Landscape strategies in Bronze Age Southwestern Cyprus (2500-1100 B.C.)

Chelazzi, Francesca (2016) Landscape strategies in Bronze Age Southwestern Cyprus (2500-1100 B.C.). PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis concerns the analysis of the socio-economic transformation of communities in Bronze Age southwestern Cyprus. Through the adoption of a dialectical perspective of analysis, individuals and environment are considered part of the same unity: they are cooperating agents in shaping society and culture. The Bronze Age is a period of intense transformation in the organization of local communities, made of a continuous renegotiation of the socio-economic roles and interactions. The archaeological record from this portion of the island allows one to go beyond the investigation of the complex and articulated transition from the EBA-MBA agro-pastoral and self-sufficient communities to the LBA centralized and trade-oriented urban-centres. Through a shifting of analytical scales, the emerging picture suggests major transformations in the individual-community-territory dialectical relations. A profound change in the materials conditions of social life, as well as in the superstructural realm, was particularly entailed by the dissolution of the relation to the earth, due to the emergence of new forms of land exploitation/ownership and to the shift of the settlement pattern in previously unknown areas.
One of the key points of this thesis is the methodological challenge of working with legacy survey data as I re-analysed a diverse archaeological legacy, which is the result of more than fifty years of survey projects, rescue and research-oriented excavations, as well as casual discoveries. Source critique and data evaluation are essential requirements in an integrative and cross-disciplinary regional perspective, in the comprehensive processing of heterogeneous archaeological and environmental datasets. Through the estimation of data precision and certainty, I developed an effective - but simple - method to critically evaluate existing datasets and to inter-correlate them without losing their original complexity. This powerful method for data integration can be applied to similar datasets belonging to other regions and other periods as it originates from the evaluation of larger methodological and theoretical issues that are not limited to my spatial and temporal focus.
As I argue in this thesis, diverse archaeological legacies can be efficiently re-analysed through an integrative and regional methodology. The adoption of a regional scale of analysis can provide an excellent perspective on the complexity of transformations in ancient societies, thus creating a fundamental bridge between the local stories and grand landscape narratives.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Cyprus, Bronze Age, landscape, GIS, settlement pattern, regional analysis, social complexity, legacy data, second-generation analysis.
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Supervisor's Name: Given, Dr. Michael and Glatz, Dr. Claudia
Date of Award: 2016
Embargo Date: 3 November 2019
Depositing User: Francesca Chelazzi
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7756
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2016 13:41
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2017 12:47

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