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Editorial #2

This second number of traces in time can be considered a volume, as it is focused on central western Sardinia, and in particular on the Sinis region and the lower Tirso valley. It seeks to launch, for the first time, an international discussion on a number of issues regarding Sardinian prehistory, through the publication of several articles directed at an English-speaking scientific audience. We hope that this online publication may provide a basis for disseminating updated knowledge on prehistoric archaeology on the Mediterranean island and stimulate a new debate on a number of salient topics.

In the first paper, authors Salvatore Sebis and Laura Pau examine the current state of research on the Middle Bronze Age villages of the areas of Campidano Maggiore and Sinis - located in the western part of the island - and present new data on the unpublished rural settlement of Bau 'e Procus. Ceramic and lithic analyses confirm a chronological attribution of this settlement to the central centuries of the II millennium BC, while raising an interesting point for discussion: that it may be the first settlement that can be defined as 'nuragic' in the area. A particularly interesting element of their contribution is that they find evidence of significant population growth that seems to have taken place before the construction of the first nuraghi in the area, indicating that the 'architectural revolution' that covered the island with its famous megalithic towers may have been a consequence of population growth and not a precondition for it.

The subsequent four contributions are reports from the 2011 survey campaign of the Capo Mannu Project, an international expedition that aims to reconstruct the historical landscape of a 12 km2 coastal area in central western Sardinia within its historical dynamic evolution. The project does this through the creation of a long-term local model of the Holocenic environmental and cultural transformations in the area. It began with the 2011 survey campaign and was carried out during the month of September under the direction of Giandaniele Castangia and the logistic support of the Comune di San Vero Milis (OR) and the ATPG Society. Given the involvement of the latter, all the project preliminary reports (years 2011, 2012 and 2013) will be hosted in this eJournal.

The report by Castangia explains methodologies and results of the first systematic survey campaign, during which the team investigated a total of 290 hectares and catalogued 11 archaeological sites, discovering 4 new ones. The report by Castangia and Mulargia presents the results of the analysis carried out on the prehistoric pottery collected during the survey, while the paper by Caruso, D'Errico and Maffezzoli is focused on lithic analysis, not only of those elements that emerged during the survey but also of objects held within extant collections in the area. Finally, Bennett discusses the results of the remote sensing prospection carried out on 3 prehistoric sites in the area - Su Pallosu (Beachfront and Upper Platform), Sa Rocca Tunda (Beachfront) and Serra Is Araus - with a Geoscan Research FM36 fluxgate gradiometer.  

The last two contributions are PDF posters, presented at the international workshop 'Materiali e contesti nell'età del ferro sarda' (Materials and contexts in the Sardinian Iron Age) on the 25th of May 2012 at the Museum of San Vero Milis. The posters are in Italian with an abstract in English. The first one, by Ardu, Castangia, Mulargia and Panico, discusses the First Iron Age evidence from the Capo Mannu, the area in which the geographer Ptolemy placed the so-called Korakodes portus. Its strategic role as a seaport area, alongside the presence of an essential resource such as salt, obtained from the pools behind the sand dunes of the major beaches of the area, are two key factors that explain the longue durée of the human settlement in this region. In the second poster, the author Merella analyses new data from S’Iscia ‘e Su Puttu, located close to the site of S’Adde ‘e S’Ulumu, where an important hoard of bronze objects dating to the Early Bronze Age was found.

This second number of Traces in Time is different to the first one, in particular in its focus on HTML contents. While every article is provided in a PDF version, the volume is no longer held within a single large PDF file, so page numbers for each article begin at number 1. Some typographic details have changed as well, such as titles and styles. We hope that these changes will improve the reading and sharing of our contents on the web. Finally, we are glad to announce that Traces in Time was added to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the aim of which is 'to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content'.