentially relating to the status, age, gen-der, health condition or cause of death of the deceased. From a methodological and theo-retical point of view, our work has drawn on archaeological research on funerary deviancy (e.g. Murphy 2008; Reynolds 2009; Tamorri 2012) and on anthropological approaches to marginality and social exclusion (e.g. Germani 1980; Park 1928, 1931; Stonequist SHORT REPORT Investigating Social Exclusion in Late Prehistoric Italy: Preliminary Results of the ‘‘IN or OUT’’ Project (PHASE 1) Massimo Saracino * , Lorenzo Zamboni † , Vera Zanoni †  and Elisa Perego ‡ * PhD Independent researcher, Verona, Italy †  Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italy, ‡  Institute of Archaeology, UCL, United Kingdom elisaperego78@yahoo.itSaracino, M et al 2014 Investigating Social Exclusion in Late Prehistoric Italy: Preliminary Results of the ‘‘IN or OUT’’ Project (PHASE 1). Papers from the Institute of Archaeology, 24(1): 12, pp. 1-14, DOI: pia This report presents the preliminary results of the ‘‘IN or OUT’’ Project, a col- laborative, interdisciplinary eort which aims to investigate social exclusion, mar -ginality and the adoption of anomalous funerary rites in late prehistoric Italy. In particular, this contribution explores the incidence and meaning of practices of ritual marginalisation and funerary deviancy in the region of Veneto between the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age period.  Saracino et al: Investigating Social Exclusion in Late Prehistoric Italy Art. 12, page 2 of 14 1935). When available, a particular empha-sis has also been placed on osteological and bioarchaeological data (e.g. Agarwal and Glencross 2011; Robb 2002). This evidence – potentially shedding light on the life con-ditions, health status and cause of death of the deceased – may be vital to uncover the reasons motivating the adoption of abnormal funerary treatments (e.g. immature or abnor-mal death, contagious disease, handicap and physical deformity, or social discrimination based on gender, age or status). Aims and Methodology  The aim of the “IN or OUT” Project, PHASE 1, is to widen the focus of our research to include the Bronze Age period, in order to identify possible occurrences of social exclu-sion and funerary deviancy in Veneto during the late third and the second millennia BC ( FIG. 1 ). In this article, therefore, we pro-pose the preliminary results of a contextual and statistical analysis of funerary evidence archived in a relational database hosting all the archaeological, bioarchaeological, Fig. 1:  Map of Veneto region with sampled sites (elaboration by L. Zamboni).  Saracino et al: Investigating Social Exclusion in Late Prehistoric Italy Art. 12, page 3 of 14 archaeometric and taphonomic data avail-able for each burial selected for examination.  To date, our research has mainly consisted of a preliminary screening of published data: this includes evidence from more than 30 settlement and cemetery contexts across an area roughly corresponding to present-day  Veneto. Further research relating to PHASE 1 is intended to add unpublished evidence to our dataset. Furthermore, we aim to broaden the focus of our analysis to sites we have previously been unable to sample, or to archaeological contexts currently under study or in press. Future research may be extended to other regions of Italy and/or to different chronological phases. A suitable methodology for the identification of funer-ary deviancy in the context under study has been preliminarily discussed in recent pub-lications and conference presentations (e.g. Perego 2012a; forthcoming; Perego et al. 2013a; forthcoming; Saracino and Zanoni 2014; Zanoni 2011). For Iron Age Veneto, possible markers of funerary abnormality include the adoption of the inhumation rite (but see below); a lack or scarcity of grave goods; forms of spatial displacement (set-tlement burial, burial in ritual or sacrificial sites, burial in marginal cemetery areas and/or burial in isolation); the adoption of anomalous tomb structures; the evidence of  pre-mortem  ,  peri-mortem   and  post-mortem    violence, deviant body treatments (e.g. bind-ing) and/or anomalous body postures (e.g. prone or face-down burial); the adoption of practices of skeletal manipulation (e.g. disarticulation) and hasty interment possi-bly aimed at constraining or degrading the corpse. The social criteria determining the adoption of anomalous mortuary treatments for some individuals may have been linked to their low social status, health condition, age and/or cause of death. Occurrences of capital sentence, damnation and forms of exclusion relating either to local religious practice or necrophobia (the fear of the dead:  Tsaliki 2008) are also possible, although they remain more difficult to demonstrate due to the complete lack of Venetic written sources regarding these issues. Preliminary Results Early Bronze Age (23  rd   – 17  th   centuries BC)   The funerary rituals of Early Bronze Age  Veneto remain poorly investigated and poorly understood, with the exception of some recent discoveries (e.g. de Marinis and  Valzolgher 2013). However, a recent survey of the available evidence (de Marinis 2003) offers a starting point for identifying pos-sible occurrences of anomalous mortuary behaviour in this region.  The skulls or cranial fragments found at sites such as the pile dwellings of Canàr (San Pietro Polesine, Rovigo) and Dossetto di Nogara (Verona) – as well as at other contem-poraneous northern Italian pile-dwellings settlements – might have been linked to rituals relating to ancestor and skull venera-tion ( culto dei crani  ) or other forms of skel-etal manipulation whose meaning remains unclear (e.g. de Marinis 2003: 38–39;  Tecchiati 2011; Menotti et al. 2014). Given the overall scarcity of funerary data from this phase, we believe that these practices can-not be easily classified as abnormal burials or occurrences of social exclusion marked by the adoption of atypical funerary treatments.  