A ground-breaking investigation of burial practices and social transformations in the era when Cypriot agricultural communities moved from village to urban life and became major players in the eastern Mediterranean copper trade. The author develops an innovative theoretical and methodological approach that enables her to define and elucidate the shifting spatial relationships between tombs and habitation areas, the elaboration of rituals involving secondary treatment and collective burial, and changing patterns of mortuary expenditure and symbolism throughout the Bronze Age. Keswani proposes that during the Early-Middle Bronze periods, the growing elaboration of mortuary festivities and their crucial importance in negotiating status hierarchies contributed to the intensification of Cypriot copper production and the expansion of interregional exchange relations. Subsequent changes in mortuary practice suggest that the importance of collective burial rites and traditional modes of ritual display diminished over the course of the Late Bronze Age, as urban institutions multiplied and the bases of social prestige were transformed.
Author: A. Bernard Knapp
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2008-02-21
A new island archaeology and island history of Bronze Age and early Iron Age Cyprus, set in its Mediterranean context. In this extensively illustrated study, A. Bernard Knapp addresses an under-studied but dynamic new field of archaeological enquiry - the social identity of prehistoric and protohistoric Mediterranean islanders.
This volume brings together papers presented at the 12th edition of Postgraduate Cypriot Archaeology (PoCA), an annual conference concerning the material culture of ancient, medieval and modern Cyprus, taking into account various aspects from different research projects conducted by researchers specialized in many fields of expertise. The contributions to this book cover multiple branches of study, including prehistory, archaeology, history, art history, religious history architecture and modern textiles studies, offering an interdisciplinary approach. Within this wide-ranging academic setting, a chronological span from the Early Cypriot period, that is to say from the 3rd millennium B.C. onwards, to modern times is covered. Contributions illuminate various aspects of Cypriot culture, such as funerary areas, settlement patterns, different types of artworks, and historical issues. Despite the great variety of archaeological and historical subjects, there is a special focus on Bronze Age Cypriot culture that helps to highlight a number of significant aspects of this important and formative period on the island of Aphrodite.
Author: Peter van Dommelen
Release Date: 2010-09-23
Genre: Social Science
Material Connections eschews outdated theory, tainted by colonialist attitudes, and develops a new cultural and historical understanding of how factors such as mobility, materiality, conflict and co-presence impacted on the formation of identity in the ancient Mediterranean. Fighting against ‘hyper-specialisation’ within the subject area, it explores the multiple ways that material culture was used to establish, maintain and alter identities, especially during periods of transition, culture encounter and change. A new perspective is adopted, one that perceives the use of material culture by prehistoric and historic Mediterranean peoples in formulating and changing their identities. It considers how objects and social identities are entangled in various cultural encounters and interconnections. The movement of people as well as objects has always stood at the heart of attempts to understand the courses and process of human history. The Mediterranean offers a wealth of such information and Material Connections, expanding on this base, offers a dynamic, new subject of enquiry – the social identify of prehistoric and historic Mediterranean people – and considers how migration, colonial encounters, and connectivity or insularity influence social identities. The volume includes a series of innovative, closely related case studies that examine the contacts amongst various Mediterranean islands – Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Crete, Cyprus, the Balearics – and the nearby shores of Italy, Greece, North Africa, Spain and the Levant to explore the social and cultural impact of migratory, colonial and exchange encounters. Material Connections forges a new path in understanding the material culture of the Mediterranean and will be essential for those wishing to develop their understanding of material culture and identity in the Mediterranean.
Author: Kate Harrell
Publisher: Presses universitaires de Louvain
Release Date: 2017-08-17
Genre: Social Science
How does intentionally inflicting damage to material objects mediate the human experience in the prehistoric eastern Mediterranean? For all of the diversity in cultural practice in the civilisations of the Greek mainland and Aegean islands, Crete, Cyprus and the eastern coast of Italy between 4000-750 BC, archaeologists consider the custom of ritually killing objects as a normative, if inconsistent practice. Yet as artefacts that are alike only in that they have been disarticulated, intentionally destroyed objects defy easy characterization. Such pieces frequently stand outside of clearly defined patterns. This volume is an initial step in addressing a gap in the scholarship by aiming to deconstruct and contextualize the practice of intentional fragmentation. The case studies in this volume present a diverse range of evidence, including pottery, lithics, metals, jewellery, figurines, buildings and human remains, in an exploration of the wide spectrum of meanings behind material destruction.
Author: Lindy Crewe
Publisher: British Archaeological Reports Ltd
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Social Science
The beginning of the Late Bronze Age on Cyprus saw a range of dramatic changes occurring in the settlement patterns and material culture of the island, accompanied by evidence for increased interaction with the surrounding region. These include population movements from small inland to larger, nucleated coastal settlements, an increase in social stratification and copper production, the first evidence for literacy, and Cyprus becoming increasingly involved in the complex exchange networks of the eastern Mediterranean. Central to any study of the islandAes prehistory is the coastal settlement of Enkomi, often considered to be the first state-like entity on the island and identified with the Alashiya of contemporary textual. The authorAes main goal in this volume is to examine the archaeological evidence for the beginnings of the transformation of Cypriot society as it stands, to seek to understand the individual aspects of the process and to separate this from the later LCIIC outcomes. The author utilises the Enkomi pottery assemblage to examine the introduction of wheelmade pottery and thereby investigate the processes through which Cypriot society became highly complex, including whether the evidence points to early centralized control or independent regional developments. However, in order to understand the pottery, it was necessary to investigate all types of archaeological evidence pertaining to the early history of the site and this volume also includes discussion of architecture, tombs and other aspects of material culture. Part 1 provides the theoretical background to investigations of social complexity and discusses the applications. Part 2 addresses the evidence for both settlement and ceramics during the Cypriot Bronze Age. Part 3 is devoted to the analysis of the Enkomi data. Part 4 presents the authorAes conclusions.
This volume represents a collection of contributions presented by the authors during the Second Annual University of Chicago Oriental Institute Seminar "Performing Death: Social Analyses of Funerary Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean," held at the Oriental Institute, February 17-18, 2006. The principal aim of the two-day seminar was to interpret the social relevance resulting from the enactment of funerary rituals within the broad-reaching Mediterranean basin from prehistoric periods to the Roman Age. Efforts were concentrated on creating a panel composed of scholars with diverse backgrounds - anthropologists, historians, archaeologists, art historians, and philologists - and the knowledge and expertise to enrich the discussion through the presentation of case-studies linked to both textual and archaeological evidence from the Mediterranean region. Fundamental to the successful realisation of this research process was the active dialogue between scholars of different backgrounds. These communicative exchanges provided the opportunity to integrate different approaches and interpretations concerning the role played by the performance of ancient funerary rituals within a given society and, as a result, helped in defining a coherent outcome towards the interpretation of ancient communities' behaviours.
Author: Chrysanthi Gallou
Publisher: British Archaeological Reports Limited
Release Date: 2008
31 essays on the Bronze Age Aegean which cover a wide range of topics. They are grouped under the following headings: cult and death; Bronze Age material culture; gender; approaches to art; themes of ancient and modern identity; Homer once again; landscape and survey; ancient geography and regional studies; Sparta and Laconia.