The paper focuses on the occurrence of Castelluccian (Early Bronze Age) pebble pendants in sub-adult tombs found in Greek, but also indigenous sites in Sicily from 8th century BC onwards. These pebbleshaped pendants are made of various materials, especially alabaster and translucent stones. They are usually unearthed with shells, perhaps to form a single ornament, in close bond with selected people. The occurrence in archaic infant burials, both in Greek and indigenous contexts, without being documented meanwhile, brings up a challenging issue: we can argue that these items, discovered accidentally in very ancient tombs, were considered to be old and therefore deemed particularly valuable also due to the intrinsic properties of the stones, being shiny and translucent. As a consequence (by drawing inspiration from native women’s ancient knowledge?) they were probably conveyed a new meaning and turned into apotropaic amulets in order to protect children from diseases during life, and from perils in afterlife.

The power of ancient stones. Protecting children in Greek Sicily / C. Lambrugo. - In: ACTA ANTIQUA ACADEMIAE SCIENTIARUM HUNGARICAE. - ISSN 1588-2543. - 60:3-4(2021), pp. 429-443.

The power of ancient stones. Protecting children in Greek Sicily

C. Lambrugo
2021

Abstract

The paper focuses on the occurrence of Castelluccian (Early Bronze Age) pebble pendants in sub-adult tombs found in Greek, but also indigenous sites in Sicily from 8th century BC onwards. These pebbleshaped pendants are made of various materials, especially alabaster and translucent stones. They are usually unearthed with shells, perhaps to form a single ornament, in close bond with selected people. The occurrence in archaic infant burials, both in Greek and indigenous contexts, without being documented meanwhile, brings up a challenging issue: we can argue that these items, discovered accidentally in very ancient tombs, were considered to be old and therefore deemed particularly valuable also due to the intrinsic properties of the stones, being shiny and translucent. As a consequence (by drawing inspiration from native women’s ancient knowledge?) they were probably conveyed a new meaning and turned into apotropaic amulets in order to protect children from diseases during life, and from perils in afterlife.
Greek Sicily, Gela, Castelluccian facies, pebble pendant, necropolis, funerary scenario, premature death;
Settore L-ANT/01 - Preistoria e Protostoria
Settore L-ANT/07 - Archeologia Classica
2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/903046
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