Sanctuaries in the Sardinian Bronze Age and Early Iron Age landscape (1200-700 BC): Network analysis and GIS approach

  • Valentina Matta Aarhus University (Denmark)
Keywords: Nuragic sanctuary, metal resources, mobility networks, GIS Analysis, Network Analysis


This paper aims to investigate the role of the sanctuaries in regards to the settlement-pattern, control of metal resources and mobility of those resources during the Final Bronze Age (1200-900 BC) and Early Iron Age (900-700 BC) in Nuragic Sardinia.

The rise of Nuragic sanctuaries relates as a response to a profound societal and economic crisis that invests the Nuragic civilization around 1200 BC. Defined as ‘territorial compounds’ and generally associated with the cult of water, the rise of these new types of settlements corresponds also to a period of increasing metal production, internal and external metal trade.

However, their role in a model that investigates the control, exchange and the internal mobility of metal resources have never been conceptualized or tested.

In this paper, I argue that the rise of the sanctuaries acted as symbolic, territorial and economic nodes within and between Nuragic settlements and natural resources.

The study takes advantage of spatial analysis applied with two different methods: Terrain analyses through GIS and Network Analysis. Cost Surface Analysis and Least Cost Path to investigate mobility patterns between sanctuaries, settlements and metal resources. The results will be used in the Network Analysis to understand the role of sanctuaries in connection to the exchange of metal resources among settlements.


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Author Biography

Valentina Matta, Aarhus University (Denmark)
PhD candidate, Aarhus University (Denmark)


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How to Cite
Matta, V. (2020). Sanctuaries in the Sardinian Bronze Age and Early Iron Age landscape (1200-700 BC): Network analysis and GIS approach. Layers. Archeologia Territorio Contesti, (5).
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