Small finds and talismanic practice in the archaic cemeteries of Kamiros (Rhodes)
Isabella Bossolino, 2021-06-24
The archaic necropolises of Kamiros – Papatislures, Chechreci and Makri Langoni, in particular – have returned a large number of so-called small finds, which can be classified in the most varied categories. Some finds, such as statuettes, astragals and shells, engraved metal foils, scarabs and faience objects, have undergone the most diverse interpretations over the decades. At times elements of prestige, or precious orientalia, amulets, at times even cheap trinkets. What has always been lacking in the formulation of these hypotheses, however, is the application of a rigorous contextual analysis, which could highlight the role these objects played from time to time, based on the context of deposition.
Through the illustration and analysis of the most relevant burials, this contribution aims to shed light on the ways in which small finds were used and laid in graves, and on their possible meanings, and interpretation. In particular, I will explore the complex panorama of child burials by comparing my dataset with known evidence both in Rhodes and the greater Mediterranean (Lefkandi, but also Pithekoussai and the Phoenician coast at both ends). The final goal is to draw a picture of the beliefs of the archaic Camirian society, and to identify the presence of talismanic practices.