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Ralph Araque DOI Gonzalez, 10.

1515/pz-2012-0005 Sardinian bronze figurines Praehistorische in their Mediterranean Zeitschrift 2012; setting 87(1): 83109 83

I. Abhandlungen Ralph Araque Gonzalez

Sardinian bronze figurines in their Mediterranean setting*


Abstract: Sardiniens Bronzefiguren (Bronzetti) und Steinskulpturen der Sptbronze- und frhen Eisenzeit gehren zu den wichtigsten archologischen Zeugnissen der Insel und den beeindruckendsten Bildwerken der westeuropischen Vorgeschichte. Sie stellen die Forschung noch immer vor Probleme, Chronologie und Bedeutung der Bilder werden kontrovers diskutiert. Dieser Beitrag behandelt die Ikonografie der Bronzefigurinen und -miniaturen mit ihren Archetypen. Die zwei groen, klar unterscheidbaren Stilgruppen der Bronzetti werden auf Unterschiede und Gemeinsamkeiten untersucht. Die Identifikation von Werkstattgruppen und Knstlern spielt eine wichtige Rolle fr das Verstndnis der Chronologie. Die mgliche Funktion der Figuren an deren wichtigsten Fundsttten, den sardischen Heiligtmern, wird ebenfalls erlutert. Da Sardinien in ein weit gespanntes Netz von Seerouten zwischen Ost und West eingebunden war, muss auch die Ikonografie in einen greren, mediterranen Kontext gesetzt werden. Dazu werden Vergleiche mit Bildwerken der wichtigsten Kontaktregionen gesucht, die durch den Gter- und Ideenaustausch der Sptbronze- und Frheisenzeit eng mit der Insel verbunden waren. Dies liefert, vor allem durch berregional anzutreffende Archetypen, weitere Hinweise auf Bedeutung, Funktion und Chronologie der Bilder. Zahlreiche Innovationen und politische Vernderungen prgten das Kulturgefge des Mittelmeerraumes ab ca. 1200 v. Chr. Der phnizische Handel ab ca. 800 v. Chr. hat wiederum neue Entwicklungen im Westen zur Folge, und auch die Ikonografie wandelt sich deutlich. Unter diesen Gesichtspunkten werden Hypothesen zur religisen, politischen und sozialen Bedeutung der Bildwerke sowie deren Entstehung im Kontext von Kulturkontakten wie Migration, Kolonisierung und Fernhandel betrachtet. Dabei spielt das Verhltnis von staatlich organisierten Gesellschaften zu nicht-staatlichen eine besondere Rolle. Keywords: Sardinien; westlicher Mittelmeerraum; spte Bronzezeit; frhe Eisenzeit; Bronzefiguren; darstellende Kunst; kulturelle Kontakte; sozialer Wandel. Abstract: Les figurines en bronze de Sardaigne (Bronzetti) et les sculptures en pierre du Bronze final et du dbut de lge du Fer figurent parmi les tmoignages archologiques les plus importants de lle et les sculptures les plus impressionnantes de la prhistoire de lEurope occidentale. Elles ne cessent de poser des problmes aux chercheurs qui restent diviss sur la chronologie et la signification de ces reprsentations. Cet article traite de liconographie des figurines et miniatures en bronze avec leurs archtypes. On y examine les diffrences et similitudes de deux grands groupes stylistiques de Bronzetti, faciles distinguer. Lidentification de groupes dateliers et dartistes joue un rle important dans la comprhension de la chronologie. On y explique galement la fonction envisageable des figurines sur leurs sites les plus importants, les sanctuaires sardes. La Sardaigne tant alors intgre dans un vaste rseau de voies maritimes reliant lOuest et lEst, il faut replacer liconographie dans un contexte mditerranen plus large. Pour ce faire, on recherche des parallles dans les rgions qui, par les changes de marchandises et dides, entretenaient des liens troits avec la Sardaigne au Bronze final et au dbut de lge du Fer. On obtient ainsi, surtout par lintermdiaire darchtypes interrgionaux, des indications supplmentaires sur les signification, fonction et chronologie des uvres. Ds 1200 av. J.-C., de nombreuses innovations et mutations politiques ont marqu la structure culturelle du bassin mditerranen. Le commerce phnicien provoque ds 800 av. J.-C. de nouveaux changements en Occident et liconographie change aussi de manire significative. Cest sous cet angle que lon aborde diverses hypothses sur la signification religieuse, politique et sociale des

* This paper has been written as an initial contribution to the project Pictorial art and social change in the Western Mediterranean from the LBA to the EIA (c. 1200500 BC) at the Universitt Freiburg, Institut fr Archologische Wissenschaften, Abteilung Urgeschichtliche Archologie, funded by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), No. HU 974/71.

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sculptures et sur leur gense travers des contacts culturels tels que migration, colonisation et commerce longue distance. Le rapport entre socits organises en Etat et celles qui ne le sont pas y joue un rle particulier. Keywords: Sardaigne; Mditerrane occidentale; Bronze final; ge du Fer prcoce; figurines en bronze; art pictural; contacts culturels; mutations sociales. Abstract: Sardinian bronze figurines (bronzetti) and stone sculptures of the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age are among the most important archaeological evidence of the island and the most impressive pictorial representations of West European prehistory. Despite this, however, their meaning and chronology are not fully understood and continue to be a matter of debate. The article examines the iconography of the bronze figurines and miniatures with their archetypes. The two large, clearly distinguishable stylistic groups of the bronzetti are analysed in terms of their differences and similarities. The identification of workshops and artists plays an important role in understanding the chronology. The possible function of the figurines at their most important find sites, the Sardinian sanctuaries, is also discussed. Sardinia was part of a wide network of sea routes between the East and the West, so the iconography has to be viewed in a larger, Mediterranean context. To this end, comparisons are made with pictorial art from the most important contact regions which had close connections with the island during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age through the exchange of goods and ideas. This gives further insight into the meaning, function and chronology of the images, especially by means of archetypes from other regions. Numerous innovations and political changes were characteristic of Mediterranean culture starting around 1200 BC. The Phoenician trade beginning around 800 BC led to new developments in the West, and the iconography changed markedly as well. Against this background, the article considers hypotheses on the religious, political and social significance of the pictorial representations and their origination in the context of culture contact, such as migration, colonisation and long-distance trade. The relationship of hierarchical societies and nonhierarchical ones plays a special role in this regard. Keywords: Sardinia; Western Mediterranean; Late Bronze Age; Early Iron Age; bronze figurines; pictorial art; culture contact; social change.

Ralph Araque Gonzalez: Albert-Ludwigs-Universitt Freiburg i. Br., Institut fr Archologische Wissenschaften, Abteilung fr Urgeschichtliche Archologie, Belfortstrasse 22, D-79098 Freiburg i. Breisgau. E-Mail: rag667@gmail.com; ralph.araque.gonzalez@archaeologie.uni-freiburg.de

1. Introduction
Sardinian bronze figurines (bronzetti) and statuary are among the most important iconographic evidence from the prehistoric Mediterranean. Despite this, however, their meaning and chronology are not fully understood and continue to be a matter of debate1. Furthermore, they have not yet been analysed in the context of the wellknown system of interregional exchange that has shaped the Mediterranean from the LBA onwards2. For the purpose of this study, 264 anthropomorphic figurines3, 216 zoomorphic representations4, 146 boat shaped models or navicelle5 and three nuraghe-bronzetti6 as well as 25 statues and 13 nuraghe-models of limestone from Monti Prama7 have been taken into account. A number of bronze object- and weapon miniatures from Sardinia can not be discussed here. Following Lo Schiavos chronological sequence for Sardinia8, the Late Bronze Age (LBA) covers the timespan from the 13th to the mid-10th century BC, the Early Iron Age (EIA) the mid 10th to the 8th and, in its later, orientalizing phase to the end of the 6th century BC. This corresponds to the last phases of Sardinias unique Nuragic culture, named after their massive cyclopic tower-buildings, the nuraghi9. These buildings (the actual function of which is not clear yet10), the figurines, as well as the elaborate sanctuaries are the most characteristic material expressions of Sardinian LBA and EIA society before the Punic conquest of large parts of Sardinia around 525 BC11. The first simple nuraghi were constructed around 1800 BC, but from the 14th century BC their level of architectoni-

1 E.g. Bernardini 2010b; Lo Schiavo 2007. 2 Mederos 1999; Knapp 2008; Stampolidis 2003. 3 Lilliu 1966; Fadda 2006a; Rovina 2001. 4 Foddai 2008. 5 Depalmas 2005. 6 Lilliu 1966, Rovina 2001. 7 Rendeli 2010; Tronchetti/Van Dommelen 2005 8 Lo Schiavo 2007, 226. 9 Blake 1998; Lilliu 1982. 10 Cf. Burgess 2001. 11 Bernardini 2010a; Webster 1996.