The only possible case of funerary mar-ginalization identified so far is attested near the burial site of Arano di Cellore di Illasi (Verona) and dates to the central phase of the Early Bronze Age ( c.  20th - 19th centuries BC) (de Marinis and Valzolgher 2013; Salzani and Salzani 2008; Valzolgher et al  . 2012).  With over 60 inhumation tombs and one cremation, Arano is the largest Early Bronze  Age cemetery presently known in northern Italy. The relevant tomb, known as US 20–1a  ,  was found in isolation c.  90 m north-west of the cemetery, on the bank of a ditch running close to the settlement area known as Sector  A  . The grave belonged to a three to four year-old child and is currently the focus of in-depth chronological and stratigraphic analysis. The  Saracino et al: Investigating Social Exclusion in Late Prehistoric Italy Art. 12, page 4 of 14 deceased was buried in a crouched position on an E-W orientation with the head point-ing to the west. The skeleton was covered  with stones and a wooden table. While the burial displays some ritual features compa-rable to those characteristic of most graves clustered in the main cemetery area (e.g. adoption of inhumation rite), its location far from the other tombs may be indicative of the young child’s anomalous status within his or her burial group. Middle and Recent Bronze Age (17  th   – 12  th   centuries BC)   Whilst a greater amount of data is avail-able for the subsequent Middle and Recent Bronze Age phases, further research is needed to identify clear occurrences of social marginalization and funerary deviancy in this time period within this dataset, espe-cially in view of the preliminary nature of some published material (e.g. Salzani 2011) and the scanty and/or poor osteological evi-dence accessible for some burial contexts (e.g. Salzani 2010). However, some prelimi-nary observations are possible. Firstly, the persistence of the practices of bone and skel-etal manipulation already attested in the pre- vious period is suggested by evidence from the cemetery of Bovolone (Verona). Here, the possible removal for ritual purposes of the crania from inhumation Tombs 1/1956 and 29–30 has been interpreted as a possible persistence of the ‘skull veneration’ phenom-enon (Salzani 2010). Secondly, remarkable for their rarity and anomalous location are the occurrences of inhumation burials cre-ated in isolation in relation to the clusters of cremation tombs which progressively came to dominate the landscape of many Veneto’s burial sites since the Recent Bronze Age (14 th  – 12 th  centuries BC) (Salzani 2011: 228), but mainly during the Final Bronze Age (see for example the case of Frattesina Narde II, dis-cussed below). An example is Bovolone Tomb 135, characterized by a NE-SW orientation and placed in between two or three groups of cremations (Salzani 2010). Significantly, this burial, presumably pertaining to a ‘sub-adult’, was the only inhumation found in the Bovolone cemetery segment known as Sector C 1996   ( FIG. 3 ). The most significant evidence dating to this phase, however, is the appearance of prone inhumation burials in biritual cem-eteries such as Olmo di Nogara (Verona), Scalvinetto di Legnago (Verona), Castello del  Tartaro (Cerea, Verona) and Franzine Nuove di Villabartolomea (Verona). At these sites, the vast majority of the inhumations were supine burials, while prone burial was an extremely rare practice. As far as Iron Age  Veneto is concerned, prone burial is a ritual phenomenon which has already been con-nected to practices of social exclusion and marginalization, especially when accom-panied by occurrences of spatial displace-ment (e.g. settlement burial),  pre-mortem   or  peri-mortem   violence, handicap or disease, and abuse or degradation of the corpse (e.g. Perego 2012a; in press; forthcoming; Saracino 2009; Zamboni and Zanoni 2010). The com-plexity of this phenomenon is well evidenced by its persistence in the longue durée, with cemetery and settlement occurrences dating from throughout the Iron Age up until at least the Roman period (Rossi 2011).For the previous Bronze Age phase, the cemetery of Olmo di Nogara has yielded to date approximately 526 graves, with a large prevalence of inhumations over cremations (465 = 89% vs. 61 = 11%). The graves can be dated to between the Middle Bronze Age and the late Recent Bronze Age, with the earliest cremations going back to the end of the Middle Bronze Age. The burial site was delimited by a ‘funerary road’ on the west and subdivided into at least three different segments known as  Areas A  , B   and C  . Most graves have been found in  Area    C  , where the tombs clustered into two segments known as C1  (in the north) and C2   (in the south) (Cupitò and Leonardi 2005; Salzani 2005). The four prone burials known to date from the Olmo cemetery were located in the northern segment of  Area C   (Salzani 2005)  Saracino et al: Investigating Social Exclusion in Late Prehistoric Italy Art. 12, page 5 of 14 ( FIG. 2 ). Tomb 56 was the deposition of an adult female buried with a W-E orienta-tion during the Middle Bronze Age (Phase 3). Tomb 105 might have been the burial of a female individual aged approximately 17 at death; it had an E-W orientation and  was probably deposited during the Recent Bronze Age. Tomb 147 yielded the remains of a man around 50 years, and had a SE-NW orientation. Tomb 225 was a NW-SE oriented female subject, around 20 years old at death. Notably, only Tomb 147 did not contain a grave assemblage. Despite this evidence, the social and structural complexity of the Olmo di Nogara burial site does not allow us, at this stage of the project, to make further sugges-tions regarding the meaning of these buri-als. Recent research has, however, suggested that  Area    C   may represent the most interest-ing burial segment from the Olmo cemetery Fig. 2:  Olmo di Nogara (Verona) graveyard: location of prone burials mentioned in the article (elaboration by M. Saracino after Salzani 2005).
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