Joseph Coleman Carter— 1999 James R. Wiseman Book Award
The Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to award the James R. Wiseman book award to Joseph Coleman Carter for The Chora of Metaponto: The Necropoleis (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998). These volumes represent a truly interdisciplinary collaborative effort under the guiding hand of the director of the excavations, Joseph Coleman Carter. This work, the first complete publication of a South Italian necropolis, makes a major contribution to our understanding of the archaeology of Magna Graecia. In addition, the multifaceted analysis can serve as a model for archaeological publication in other geographical areas. Carter and the other contributors place the necropolis in its historical and geographical setting. The decision to publish together the tombs and their contents, including the human remains as well as grave goods, allows the authors to build a picture of burial practices that show a surprising diversity. The clearly presented data provide substantive information that will contribute to current debates on the relation between Greek colonists and the indigenous inhabitants, understood in a regional context. The meticulous physical-anthropological study allows a determination of the age and sex of the people interred in the graves, and presents some surprising anomalies, such as a great preponderance of women. Carter addresses the issues raised by these data carefully, with informed speculation and a recognition of the limitations of the evidence. The book is an outstanding archaeological publication that will be indispensable to specialists in the history and archaeology of South Italy, and will serve as a model of collaborative presentation of an archaeological project. In its presentation of a well-preserved cemetery in all of its complicated aspects, The Chora of Metaponto sets a new standard for publication.