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cal complexity increased remarkably12. Thus, the LBA in Sardinia is a period of manifold technical innovations in the fields of architecture and metallurgy, as well as one of intensified culture contact. Sardinia (fig. 1), as an island, is a circumscribed territory, which developed in a distinguished and unique way. Despite this, however, it has never been isolated, and its culture was part of dynamic exchange with most Mediterranean regions. Knapp13 discussed the concept of the connectivity of islandscapes and the ways in which this resulted in connectivity in various forms of culture contact such as migration, acculturation as well as colonization. Nuragic society, along with its pictorial expressions such as the bronzetti must be understood within the context of this culture contact. Such a study promises insights not only into the meaning and function of the figurines, but also into their chronology.

2. Method: Archetypes and style


To explore the function and meaning of the pictorial representations, it is essential to check the figurines for common traits and features. Repetitive schemes point to the use of archetypical representations which are believed to communicate certain meanings and thus must necessarily be easily recognizable. Although individuals may be represented in an archetypical manner in later periods, mainly to indicate status, this is not the case for figurines of prehistoric provenance. In each pictorial representation, it is possible to distinguish basic information which is transmitted by certain attributes. Such information is expressed in the visible features of sex, dress, weaponry or other attributes for anthropomorphic figurines14, species, sex, posture and further attributes for zoomorphic representations, and so on. These features, by means of their specific combinations, render the meaning of the figurines decipherable. The same combination of features in several figurines suggests a common meaning. An archetype is a character specified by attributes which must be displayed conventionally by all artists to assure the possibility of identification. Archetypes communicate ideas from the realms of religion (a divine entity and associated natural forces and myth) and ideology (a key role in society in its idealized form) as opposed to

Fig. 1: Map of Sardinia with findspots of bronzetti and sites mentioned in the text: 1. Abini-Teti; 2. Santa Vittoria-Serri; 3. Domu de Orgia-Esterzili; 4. SArcu e is Forros-Villagrande Strisaili; 5. Sa Sedda e sos Carros; 6. Srgono; 7. Lanusei; 8. Su Tempiesu-Orune; 9. Nurdole-Orani; 10. Urzulei-Sa Domu de SOrku; 11. Nuraghe Pizzinu-Posada; 12. La Rotonda-Genoni; 13. Serra Niedda-Sorso; 14. Monte S. Antonio-Siligo; 15. Camposanto-Olmedo; 16. Su Pedrighinosu-Ala dei Sardi; 17. Mulino-Bonorva; 18. Santa Cristina-Paulilatino; 19. Aidomaggiore; 20. Adni-Villanova Tulo; 21. Sa Mandra e sa Giua-Ossi; 22. Nuraghe Orku-Nulvi; 23. Flumenelongu-Alghero; 24. Cabu Abbas-Riu Mulinu; 25. Nuraghe Albcciu-Arzachena; 26. Santa Lulla-Orune; 27. Nuraghe Cummossariu-Furtei; 28. Antas; 29. Monte Prama; 30. Monte Sirai; 31. Decimoputzu; 32. Monte Arcosu-Uta; 33. Funtana Coperta-Ballao; 34. Sardara

representing individuals. The archetypical image is also a means to directly address a divine being which was believed to be essentially present in it15. An archetype may be known and have similar meanings over a vast geographical area and is understood because of its main attributes, while its regional depiction varies by means of technique and style. The style itself consists of additional, decorative elements, each one

12 Lilliu 1982; Ugas 2005; Webster 1996. 13 Knapp 2008, 2261. 14 Hulin 1989, 130132.

15 Walls 2005.

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bearing different points of information16. These elements include valuable information for the archaeologist, for example on regional fashion and equipment which can help to establish chronology, as well as on technical and cognitive abilities evident in the means of representation (e.g. petroglyph, sculpture, statuary).

3. The Bronzetti
3.1 Uta Abini: The old school
There are two identifiable groups of bronzetti which are recognisably different, both stylistically and iconographically17. One group is named after two characteristic find spots, Uta-Abini, also known as geometric style. This style is characterized by detailed, geometric representations, decorative elements, stiff posture and big figurines (up to 39 cm). 80 % of anthropomorphic representations in this group seem to be male. Hermaphrodites or ithyphallic representations do not exist. Much emphasise is put on the depiction of equipment, dress and haircut, and no figurine is naked. Statuettes have appliances to be fixed on stone bases for permanent display at sanctuaries and boats have rings to be hung up. These bronzetti form the bigger group, containing 200 (75 %) anthropomorphic which are known to the author, and 17318 (80 %) zoomorphic representations, as well as all 146 boats. Furthermore, the nuraghe- and object-miniatures can also be attributed to this style. Taking into account the number, the average figurine-size of this group of bronzes and the countless fragments remaining, which indicate indicate a much higher number than that known today, considerable amounts of raw material and time were employed on their production.

Apart from the fixture for permanent installation, base plates which would enable movement of the statuettes are common. Less time and material went into the making of the figurines of this group, as they are smaller and numerically fewer: 67 (25 %) anthropomorphic which are known to the author, and between 17 and 4319 (8 % or 20 %) zoomorphic representations. Their often crude accomplishment and lack of details means that time was saved on decoration, hinting that it was only deemed necessary that the essentials should be depicted.

3.3 Anthropomorphic representations


Uta Abini (Fig. 24) The iconography of this group seems to follow a clear, repetitive code of representation. Most of the figurines (54 %) depict warriors and archers (fig. 2,af; 3; 4,ac.g), and among them, horned headdresses prevail. The weaponry nearly always consists of a sword and round shield, while only a single warrior carries a spear (fig. 7,f). Nine figurines of warriors which were found in Abini-Teti have each four arms and eyes with each carrying two shields and two swords. The important features of a fighter are enhanced in these representations: extra eyesight, extra strength and extra armament (fig. 2,b). Together with a minotaur from the group of unique figurines (fig. 2,v) they clearly refer to the supernatural world. Raising a hand in a benedictory pose, a trait often observed on Near Eastern cult figurines20, is a frequent gestus among all archetypes and persists in the following mediterraneizzante style. Female figurines can be identified by breasts, long cloaks and headdresses, as well as often holding small vessels such as bowls or incense burners (fig. 2,jl). Three women are depicted with a small man on their fold and raising a blessing hand (fig. 2,st). The offerentes figurines are represented carrying round objects, vessels, animal hides in one hand, as well as goats on their shoulders (fig. 2,gi). One group of bronzetti wearing pointed hats and cloaks (fig. 2,mo) may represent specialists of divination if compared to later images of Etruscan haruspices (fig. 16,d.e) and the related deity of divination, Tages. Another group consisting of the biggest figurines on average (19.3 to 39 cm), represent a male with a staff,

3.2 Mediterraneizzante: The new school


As the denomination already alludes, the mediterraneizzante fit into the iconographical tradition of the orientalizing EIA Mediterranean if compared to Iron Age Iberian, Etruscan and Italian bronzetti (see below). This group consists of schematic and roundish smaller figurines with little to no details or decoration, and often with a dynamic posture which serves to give them an expressionistic appearance.
16 Hulin 1989, 130132. 17 Lilliu 1966; Foddai 2008, 124. 18 Foddai 2008, 126.

