Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 900–920 | Cite as

Feeding the Community: Women’s Participation in Communal Celebrations, Western Sicily (Eighth–Sixth Centuries BC)

  • Meritxell FerrerEmail author


In the study of the Sicilian Iron Age, most of the works devoted to their main communal ritual spaces—the so-called “acropolis”—have stuck mainly to describe both their architectures and those artifacts registered in them. However, in the realization of this practice, those objects traditionally considered as imported or exceptional have been emphasized. The return of this selective practice is that other artifacts could not be considered as extraordinary, but being also present in these spaces and, therefore, with a certain role in these celebrations, they have long been dismissed and undervalued. This is the case of all those objects that are directly related to the domestic sphere and, particularly, with those activities usually associated with the women’s world, such as cooking pots or loom weights. The invisibility of these objects relative to the domestic sphere and, above all, to the feminine sphere has led to validate and perpetuate a biased glaze over these ceremonies where only male elite actors could participate. In response to these androcentric and classist discourses, the main aim of this paper is to recover the agency of certain women in the development of these communal celebrations and to show their importance in the construction and representation of a sense of community that was created constantly through these ceremonies through the study of these long-forgotten household objects.


Sicily Community Ritual Gender Power Colonialism 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain

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