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Architecture and Urbanisation in Bronze Age Cyprus: local and regional innovations in materials, technology and social representation

Amadio, M. (2017) Architecture and Urbanisation in Bronze Age Cyprus: local and regional innovations in materials, technology and social representation. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

The thesis project aims to investigate the formative period of urbanism in Cyprus and the sociocultural and economic transformations that characterised the passage from the village-based rural society of Early Bronze Age Cyprus to the urban society of Late Bronze Age Cyprus (c. 2400-1100 BC), by using architectural evidence as the key data-set. This research aims to understand how the development of new forms and concepts of architecture, and the increasing appearance of social, cultural and economic forms of complexity at the end of Prehistoric Bronze Age Cyprus are mutually constituted. Recent studies in Cypriot urbanism have stressed the need of multi-scalar data-sets to analyse the history and organisation of urban centres from diachronic, spatial and structural perspectives, and to pay particular attention to the analysis of non-elite areas, since these are recognised as fundamental in the examination of development of social and cultural identities and roles (Manning et al. 2014, 9; Fisher 2014b). Middle Bronze Age Erimi-Laonin tou Porakou (MC I-LC I, c. 1950-1650 BC), offers a good case-study to investigate this topic, as it includes a range of key contexts to analyse social, cultural and economic developments of the recent Cypriot prehistory, and to enhance the analysis and definition of the formative period of urbanism and complexity in Cyprus. The analytical approach applied in this research is multi-scalar and interdisciplinary as it combines field practices and macro analysis of architectural forms, buildings, spaces and fixtures, artefacts and archaeobotanical remains, with micromorphology and high resolution FTIR, XRF and SEM analyses of stratigraphic sequences, deposits and materials within buildings and in settlement areas, in order to generate a more holistic data-set, with which to analyse the study-context at different spatial and temporal scales. This multi-scalar data-set provided an effective framework to examine the formative process of urbanisation and complexity in Cyprus, by delineating aspects of transformations at household and settlement scale at Middle Bronze Age Erimi-Laonin tou Porakou through comparisons with other Bronze Age Cypriot contexts. The construction of a transformative built-environment during the recent Cypriot Prehistory materialised the gradual emergence of new forms of social representation and of cultural, economic and political identities, which are conceptually different from household-based systems of Early Cypriot societies and are characterised by spatial and social settings similar to more complex socio-cultural and economic systems of Late Cypriot urban societies.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Matthews, W. and Matthews, R.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Archaeology, Geography & Environmental Science
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:74850
Additional Information:The appendices are contained in a CD in the hard bound copy and are not available to download from CentAUR

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