19 Ibid. 20 Negbi 1976, 86; 116117; Bernardini 1989, 121.

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Fig. 2: Examples for archetypes 1. (ac); 2. (df); 3. (gi); 4. (jl); 5. (mo); 6. (pr); 7. (st); 8 (u) and 10. (v) of the Uta-Abini style. Not to scale

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Fig. 3: Figurines of the horned archer artist, artist No. 4 (tab. 3). From Abini-Teti (ac) and Funtana Coperta (d). Not to scale

Fig. 4: Figurines of the round eye artist, artist No. 6 (tab. 3). From Usellus (a); Senorb (b); Gonone (d); Vulci (e); Abini-Teti (g) and unknown provenance (c; f). Not to scale

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Fig. 5: Statuary from Monte Prama, Shield bearers (a); archer (b); warrior with shield (c); nuraghe-model (d). Not to scale

gamma-hilted dagger and a cloak, and in one case with a sword (fig. 2,pr). These are mostly termed capotribu (chief), but should not be interpreted as representations of a social rank (see below). Alongside these figurines are two pairs of wrestlers from Uta (fig. 2,u) and a shield carrier with a raised fist, a depiction also prominent in the iconography of Monte Prama statuary (fig. 4,d). The anthropomorphic figurines range in size from 5.539 cm, with an average of 15.6 cm. The head of a bronzetto of the horned archer artist (see below, fig. 3,d) was recently excavated in LBA strata of Funtana Coperta-Ballao21. To ascertain chronological details relating to the figurines in question, the equipment shown on the often detailed and realistic sculptures has to be compared to datable finds of those objects to obtain a terminus post quem for their production. I propose that artefacts displayed on the bronzetti were known to and therefore contemporary to the artists, which does not exclude the fact that some artefacts, especially ritual objects, were in use for a long time. Four artefacts that can clearly be recognized on the figurines are: 1. Pistilliform swords: In Sardinia, this type has been found in Siniscola-Oro, dating to the 11th century BC, and three figurines of the Uta-artist (see below, fig. 2,a.r) obviously shoulder these swords22. These swords represent a

type common to the Atlantic Bronze Age, and the Blackmoor/Braud/Huelva-Phase would be the last phase when pistilliform swords were still in use but already bastante extraordinario, which means they are mostly earlier than 1050930 cal. BC23. 2. Votive swords: The first original Sardinian swords are purely symbolic weapons since their size and alloy make them extremely fragile and therefore unusable in actual fighting24. Those artefacts were often fixed on the roof-tops and tables of offerings of sanctuaries and are therefore associated to their construction. In the Albucciu-Arzachena hoard, votive sword fragments were found with pieces of Cypriot oxhide ingots in a Nuragic pot of the LBA, 13001150 BC25. The fixing of bronzetti to the points of votive swords (fig. 3,a; 7,c), as well as the fact that some warrior bronzetti also carry votive swords (fig. 4,b.g) underline the cultic and chronological connection of both objects26. 3. Gamma-hilted daggers: Many males (no recognizable females), of all archetypes except archetype Nr. 5 (table 1), carry a gamma-hilted dagger on their chest. The few full-size daggers are sometimes made of votive sword fragments27, rendering them fragile, and are also too small

21 Manunza 2008, 250257. 22 See also Lo Schiavo 1990a, 219220.

23 24 25 26 27

Brandherm 2007, 143. Lo Schiavo 2007. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. 233.

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Archetype 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Fragment Fragment

Description Warrior with sword and shield Archer Offerente Woman with vessel Man with conical hat Man with staff Seated woman with man on fold Wrestlers, two groups of two figurines Shield bearer with raised fist Uniques (Minotaur, seated worker, special dress figurine) Warriors or archers head with horned headgear Unidentified

Total No. 60 38 32 26 9 6 3 4 2 3 12 5

% 30 19 16 13 4.5 3 1.5 2 1 1.5 6 2.5

Fig. 2ac; 4b,c,g; 5c 2df; 3; 4a, 5b 2gi 2jl 2mo; 4e 2pr 2st 2u 4d; 5a 2v; 4f

Tab. 1: Uta-Abini archetypes

to be a dangerous weapon. This type of dagger has exclusively been found on Sardinia. By far the majority of examples are miniatures, most likely designed as amulets to be worn around the neck. Everything about these daggers points to them having a high symbolic value rather than being a usable object. Usai and Lo Schiavo28 report gamma-daggers in the Pirosu-Su Benatzu cavesanctuary where ritual activity is documented from the MBA, with a main phase in the LBA, to the EIA. A C14-date for a fireplace in the cave, 820+/-60 BC was published by Ugas29. 4. Philistine crown: Only one figurine by the Uta artist wears this headdress30 which is known from the sea people, mostly Peleset (Philistines) on the Medinet Habu relief, dated to 1176 BC31. There is archaeological evidence for the presence of Philistines in the Gulf of Oristano32.

Sardinian EIA imagery, centred around fertility and sexuality, fits in with the iconography of figurative bronzes evolving in Iberia (fig. 15), the alpine region, and Italy (fig. 16; 17) during the orientalizing period33. While the Uta-Abini style is self-consciously Sardinian and employs typical Western-Mediterranean elements rooted in LBA iconography alongside many unique Sardinian characteristics, the mediterraneizzante style is connected to the Italian mainland and a rather uniform Mediterranean style and iconography, emerging at a time of intense Phoenician trade. This would suggest an origination in the 9th century (confirmed by dating of the Antas bronzetto34, fig. 6,i), a climax of production in the 8th6th centuries BC with some late examples in the 5th. No artefact types can be recognized due to the strong abstraction present in this style.

Mediterraneizzante (Fig. 6)
Archetype Description Offerente Nude (male/hermaphrodite) Male with staff Warrior Female Musician Bull-rider Scenes of 23 figures Unique figurines Total No. 31 37 37 35 35 33 32 32 35 % 146.2 10.4 10.4 17.5 17.5 14.5 13 13 17.5 Fig. 6ac 6de 6fh 6ik 6lo 6pr 6s 6tu 6vx

The iconography of this group is less repetitive, but sex is an obvious theme. Contrary to the former group, phallic representations, hermaphrodites and nudes are present. Warriors are partly nude, ithyphallic, and are never depicted with horned headgear. All of the defining symbols of the Uta-Abini group, such as the gamma-hilted daggers and clearly defined swords, along with the emphasized haircuts and dress, have been abandoned. A heavy rupture in iconography is obvious. The figurine size in this group has also diminished (4.517.3 cm, average 10 cm).

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Tab. 2: Mediterraneizzante archetypes

28 Usai/Lo Schiavo 2005. 29 Ugas 2005, 43. 30 Lilliu 1966, No. 44. 31 Bernardini 2010a, fig. 39; 41. 32 Ibid. 2021.

33 Babbi 2008; Huth 2003; Kossack 1999. 34 Ugas/Lucia 1987.

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Fig. 6: Archetypes 1. (ac); 2. (de); 3. (fh); 4. (ik); 5. (lo); 6. (pq); 7. (s); 8. (t, u) and 9. (vx) of the Mediterraneizzante-style. Not to scale

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Fig. 7: Animal motifs from Predio Canpolo-Perfugas (a); Sa Sedda e Sos Carros (b, e); Uta (c) and Camposanto-Olmedo (d). Not to scale

3.4 Zoomorphic
Bull (Fig. 7,a.b) The bull appears as bronzetto in both Uta-Abini and Mediterraneizzante style, stone sculpture at sanctuaries (St. Vittoria-Serri, St. Anastasia-Sardara), and on drinking jugs and vessels (fig. 7,b). Its image is often used as figurehead or in ploughing scenes on the navicelle (fig. 8,a.b.c.e). The symbolism of the bull is also present in the bronzetti with horned headgear. Altogether, it is the most represented animal not only in Sardinia, but in the Mediterranean as a whole.

