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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor Robin Skeates

Skeates, R.G. (2005). Visual culture in Neolithic South East Italy. In Papers in Italian Archaeology VI: Communities and Settlements from the Neolithic to the Early Medieval Period: Proceedings of the 6th Conference of Italian Archaeology held at the University of Groningen, Groningen Institute of Archaeology, The Netherlands, April 15-17, 2003. Attema, P., Nijboer, A. & Zifferero, A. Oxford: Archaeopress. 2: 541-544.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper examines transformations in the form and significance of visual material in Neolithic Apulia. It is argued that ‘portable art’ was increasingly valued as ritual paraphernalia, gifts and status symbols, which were circulated, accumulated, displayed and sacrificed in growing quantities. It is also argued that ‘installation art’ became increasingly important, particularly in linking key places to particular groups and their ancestors. Some long-term symbolic ‘themes’ are also identified. One may have referred to concerns about the definition of social identities and relations, while another may have referred to concerns over the demarcation, control and sharing of the landscape and its economic resources.