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Title: Interaction and development : the Late Neolithic and Copper Age archaeology of western Mediterranean islands
Author: Hayden, C. D. A.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1998
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Abstract:
Throughout the Western Mediterranean, from Catalonia to Calabria, the widespread stylistic homogeneity of the Late Neolithic (c. 4,000 - 3,500 B.C.) gives way in the Copper Age (c. 3,500 - 2,200 B.C.) to a host of regionally varied stylistic groups. Especially in the islands of Malta, Sicily and Sardinia upon which this dissertation focuses, this stylistic differentiation has been taken to indicate increasing isolation. The evidence for exchange, however, shows that the islands continued to interact with each other and the mainland. The highly distinctive developments in the islands cannot, therefore, be explained in terms of isolation. This dissertation offers a resolution to the paradoxes which arise from the inadequacies of current understandings of the role of interaction in the socio-economic development of the Western Mediterranean from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Copper Age. In Section II it argues that stylistic comparisons give a misleading impression of the extent of significance of interaction: focusing on processes of socio-economic change offers a more reliable avenue of interpretation. Despite stylistic differences in the artefacts used in each region, the processes of socio-economic change occurring in the Western Mediterranean were, in some respects, uniform. Throughout this region, the beginning of the Copper Age was marked by the elaboration and growth in importance of a sphere of primitive valuables used for a range of social transactions (e.g. settling disputes, paying bride-wealth, gaining prestige). This process is related, in all the regions, to the development of more marked social inequalities and to the creation of new kinds of social groups. Identifying a common process does not, however, explain the distinctiveness of developments in each island. Section III argues that such differences arise because the common process operated in different social contexts. In Sardinia, for example, dispersed social groups were drawn together by the development of the prestige sphere and came to be centred upon monumental settlements, whilst in Sicily relatively discrete social groups were already centred upon settlements and their further consolidation was reflected in the elaboration of large communal tombs associated with the settlements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.603875  DOI: Not available
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