Caprines: Ram, mouflon, capricorn (fig. 7,df) Ram and mouflon are depicted in both styles of bronzetti. An anthropomorphic figure, represented with what may be goats horns on the helmet, holds a ram on a leash (fig. 7,f). At the Serra Niedda sanctuary, where this figurine was found, most zoomorphic bronzetti are caprines35. At the sanctuaries of Sa Sedda e sos Carros-Oliena (fig. 7,e) and Villagrande-Strisaili, rams heads are present as limestone-waterspouts and sculptures36. It is used as figurehead or on board of some bronze boats. Occasionally, it appears on Sardinian vessels, from as far back as the chalcolithic era.

35 Rovina 2001. 36 Fadda 2006a.

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Fig. 8: Navicelle from Pipizu-Orroli (a); Mores (b); Vetulonia (c); Bulte (d); unknown provenance (e). Not to scale

Deer (fig. 3a, 7c), dogs and pigs37 The deer, as the third horned land animal in Sardinian iconography seems to fit in with the bull and goat in the LBA, since as yet there is no evidence for earlier depiction. No deer can be attributed to the Mediterraneizzante style. Deer bronzetti are mostly placed on top of votive swords (fig. 3a, 7c) and as figureheads on bronze boats (they are never shown on board). Deer and dogs have a tendency to appear together. On some deer-headed boats dogs are on

board (fig. 8,c.d), and the two are depicted together in a hunting context. One example from Domus de OrgiaEsterzili depicts a deer with a biting dog attached38. An archer on top of two deer is shown on a votive sword at Abini-Teti (fig. 3,a). Dogs and pigs are relatively rare among the bronzetti and are mostly represented as passengers on boats.

37 Lilliu 1966, No. 230240.

38 Fadda 2006a, 73.

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Fig. 9: Nuraghe-models in bronze from Camposanto-Olmedo (a); Ittireddu (b) and limestone from Su Mulinu-Villanovafranca (c); Palmavera-Alghero (d). Not to scale

Birds39 Depictions of birds are numerous especially on the navicelle, but there are few bird bronzetti per se stante. Depalmas40 has already remarked that birds are a most important element in the art of central European Urnfield culture as well as on the Italian peninsula, and could thus signify a common idea in Sardinian and continental symbolism. A bird is shown sitting on the roof of a building next to a nuraghe (fig. 9,b) as well as on top of figureheads of two boats41. On another bulls head there is a cock, and another bull figurine from St. Vittoria-Serri also has a bird on its head42. On the navicelles figureheads, representations of bulls with water-birds features suggest a chimaera of the two (fig. 8,b), another element that is frequent in mainland LBA iconography43.

3.5 Boats (fig. 8)


Depalmas, who wrote an outstanding monograph on this group of artefacts44, places them chronologically in the LBA (12th11th century BC) and the EIA (10th8th century BC). The iconographic complex involves: The boat with a horned land animals head, the plough, land animals on board, the nuraghe, and birds. Apart from the latter, boats exclusively transport symbols of on-shore life. Stylistically, they are all of the Uta-Abini school. The figurehead of the bronze boats is always a horned land animal45, that is: a bull, occasionally incorporating water-bird features, a deer or a goat. Scenes with a representation of two bulls on a yoke, moving in the opposite direction as the bow, can be found. In one case, a bull is lead by its horns by an anthropomorphic figure, which is the only human passenger known so far (fig. 8,e). Domesticated land animals, dogs and pigs, are often on board. Birds are frequently sitting on the mast, the railing or on

39 40 41 42 43

Lilliu 1966, No. 241247. Depalmas 2005, 197198. Ibid. No. 61; 93. Lilliu 1966, No. 212; 312. Kossack 1999.

44 Depalmas 2005. 45 See also Lo Schiavo 2006.

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nuraghe towers, which also frequently appear on boats (fig. 8,a.c). An exotic exception is one depiction of a boat with a monkey46. A number of crude clay boat-miniatures, some with zoomorphic figureheads, has been found mostly in nuraghi. Burnt on the inside, they appear to have been used as lamps or incense-burners, though the same function cannot be assumed for the bronze versions that do not show traces of exposure to fire47. Clay models of boats from the LBA are also known from Crete, Cyprus, Lpari and the Levant48. In particular the Cypriot examples can be seen to have animal figureheads of bulls and birds49. A big difference with these examples is that Cypriot passengers are always humans and not animals. The Byblos hoard (c. 15001200 BC) contains several bronze boats, one of which is steered by a monkey50. The symbolic complex present on the navicelle, including the protagonist-animals of Sardinian iconography in general, as well as the monkey, but not the nuraghi, appear in EIA Italy, worked into a mediterraneizzante style. The cult-wagon from Lucera51 and the kettle of BisenzioOlmo Bello involve most of these symbols, and both include a ploughing scene (fig. 17). Human representations on both of these resemble Sardinian EIA figurines.

3.7 Workshops
Regarding their long period of use, bronzetti were apparently produced by relatively few artists and workshops. Analyses of the alloys used indicate a sophisticated metallurgy, optimized for figurine production54. It seems that after including decisive features, the decoration of a figurine was left to the artist. It has to be made clear that actual bronzetti workshops cannot yet be localized in the archaeological record. This is due to their casting in the lost-wax process. Nevertheless, it is possible to form groups of figurines in both styles, which could have stemmed from the same artist, which appears to be the case when they are more or less stylistically identical (fig. 3; 4; 6,d.e.r). A workshop is assumed if groups of bronzetti which are generally in the same decorative style show minor dissimilarities, suggesting several artists producing work in a common scheme, which results in more variety of decoration. The eyes of the figurines, for example, provide clues as to which workshop made them (fig. 3; 4), and once they are grouped together, further similarities become evident. The homogeneity of the groups in Table 3 suggests production by a single workshop, in some cases individual artists, which indicates that their casting took place during a relatively short period. Nevertheless, the use of the statuettes in the sanctuaries throughout several centuries is possible.

3.6 Nuraghe-models (fig. 9)


Three bronze models of complex nuraghi are known so far. Nuraghi are also represented on navicelle and bronze buttons. As well as these, 13 multi-tower models made of limestone were found in Monte Prama52 (fig. 5,d). Nuraghe shaped altars have been found in Su Monte-Sorradile and Su Mulinu-Villanovafranca (fig. 9,c), and single tower models were used as the centres of meeting huts in Palmavera-Alghero (fig. 9,d) and Sardara Sant Anastasia. The nuraghe seems to be a strong symbol of the community or its ancestors who constructed it, and in the context of the meeting huts it seems to represent the centre of community itself53.

3.8 Implications for Monti Prama statuary (fig. 5)


The round eye artist (No. 6; fig. 4) is especially interesting: The masons who created the Monti Prama statuary (featuring round eyes, shield carriers, fishbone decorated greaves, trenches, pointed dress, low hanging pectoral) were obviously inspired by this artist. Sardinian over-sized stone sculptures from Monte Prama55 represent 15 people holding shields over their heads, three warriors with sword and shield, and and seven archers with trenches and horned headgear. 13 nuraghe models of limestone were found alongside these at the same site. 33 single cist graves in a row without grave-goods, reminiscent of a tomba dei giganti corridor tomb with separes, were discovered underneath the destroyed statues. Unfortunately, the site is neither fully published yet, nor have further excavations been taken out to clarify the many

46 Depalmas 2005, No. 3. 47 Ibid. 184188. 48 Ibid. 188200. 49 Ibid. 191. 50 Seeden 1980, Plate 123; 125. 51 Kossack 1999, Abb. 13. 52 Rendeli 2010. 53 See also Blake 1997; 1998.

54 Atzeni et al. 2005. 55 See Rendeli 2010; Tronchetti 1986.

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No.

