Beyond the Argo-polis : a social archaeology of the Argolid in the 6th and early 5th centuries BCE
The focus of the present study is on the archaeological record of archaic (700-480 BCE) contexts found on mainland Greece in the region known as the Argolid. Its main concern is with interpreting the archaeological evidence in terms of human activities to arrive at a better understanding of the cultural and social developments of the archaic Argolid. From an archaeological perspective we can only speak of activities that leave some trace in the material record; here I examine writing, subsistence-relateda ctivities, and rituals. The first chapter deals with inscriptional evidence, attempting to monitor, through the use of writing, the impact of literacy upon Argolic society. Part I shows how the use of perishables can influence our perceptions of the role of early writing in Greece. Parts II and HI assess the kinds of literacy that existed, and the areas of society that were literate, within archaic society, particularly within Argolic society In the second chapter the survey evidence is given priority, since as many as three Argolic surveys have recently been published. The discussion centres on the exploitation of the landscape by means of agricultural, non-agri cultural, and maritime activities, as a way of generating a clearer picture of the region's social organisation. The third chapter places emphasis on excavation material in an attempt to observe ritual activities in Argolic society. Part I concentrates on rituals of a communal nature, in honour of divinities; Part H deals with funerary rituals, mainly the burial evidence. Both aim to gain insight into the social structures that motivated the ritual system. An index of sites (Appendix A) accompanies the main text, providing bibliographic and descriptive material for each individual site. Two more appendices (B and Q) can be consulted for an overview of metal objects and the location of cults whose divinities are known.