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Title: Change in the Iron Age (625-50/1BC) of the lower Rhône : Mediterranean cosmopolitanism or colonization?
Author: Jefferson, Victoria
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis focuses on the complex phenomenon of cultural change in the lower Rhone during the Iron Age. More cosmopolitan tastes in monumental architecture, food, drink and ritual practices all developed in this period and in this work I attempt to explain why these broader Mediterranean practices were adopted by lower Rhone societies. I begin by building up a picture of lower Rhone society through a review of settlement patterns and communications in the region. I also consider the sorts of identities that were being expressed through the adoption of different practices. My investigations lead me to conclude that good communications with the wider Mediterranean meant that lower Rhone societies were open to new traditions. I propose that cultural change was stimulated by a combination of communications with the wider Mediterranean and internal politics. I suggest that the willingness of lower Rhone societies to adopt new practices was owing to political instability and the needs of emergent elite to distinguish themselves from earlier groups through the adoption of novel practices and the development of new identities. My approach to cultural change in the lower Rhone thus differs from earlier studies, which have tended to view this phenomenon through a colonial lens and have thus viewed the adoption of new practices in the Iron Age lower Rhone as a product of Hellenization. In contrast to these approaches, I propose that Massalia was not central to developments in this region and that it should no longer be treated as a privileged case or studied as part of a separate discipline. As a study of the development of Massalia in its regional context, this work has implications for the way we understand the foundation of "Greek colonies" of the archaic period and as a regional study, it offers a new perspective on how we understand cultural transformations in the lower Rhone.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available