Artist/Workshop

Productive phase (century BC) 12th11th 11th (?) 11th10th (?) 12th11th 10th9th (?) Before end 9th 11th10th (?) 11th10th (?) 12th10th (?) 10th9th (?) 10th9th (?) 9th (?) 12th11th

No. figurines

Hints on chronology

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Uta-artist Eyebrow-workshop (Aidomaggiore) Esterzili-workshop Horned archer artist Almond eye workshop Round eye artist Long neck artist Blanket artist Globular eye workshop Trench artist Teti artist 1 Teti artist 2 Transition workshop Votive sword artist Unidentified

15 18 23 18 18 14 16 23 15 12 15 12 18

Pistilliforme swords, philistine crown, gamma dagger Gamma dagger Gamma dagger, Assyrian (?) harness Votive sword, gamma dagger, fragment in LBA context No gamma dagger No gamma dagger, inspired Monte Prama statuary Gamma dagger Gamma dagger Gamma dagger rare, boar tusk helmet Gamma dagger rare, crude No gamma daggers, crude Gamma dagger rare, crude, Mediterraneizzante-touch Votive swords, gamma daggers

Tab. 3: Uta-Abini producers of anthropomorphic figurines with propositions for chronology

No.

Artist/workshop

Productive phase (century BC) 9th7th 7th5th 6th 9th7th (?)

No. figurines

Hints on chronology

1 2 3 4 5

Skirt workshop Round figure workshop Sulcis artist Paulilatino workshop Unidentified

29 10 12 14 19

Confronts in Etruria and Iberia Phoenician tomb

Tab. 4: Mediterraneizzante-workshops with propositions for chronology

questions of chronology and context. Many statues may be missing, making an analysis of iconography difficult. A scaraboid, estimated to be from the 8th century BC56 and found in the fill of tomb 25, is the only datable object that provides an ante quem for the construction of the grave complex. The statues themselves were violently destroyed in the 4th century BC57. The inspiration for the statues must be the bronzetti, and more specifically those made by the round eye artist. Unfortunately, we cannot say if both were sculpted at the same time and, if not, how much earlier the bronzes were cast. On the other hand, the round eye artists figurines were already in existence by the 9th century, as proven by the example from Vulci (fig. 4,e, see below). The statuary of Monte Prama was probably erected between the 9th and 8th centuries BC and might represent a last expression of Sardinian traditional LBA sculpture, before it was displaced by EIA Mediterranean iconography.

4. Contexts
4.1 Sanctuaries
Unfortunately, only about 50 % of the bronzetti are documented in their original archaeological context. However, it is clear that the most common use of figurative bronzetti was their visible and enduring exposure at sanctuaries dating from the LBA to the EIA, where they were fixed on stone bases with lead (fig. 10,b). 87 % of the anthropomorphic and 46.2 % of the zoomorphic figurines from known contexts come from sacred structures. Both styles Uta-Abini and mediterraneizzante can be found together at sanctuaries. It has to be taken into account that older bronzetti have been removed, probably for metal-recycling, in many cases. They were obviously cut off at their feet, which often remained with the attached lead-fixing in the stone. A splendid example is the altar-fragment from Nurdole, where a figurine of orientalizing style is placed very close to the remaining feet of an Uta-Abini bronzetto (fig. 10,b, centre).

56 Rendeli 2010, 59. 57 Ibid. 5960.

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Fig. 10: Plan of the federal sanctuary at Santa Vittoria-Serri, western part (a) and altar-stone with bronzetti from Nurdole-Orani (b). Not to scale

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While votive swords and bronzetti were produced nearly exclusively for display at sanctuaries, most of the Sardinian bronze-work and imports from the LBA and EIA were also found there58. This shows that the accumulation of precious metal objects was an important element of cult and social practices. No valuable bronze objects from Nuragic times, apart two EIA exceptions mentioned below, are found in contexts (i.e. tombs, houses) which would allow them to be associated with individuals, i.e. representing personal wealth. The Nuragic sanctuaries are constructions unique to the island of Sardinia. Complex sanctuaries were used by several communities and can take huge dimensions with manifold structures, such as subterranean holy wells, megaron buildings, water basins or pools, and big open spaces (fig. 10,a). Ashlar architecture was employed more frequently in Sardinian sacred architecture than at Mycenae, for example59. Zoomorphic limestone sculpture, of bulls heads in Santa Vittoria-Serri and Sant AnastasiaSardara60 and rams heads waterspouts at Sa Sedda e Sos Carros-Oliena (fig. 7,e) are further outstanding components. The sanctuaries feature water in the form of wells or fountains, which implies that this resource may have been regulated at the sacred spaces to avoid usurpation by a single community. The well is usually subterranean or over-built, which hints that religion had a chthonic aspect, which is also evident by the use of cult caves like Pirosu-Su Benatzu. The complex sanctuaries, which are characterized by their capacity to host hundreds of people, and which nearly always include buildings which are believed to be places of political discourse, i.e. the capanne degli riunione (meeting huts, fig. 9,d), must have been public spaces where inter-communal affairs were settled. The size of the meeting huts, often 10 m or more in diameter61, suggests the participation of big groups of people in decision making and dispels the idea of a small aristocracy. Ciotole (bowls) and askoi (jugs) point towards ritual feasting that could enhance social cohesion. Sardinian sanctuaries were thus far more than merely places of cult practices, and they might, in fact, have been the base of LBA and EIA political and economic life.

4.2 Tombs and other contexts


Three statuettes were found in Sardinian single graves: One representation of a mediterraneizzante warrior at Antas62 and two of Uta-Abini archers at Sardara63, with both tombs dating to the EIA. It has to be mentioned that single graves from the EIA are extremely rare, and apart from the two examples mentioned above, they have only been found at the Monte Prama site, where they do not contain grave-goods. In later periods, navicelle also ended up in a Punic and even a Roman tomb64. Some bronzetti, especially navicelle, have been found in Villanovian and Etruscan religious contexts (tombs and a sanctuary hoard) on the Italian peninsula, e.g. an Uta-Abini anthropomorphic figurine and two miniature vessels in a tomb from the second half of the 9th century BC in Cav.alupo di Vulci65 (fig. 4,e). The grave-good bronzetti from Sardinia and the exports were used in a private (tomb) instead of a public (sanctuary) setting, and were thus used in a completely different manner than they were originally. The bronzetti would have arrived on the mainland after the practice of exposing them at sanctuaries was in decline or ended, rendering them objects available for gift exchange. It does not seem that this exchange would have been possible at times when Uta-Abini sculpture was still treasured at the sanctuaries which constituted a fundamental pillar of society and the bronzes represented the divine sphere which protected it. The only possibility to remove bronzetti from sanctuaries and use them for trade was the change of bronzetti production and practice of the mediterraneizzante cult with its new iconography, whose figurines could have been deemed more pleasant for those they were dedicated to. This indicates that by the end of the 9th century, the bronzetti cult had altered significantly. Consequently, the examples found in the Sardinian tombs as personal grave goods could reflect these changes on the island itself. This means that they may well have been re-used in tombs after decades of primary use at sanctuaries. Occasionally, bronzetti also occur in nuraghi, some of which were re-used as sanctuaries like Nurdole-Orani66, or the possible hoard of Monte Arcosu-Uta67.

58 Burgess 2001; Lo Schiavo 1990b; 1998; 2007. 59 Burgess 2001; Burgess/Veligaj 2007; Fadda 2006b; Fadda/Posi 2006; Lo Schiavo 1990b. 60 Taramelli 1918. 61 E.g. Moravetti 2003, 3031.

62 Ugas/Lucia 1987. 63 Bernardini 2010b. 64 Depalmas 2005, 183. 65 Bernardini 2002; Depalmas 2005, 221229; Foddai 2008, 155164; Lo Schiavo 2002. 66 Fadda 1991. 67 Circumstances and context of this find are rather unclear, see Spano 1857.

