Anthropology Professor’s Article Discusses Uncovering of Bronze Age Settlement

Alex Smith, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, co-authored an article titled, “Ground-truthing the Site-based Survey at S’Urachi and Su Padrigheddu (West-Central Sardinia): Results of the 2016 and 2017 Seasons” in the FOLD&R Archaeological Survey Series.

About the Article

The nuraghe S’Urachi and adjoining site of Su Padrigheddu are a monumental stone tower complex and settlement located in west-central Sardinia. The site has been subject to periodic excavations beginning in the 1940s and has been excavated since 2013 by the Progetto S’Urachi. These latest excavations have revealed new evidence for habitation at the site from the Bronze Age through the late Roman period, confirming that S’Urachi was an important regional center in antiquity. In conjunction with this work, a multi-phase site survey was carried out to explore wider settlement patterns and land use away from the immediate vicinity of the nuraghe.

This included geophysical and microtopographical surveys (2014), an intensive survey using point-sampling (2015), and targeted excavation (2016-2017). This article details the final phase of the site based survey: the excavation of a series of five trenches, the locations of which were selected on the basis of our survey results. We present the excavation results and their implications for understanding long-term settlement patterns and formation processes at S’Urachi and Su Padrigheddu. We also discuss the relationship between surface and subsurface finds and the methodological implications of these results for survey archaeology at the site and regional scales.

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