This book takes an innovative approach to detecting regional groupings in peninsular Italy during the Late Bronze Age, a notoriously murky period of Italian prehistory. Applying social network analysis to the distributions of imports and other distinctive objects, Emma Blake reveals previously unrecognized exchange networks that are in some cases the precursors of the named peoples of the first millennium BC: the Etruscans, the Veneti, and others. In a series of regional case studies, she uses quantitative methods to both reconstruct and analyze the character of these early networks and posits that, through path dependence, the initial structure of the networks played a role in the success or failure of the groups occupying those same regions in later times. This book thus bridges the divide between Italian prehistory and the Classical period, and demonstrates that Italy's regionalism began far earlier than previously thought.
Emma Blake is Assistant Professor in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. She has published widely on prehistoric Italy, on such topics as monumentality, identity, space and spatiality, social memory, and culture contract. She has conducted fieldwork in Sardinia and co-directs the Marsala Hinterland Survey, in Sicily.
1. Introduction: the problem of Italy's ancient peoples; 2. Imports and specialized products in Italy in the recent and final Bronze Ages; 3. Group identity in prehistory: theory, interactions, and social networks; 4. The recent and final Bronze Age peninsular networks: assessing structure and cohesion; 5. The northern networks from the Terramare to the Veneto; 6. West central Italy: networks and neighbors; 7. Marche, Umbria, and the Apennine Mountain muddle; 8. Southern Italy: networks by land and by sea; 9. Conclusions and aftermath.