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5. Function
Bronzetti are often seen as votive offerings donated by members of a stratified society at the sanctuaries, where the status of the donator would determine motive (in a sense of self-representation) and quality of the figurine68. This implies that they are a major expression of social inequality. Tronchetti and Van Dommelen accordingly see them as artefacts of the elite69. I prefer to see them as communicative artefacts70, a more neutral category, as their main use for society is to communicate religious and ideological concepts. However, there are artefacts that are not produced for mechanical use (), but rather are designed exclusively for human communication; that is, to be perceived and to signify (to refer to entities, imaginary or not). () As such, they can be classified as means of production in human communication and learning.71 The four-armed warriors and the chimaera mentioned above are not the only references to supernatural spheres. In their context at the sanctuaries and in their Mediterranean setting, the bronzetti are cult images. As observed above, the horned warrior and the horned archer are the most frequent motifs of the Uta-Abini bronzetti. Therefore, the archetype of the horned warrior will be compared to both the artwork and communicative artefacts of some of Sardinias contact regions. Shared iconography can be a result of culture contact and can help in the establishment of the chronological framework in which it emerged and was used in a defined area. For the moment, the following observations in this chapter are the current working-hypothesis and further research will be necessary to confirm the ideas expressed on the obvious similarities of Mediterranean LBA and EIA imagery.

5.1 Horned warriors in the LBA West


In the LBA of the Western Mediterranean, depictions of warriors with horned headgear are well known from Iberian stelae72 (fig. 11,ac) and horned-warrior statue menhirs from Corsica73 (fig. 12).

Iconography is strikingly similar in Sardinia and Iberia, where the warrior is equipped with a sword, round shield and sometimes a bow. Differences in equipment include the spear and wagon, both of which are frequent in Iberia, but extremely rare to absent in Sardinia. Both regions developed distinguishing pictorial art in the LBA, using techniques and picture carriers according to regional preferences, but sharing the iconography of the horned warrior. The so-called diademada-stelae, which appear to constitute a female company of the Iberian warrior (fig. 11,b.d), might cautiously be seen in relationship to the female entities of the bronzetti. Iberia and Sardinia were in close contact during the LBA and EIA, exchanging metal objects and techniques74. Pistilliform and carps tongue swords were in use in both regions contemporaneously. Comparing the typologically analogous finds from both regions in their respective contexts helps to confirm the dating of objects. Brandherm, in his monograph on the Iberian swords of the Bronce Final, analysed the types depicted on the stelae75, with the chronological result that the types in use from the 12th, like the pistilliform, to the 9th century BC carps tongue blades are represented. More recent types are hardly identifiable. Noteworthy are also the representation of an ox-hide ingot on an Iberian stelae (fig. 11,a), an ox-hide ingot shaped altar in Iberia76, Cypriot artefacts that have been discovered in Iberian LBA contexts77, all of which suggest a connection via Sardinia. In Huelva, nuragic pottery and bronze artefacts confirm traffic for the end of the LBA and the EIA78. The Corsican statue menhirs, which include horned swordsmen, recognizable through cavities on the menhir head that served to allow the insertion of bulls horns (fig. 12,a), are chronologically placed in the Bronze Moyen/ Bronze Final79. A strong connection between the statuemenhirs and water can be detected, especially at fountains and the confluences of rivers80. Water was a key feature of Sardinian sanctuaries, which contained iconography, as well. Another outstanding feature is the phallic appearance of the backside of many statue-menhirs (fig. 12,c). Female representations are so far unknown from LBA Corsica.

68 Bernardini 1989; 2010, 34; Contu 1998; Lilliu 1966. 69 Tronchetti/Van Dommelen 2005, 194195. 70 Mic 2005, 279281. 71 Ibid. 280. 72 Brandherm 2007; Celestino 2001; Diz-Guardamino 2010; Harrison 2004. 73 Cesari/Leandri 2010.

74 75 76 77 78 79 80

Lo Schiavo 1990a, 213219; 2005a, 344351. Brandherm 2007, 134155. Bernardini 2010a, 62. Mederos 1999. Bernardini 2010a, 70. Cesari/Leandri 2010, 378. Ibid. 379.

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Fig. 11: Iberian stelae from Cerro Muriano 1 (a); Almadn de la Plata 2 (b); Ecija 5/Berraco (c); Capilla I (d). Not to scale

Fig. 12: Corsican statue-menhirs from Filitosa (a); Cauria, Cargse and Nebbiu (b); Cauria (c). Not to scale

5.2 Horned warriors in the LBA East


The Atlantic and the Mediterranean were connected by steady traffic as well as the exchange of goods and people, and the island of Sardinia seems to have played a leading role in this network. Its most important partner to the East seems to have been Cyprus. Cypriot ox-hide copper ingots found on Sardinia are part of the rise of LBA metallurgy, trade and close contact between the two islands81. The Eastern Mediterranean is the only region that can be compared to Sardinia for both the general use of bronze

sculpture as a means of representation, and the quantity of figurines. Cyprus revealed few bronze statuettes, which date to the 12th century BC82 (fig. 14,ad), while Sardinian production is topped only by the Levant and Anatolia (fig. 13) in showing evidence of a long-lasting tradition of sculpture83. The Eastern representations were cult-images84, and the horned warrior is understood to have been a protagonist (fig. 13; 14,a.c). Horned headdresses are reserved for gods, although they are not obligatory in designating a

81 Archaeometallurgy 2005; Lo Schiavo 1998; 2003; 2005a; Lo Schiavo/Vagnetti 1989; Lo Schiavo et al. 2009.

82 Negbi 1976, 3841; Hulin 1989, 130; Knapp 2008, 179186. 83 Seeden 1980. 84 Negbi 1976; Seeden 1980; Walls 2005.

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Fig. 13: Near Eastern bronze figurines from Anatolia (a, b) and Byblos (e); cylinder seals from the Levant, inscription identifying the god as Nergal (c); stele of Baal from Ugarit (d). Not to scale

Fig. 14: Cypriot bronze figurines from Enkomi (ad) and Danish figurine from Grevensvaenge (e). Not to scale

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deity. Kristiansen85 stated: It is obvious that in the Eastern Mediterranean, Asia Minor and the Near East horned anthropomorphic beings or those with horned helmets represented divinities. He wrote this with respect to a bronze statuette from Grevensvaenge, Denmark, c. 1000 BC (fig. 14,e). So it seems that the idea might have travelled as far north as Scandinavia. Pictorial representations of human warriors wearing horned headgear are known from the Eastern Mediterranean. In Egypt, on the Medinet Habu Relief of Ramses III, which has been dated to 1176 BC, some of the sea people86, especially the Shardana, are characterized by it. On the Mycenaean warrior vase, dated to LH III BC (c. 1200 BC), a procession of warriors with horned headgear is shown, also involving the symbolism of the bull itself in the vessels handles87. Thus, there most likely were warriors in the 12th century BC Mediterranean who actually did wear horned helmets in combat, which is hardly a surprise, since such a headdress would directly refer to the horned divinity with the evident martial aspect, and might have served to invoke the protection of the latter. The most famous horned warrior-deity of the East is the so-called storm god88. In Anatolia, he was believed to have been the ruler of the subterranean ocean and was venerated at holy wells, fountains and sanctuaries. This is due to geological conditions in large parts of Anatolia, where water is mostly present in the subterranean streams of the karst regions89. The same geological features are present in Sardinia. In the Levant, the storm god was more associated with the rainstorms, which constitute the most important source of live-giving water in the region90. Thus, it seems that each region adapted the archetype to its own situation, but the essence remained the same: The storm god was a god of fertility, weather, water and war, sometimes a divine hunter91. All these associations appear to be evident in the Western Mediterranean horned warrior images.

5.3 Meanings of the Horned Warrior


The symbolism of a deity usually includes a level of meaning which corresponds to the natural force which it controls, a level which corresponds to a social function it protects and a level where it manifests in sacred animals or plants whose life-cycles might depend on its good-will. The idea behind creating the image of a deity is to make it approachable, to gain influence on the forces controlled by it. Once the decision is taken to visualize a divine entity, it can be venerated and approached in the image of its sacred animal, and, once people take the step to personify a deity, in its anthropomorphic image92, a chimaera of the sacred animal and the human form may emerge, with attributes such as the horns of a bull serving to highlight the supernatural nature of the image. The deitys attributes symbolize its various aspects: a weather-god may be armed, bringing to mind the destructive forces of weather, such as thunderstorms. Ithyphallic or otherwise sexualized representations may refer to fertility or pleasure. In Sardinia, every archetype of the bronzetti would embody an entity related to a certain aspect of nature and/or social life. I would like to argue that similar divine forces were venerated nearly everywhere in the LBA Mediterranean, and were represented in zoomorphic and anthropomorphic images. The archetypes of the deities, which most likely had different names and different connotations from region to region, were understood by everyone who lived in the area of culture contact through common attributes, at least to the extent that the natural force which was being addressed in the image was always clear. Basically, all of the pictorial representations mentioned above communicated similar religious ideas.

