The Archaeology of Colonial Encounters in Western Sicily

Free Public Lecture

This lecture discusses the relationships between Greeks and indigenous populations in Western Sicily during the Archaic period, in light of the progress of archaeological research in the past two decades. These recent archaeological investigations have uncovered significant new evidence concerning indigenous sites in the heartland of Sicily. These new discoveries are contributing greatly to our understanding of the development of material culture at indigenous sites, as a result of larger social and cultural changes. These changes depended partly on interaction with the Greek settlers on the coast, which generated different forms of response to Greek culture, including adoption, adaptation, and resistance. The progress of our understanding of indigenous material culture is also having a significant impact on our interpretation of the archaeological record, particularly indigenous pottery, from the Greek centers. This is particularly the case for Selinus and Himera, two centers for which a systematic reappraisal of the evidence for indigenous material culture is producing a new picture of the complex relationships with the indigenous hinterland, from the time of foundation all the way down to the early fifth century BCE. The situation found in Western Sicily is compared with that in Eastern Sicily, highlighting, besides the similarities, also significant differences between the two areas.


  • Professor Clemente Marconi
    Professor Clemente Marconi, Professor of Classical Archaeology