To what extent can interconnections with the Cyclades be identified in the Early Bronze Age Aegean through the burial record?

Nolan-Webster, AC
(2016) To what extent can interconnections with the Cyclades be identified in the Early Bronze Age Aegean through the burial record? PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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The Early Bronze Age Aegean (hereafter EBA) is a period for which direct evidence for large-scale sailing ventures is limited. However, cultural, social and economic developments seem to occur between areas separated by the Aegean Sea. The aim of this thesis is to address the question: To what extent can interconnections be identified with the Cyclades in the EBA Aegean through the burial record? Burials are a good measure of interaction because unlike artefacts they represent social processes deeply embedded in systems of social order, cultural meaning and daily habituation. This is important as settlement evidence and domestic assemblages are often unavailable for the EBA period. Burial practices all imply direct experience, contact and extended interaction in a way that cannot be so easily presumed for other, more portable forms, for example, material culture. These elements are enduring and cannot be traded and so provide a good source for determining interconnections in the EBA period. Cemetery evidence will be presented from the Cyclades, Crete and mainland Greece, organised by three main themes of grave architecture, burial and the treatment of the dead and ritual practices. The evidence from these three core geographical areas suggests that interconnections were clearly established through the spread of Cycladic burial customs in addition to the known evidence for trade in material culture. In particular Cycladic influence in burial intentionally provokes ideas of memory, identity, visibility, performance and destruction. The burial practices highlighting periods of sustained co-presence between people from the Cyclades and elsewhere in the Aegean. These practices are indicative of high levels of mobility that involved extended stays away from the Cycladic islands. For some this journey would be their final one resulting ultimately in burial in a location away from home. The ritual practices carried out within the burial arena are only reproduced by individuals who see these elements as their own thereby unequivocally demonstrating clear evidence for Cycladic interconnections in the EBA.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2016 07:28
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2024 17:21
DOI: 10.17638/03001222