Riflessioni sul ruolo della donna a Locri Epizefirii. Cultualità femminile e mondo dorico in una prospettiva di Gender Archaeology

  • Simona Montagnani
  • Franco Cambi


“Reflections on woman’s role in Locri Epizefirii. Female cults and doric world in a Gender Archaeology prospect”
The thesis takes as starting point the existence of a clear pre-eminence of female cults into the polis of Locri (south of Italy) compared to other cities of magno-greco contest. The splendid ruins of Persephoneion on Mannella col, Afrodite sanctuaries in Marasà north and south, Nymphs sanctuary in Caruso cave, Thesmophorion in Parapezza and also the Artemide signs in built-up area, object for many years of important studies, have raised two fundamental questions:
Why does the feminine goddesses predominate in Locri? And is there a connection between feminine goddesses and women’s life?
To find some answers we have to refer to the Gender Archaeology’s post-processual model. This theory has allowed to trace the social and istitutional analogies, the political, military, religious ones, between Locri and the doric world, in particular the Laconia and Sparta sites in ancient Greece. It has been possible, in this way, to reread some Locri archaeological evidences such as the strigili’s (the instrument for the cleaning of athletes’ body) precence into female tombs or some iconographies with women having strigili in their hands. This has followed the hypothesis that in Locri as in Sparta, poleis both aristocratic and war-like, women had a particular modus vivendi that assured them a certain freedom and the access to activities typically male as the gymnasium.
Briefly, by overcomig the indemonstrable matriarchy theory, this study tries to explain the Locri contest through tha Gender Archaeology. This method, contrary in principle to establish social hyerarchy, assumes the existence of a more plausible dynamics between genders in Locri where the female lived supplementary relationship with male’s world.