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Negotiating space: routes of communication in Roman to British Colonial Cyprus

Gibson, Erin Shawnine Leigh (2005) Negotiating space: routes of communication in Roman to British Colonial Cyprus. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Offering a social approach to landscape through the systematic study of communication routes, this study redresses the balance between previous social, historical and data driven archaeological studies of roads, paths and communication routes, while providing landscape survey projects with the techniques through which to address social interaction on a regional scale. Research on roads, paths and communication routes completed over the past 50 years focuses on the technology of road building, descriptive historical accounts of roads, and anthropological investigations that focus mainly on the role of communication routes in movement, memory and landscape. Unlike these previous studies, this research addresses communication routes as socially embedded material culture. Since the 1970s many archaeologists working in the Mediterranean have employed regional survey techniques in order to investigate broader patterns of human activity in the landscape. Communication routes are notoriously absent from these survey projects. Interaction is instead extrapolated from topographical information and sherd densities. In the current climate of landscape archaeology where interdisciplinary regional survey projects employ ever more complex and insightful GIS systems in the attempt to understand social landscapes, the absence of communication data appears glaringly obvious. Within this thesis I argue that the importance of roads and paths goes beyond the places they may or may not connect or intersect. Instead, roads and paths are products of daily practices that reaffirm, redefine and reproduce social and cultural relations. Through the intensive survey of communication routes in three distinct regions in Cyprus, (North Palekhori, Mandres and the Akamas Peninsula Survey Zones), I gained a greater understanding of the interplay between human activity, expressions of identity, land use and settlement from the Roman to the British Colonial period. iii Although the morphology and structural features of roads, paths and communication routes vary between these survey zones the underlying themes involved in the construction, maintenance and use of communication routes cut across geography and time. This thesis pushes the boundaries of landscape archaeology and survey methodologies to address: human-land relations, traditions of road and path building, the role of roads and paths in the negotiation of power and the entwined nature of communication routes and perceptions of landscape.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Supervisor's Name: Given, Dr. Michael and Knapp, Prof. A. Bernard
Date of Award: 2005
Depositing User: Miss Fiona Riggans
Unique ID: glathesis:2005-271
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2008
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:17
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/271

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