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Feasting the Community: Ritual and Power on the Sicilian Acropoleis (10th– 6th centuries bc)

Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology
June 2013

In recent years, the emergence of new theoretical perspectives such as post-structuralism, post-colonialism and feminism in the study of colonial situations in the ancient Mediterranean have broken the hegemony long held by acculturation. Earlier perspectives focused mainly on the colonies, Greek or Phoenician, and considered them as the only active agents, while local populations were traditionally interpreted as static and monolithic entities, passive recipients of colonial innovations. Moving away from these interpretations and approaching new ways of reading colonial histories, the focus of this article is centered on the native Sicilian people, particularly on the recuperation of their agency, through an analysis of their ritual politics. In this case I examine processes of making social identities and the idea of community that these peoples constructed through the collective practices carried out in their main communal ritual settings, the acropoleis.