5.4 Change: Arrival of the ithyphallics


The images of horned warriors were all but extinct in the West during the period called orientalization93 (800600 BC). In Italy, where bronze sculpture only began its career in the EIA, and in the iconography of the Iberian bronzetti94, the horned warrior was never a motif, while the image of the bull remained important. Instead, representations of warriors and other male figurines of the 8th5th centuries BC from Sardinia, Iberia and

85 Kristiansen/Larsson 2005, 333. 86 Further discussion of the sea people has to be ommitted here. On similarities between the equipment of Shardana/Sardinian warrior figurines, see e.g. Sandars 1978; Ugas 2005; Bernardini 2010a. 87 Orthmann 1975, Nr. 463. 88 Green 2003. 89 Ibid. 283. 90 Ibid. 283. 91 Ibid. 286.

92 Ibid. 283; 287290. 93 See Riva/Vella 2006. 94 Koch 1998.

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Fig. 15: Iberian bronzetti from Jaen (ac, e, gl), unknown provenience (d); La Qujola (f). Not to scale

Italy are mostly naked and phallic, while females are often naked or, as in Iberia, wear long dresses (fig. 6; 1517). Hermaphroditic representations appear everywhere. While the essence of the warrior archetype might be unchanged, its iconography changes radically in the sense that attributes which express regional identity are no longer displayed anymore, as was the case with typical weapon types or dress in the LBA imagery. Fertility attributes are expressed instead. In the LBA, it is only the phallic Corsican statue menhirs which explicitly show this aspect. The fact that regional identity is not put into scene anymore points towards changes in the socio-political realm. Furthermore, imports of or locally produced figurines of clearly oriental and Egyptian gods spread in the Western Mediterranean via the Phoenicians.

Greek storm god Zeus. In Iberia, the bulls image appears first in conjunction with the horned warriors of the LBA/ EIA stelae, and then becomes a common motif in Iberian art. The animals appearing in Italian and Etruscan imagery of the EIA are strikingly similar to the Sardinian animal-bronzes95 (fig. 17). The vessel-bearing female (fig. 2,jl; 6,ln; 14,d; 15,f; 16a; 17) is a popular figure in the art of the EIA Hallstatt regions and Italy96. Looking to the East, Negbi included some LBA figurines of this type from the Near East in her Syro-Egyptian group97. The Sardinian statuettes might be among the oldest preserved representations of a female divinity associated with ritual drinking in Western Europe. The offerentes carry mostly round objects, vessels or animal hides in one hand or goats on their shoulders, and could represent divinities of agriculture or pastoralism offering their gifts.

5.5 Symbolism of some other archetypes


The bull can be said to be the most important animal in Sardinian and Mediterranean iconography. In the East, it is connected to the storm god and to Ishtar, later to the
95 Kossack 1999. 96 Huth 2003. 97 Negbi 1976, 88 Nr. 16331636.

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Fig. 16: Etruscan bronzetti from unknown provenance (a, e); Fiesole (b); Fonte Veneziana (c) and Siena (g). Not to scale

The iconography of a mediterraneizzante ithyphallic, possibly hermaphroditic nude holding a dove in one hand (fig. 6,d) has a direct parallel in an Etruscan 6th century BC figurine from the Fonte Venezia sanctuary, who is holding an egg in the other hand (fig. 16,c). In Iberia, women holding doves appear in the 6th century (fig. 15,f.g.i), and one naked and belted girl (fig. 15,i) holds the same dove-andegg combination as the Etruscan piece. The dove was sacred to the Etruscan Earth Goddess Cel, as is proven by an inscribed bronzetto from the 2nd century BC98. A common archetypical deity could be the reason for the nearly identical iconography of figurines from Iberia, Sardinia and Italy.

6. Origins
This chapter is again to be seen as a working-hypothesis that has to be supported by further research: an emerging picture from the study of the socio-political situation in the Mediterranean in the LBA and EIA. Metallurgy reached a remarkably high level in Sardinia in the 14th century BC, when a rupture between Middle Bronze Age (MBA) metallurgy and the LBA bronze boom is evident99. The use of Cypriot metal-working tools100, as well as the use of Iron in the LBA101, as sophisticated technologies known in Sardinia straight from the LBA, imply that knowledge arrived from the Atlantic and the Eastern Mediterranean at that time and was integrated quickly in Nuragic society.

Of the metal forms, Cypriot types dominate tools for working metal, and these are further developed by Sardinians. Other tools, especially axes, as well as most weapon types, are clearly derived from peninsular, Iberian or Atlantic types, such as pistilliform and carps tongue swords and spearheads. The only items of indisputable Sardinian origin are the votive swords and gamma-hilted daggers, both symbolic weapons. Cypriot shapes are used for ritual objects like tripods and for toilet equipment. The most distinguishing Sardinian ritual objects are the bronzetti. Objects of ornament are rare and nearly always imports, except for the dress-pins which resisted the introduction of fibulae until the EIA102. The Sardinian population integrated all profane metal objects which had proven useful elsewhere into their own tool-production during the space of a relatively short time. This leads to the question of whether or not a significant number of people, among them many craftspeople, from the contact regions may have stayed on the island for extended periods, or immigrated for good. The production of large amounts of communicative artefacts (also votive swords and gamma daggers are communicative artefacts), underlining identity, emerged independently on the island. Major changes took place in the whole Mediterranean around 1200 BC, most notably crisis and decline of the archaic states of the East103. Facing the violent destruction of their homesteads104, many people fled to regions that

98 Colonna 1985, 34 No. 1.17. 99 Archaeometallurgy 2005; Webster 1996. 100 Lo Schiavo 2005a. 101 Lo Schiavo 2005b.

102 Lo Schiavo 1998; 2005a. 103 Snodgrass 2000; Hattler 2008. 104 Jung 2009.

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Fig. 17: Kettle from Bisenzio-Olmo Bello, with scenes of bronze figurines. Not to scale

seemed safer at this time, like Cyprus105, or the West106, where Sardinia was known to sailors due to sea routes and trade. Thus, a situation of permanent culture contact was created on the island. Innovation and improvisation are more intense in zones of culture contact and hybrid cultures resulting from the latter, be it due to migration, colonisation or entanglement, can bring about the development of entirely new social and material creations107. The bronzetti are a part of this phenomenon, being clearly of Sardinian origin, but incorporating archetypes and symbolism which are a part of a general Mediterranean religious ideology. Cypriot figurines have been assumed to have inspired Sardinians108. But they are not stylistically similar and figurine-output is much higher in Sardinia. New casting techniques and the idea of using

105 106 107 108

Knapp 2008. Bisi 1986. Knapp 2008, 58. Bisi 1986.

bronze for sculpture were essential for the onset of bronzetti fabrication. But both the iconography, and the ideas behind it, already existed, and were ready to be expressed using the new techniques. While technical innovations were integrated into the island culture and further developed, political elements like state foundation were refused. External political influences seem to have been completely eschewed until the Carthaginian conquering of Southern Sardinia after the battle of Alalia. Nuragic culture, although changing considerably on technological and social complexity levels during the LBA, was eager to maintain its distinctive identity and to display this through its monuments and communicative bronze artefacts, reflecting tradition from both the MBA and the LBA. Massive figurine production is a distinguishing element which had its foundation in newly formed Sardinian sociopolitical and religious thinking. A self-conscious, but seemingly inexclusive attitude was taken by Nuragic society, and all those who became part of it throughout the LBA. Immigration could have been a most important factor for the fast development of Nuragic metalworking in the LBA.

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7. Conclusions
The chronological evidence from Sardinia, supported firmly by the find of Uta-Abini bronzetti fragments in LBA strata at Funtana Coperta-Ballao109 and the datable objects depicted, suggest a LBA date or the 12th/11th century BC for the start of production. Uta-Abini figurines were produced by a rather moderate number of workshops. They are still found in EIA contexts, and were displayed for long periods at the sanctuaries. Only from the 9th century BC onwards did they arrive on the Italian peninsula, which means that they were not frequently used probably never in early times for gift-exchange. By the 9th century BC, their cult was slowly changed and replaced, with the mediterraneizzante figurines taking their place at the sanctuaries. A transition phase in the 9th century BC is probable. From the end of the 9th century onwards, production of bronzetti with Uta-Abini attributes is no longer seen. By the end of the 6th century BC the cult changed again and traditional Sardinian bronzetti ceased to be cast. The earlier Uta-Abini style has a repetitive iconography, which fits into the overall imagery of the LBA Mediterranean of horned warriors and (vessel bearing) females, but it is distinguished by high quality, quantity and many unique characters of Sardinian sculpture. Bulls, caprines and deer form a trias of horned land animals that seem, together with birds, to be the most important zoomorphic symbols of prehistoric Sardinia. The figurines represent neither individuals nor social classes, but divine entities which, apart from their transcendental symbolism, may be idealizations of social roles. Uta-Abini bronzetti communicate religious information, reaffirm local identity by typical Sardinian design and motifs, as well as signify massive investment in raw material and workforce. The specific image of an armed, mostly horned, anthropomorphic entity associated with the bull, constitutes an archetype of a divine being, whose basic connotations were well known from Iberia to the Levantine coast and maybe as far as Scandinavia. Apart from the horned headgear, his panoply is different in the West and East. This is a matter of local preference and does not devaluate the presence of warrior attributes as a common aspect. The clearly orientalizing EIA mediterraneizzante figurines again do not represent individuals, but religious and mythical concepts. If idealizing actual social tasks was an issue in the Uta-Abini iconography, it can hardly be recognized in this group. Reduction of information to the

bare essentials, without displaying regional or community identity through symbolic features (gamma-hilted dagger, dress, haircut), is evident. Mediterraneizzante bronzetti communicate religious information, reaffirm participation in a Mediterranean community by typical design and motifs, while adapting iconography and aesthetics that spread along the Phoenician trade routes, as well as signifying a stop of excessive consumption of metal on cult figurines. As of the 13th century BC more and more immigrants with different cultural backgrounds mixed with the Nuragic people of Sardinia, and technological innovations would have been a logical result. Craftspeople from the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, and probably Iberia and the Atlantic region, could develop their achievements in the absence of centralized control. Non-hierarchical interaction served as an excellent basis for the exchange of ideas and team-working. This atmosphere might have been attractive for many people and a factor which made them stay in Sardinia, perhaps with those from the East trying to escape working conditions in a tribute-demanding state. Social relations had to be negotiated within the island, but remained stable, which would have been the basis for a flourishing society. LBA/EIA inhabitants of Sardinia (regardless their cultural background) deliberately distinguished themselves by means of their material culture from the hierarchic societies they were in contact with or came from, and their ideas of social organisation were seemingly incompatible with the idea of the state. Wealth was accumulated and displayed at the sanctuaries which were meeting points of local communities. Finally, it can be stated that Sardinian bronzetti begin to be produced in the LBA and undergo iconographical and quantitative changes in the orientalizing EIA from the 9th century; do not represent individuals or refer to social classes, but to divine entities; do not refer to individuals or private property in their original context; are exposed at public spaces where they constitute a great portion of communities material wealth; are Sardinias way to participate in the rising iconographical world of the LBA/EIA Mediterranean: the horned warrior with connections to water, fertility and/or the subterranean world is omnipresent, often in female company.

109 Manunza 2008.

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107

Acknowledgements
I would like to thank everybody at the Soprintendenza di beni archeologici della Sardegna Cagliari and the Soprintendenza di beni archeologici di Sassari e Nuoro for their collaboration, as well as Christoph Huth, Joyce Mattu, Marco Rendeli and Laura Soro. Special thanks to Ian Lynch for the English correction of this paper.

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Figures
Fig. 1: Map by Michael Kinski and Ralph Araque; Fig. 2,am.ou: Lilliu 1966; Fig. 2,n: photo Laura Soro; Fig. 2,v: By courtesy of the Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici della Sardegna Cagliari; Fig. 3,ac: Lilliu 1966; Fig. 3,d: Manunza 2008, 142 fig. 195; Fig. 4,ag: Lilliu 1966; Fig. 5,ac: photos Ralph Araque Gonzalez; Fig. 5,d: Marco Rendeli; Fig. 6,ah.jm.o.p.r.s: Lilliu 1966; Fig. 6,i: Ugas/Lucia 1987, 276, Tavola V,2; Fig. 6,n: photo Ralph Araque Gonzalez; Fig. 6,q: Barreca 1986, fig. 10,3; Fig. 6,t: Alba 2005, Nr. 32; Fig. 6,u: Fadda 2006a, 69 fig. 76; Fig. 6,v: Barreca 1986, fig. 10,1; Fig. 6,w: Barreca 1986, fig. 10,5; Fig. 6,x: Barreca 1986, fig. 10,4; Fig. 7,a: By courtesy of the Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici per le province di Sassari e Nuoro; Fig. 7,b: Fadda 2006a, 53 fig. 54; Fig. 7,c: By courtesy of the Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici della Sardegna Cagliari; Fig. 7,d: Lilliu 1966; Fig. 7,e: Lo Schiavo 1998, 210 Abb. 17; Fig. 7,f: By courtesy of the Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici per le province di Sassari e Nuoro; Fig. 8 a: By courtesy of the Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici della Sardegna Cagliari; Fig. 8,b: By courtesy

of the Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici per le province di Sassari e Nuoro; Fig. 8,c: By courtesy of Marco Rendeli; Fig. 8,d: Lilliu 1966; Fig. 8,e: Lo Schiavo 2006, 198 n. 6; Fig. 9,a.b: Lilliu 1966; Fig. 9,c: photo Ralph Araque Gonzalez; Fig. 9,d: Lo Schiavo 1986: 82 Nr. 107; Fig. 10,a: Archaeometallurgy 2005, 103 fig 1; Fig. 10,b: photo Ralph Araque, courtesy of the Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici per le province di Sassari e Nuoro; Fig. 11,a: Murillo et al. 2005, 19 Nr. 103; Fig. 11,b: Garca Sanjun et al. 2006, 139, fig. 5; Fig. 11,c: Harrison 2004, 296, C78; Fig. 11,d: Harrison 2004, 243, C38; Fig. 12,a.c: photos Ralph Araque Gonzalez; Fig. 12,b: By courtesy of Franck Leandri; Fig. 13,a: Orthmann 1975, Nr. 333a; Fig. 13,b: Seeden 1980, Nr. 1831; Fig. 13,c: Seeden 1980, Plate 138 No. 8, 9; Fig. 13,d: Seeden 1980, Plate 136 No. 1; Fig. 13,e: Seeden 1980, Nr. 1661; Fig. 14,a: Orthmann 1975, Nr. 468a; Fig. 14,b: Orthmann 1975, Nr. 473c; Fig. 14,c: Orthmann 1975, Nr. 468b; Fig. 14,e: Borchhardt 1972, Tafel 14,4; Fig. 15,al: Koch 1998; Fig. 16,a: Richardson 1970, Plate V,b; Fig. 16,b: Colonna 1985, 169, 9.4.1; Fig. 16,c: Colonna 1985, 178, 10. 2. 13; Fig. 16,d: Sflund 1993, 33 fig. 20,a; Fig. 16,e: Grummond/Simon 2006, 37, III.11; Fig. 17: Kossack 1999, Abb. 25.