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Title: Neolithic society in northern Greece : the evidence of ground stone artefacts
Author: Tsoraki, Christina
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2009
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Analysis of ground stone technology from the Neolithic of Greece rarely goes beyond incomplete descriptive accounts to focus on the activities performed with these tools and the contexts of their use. Ground stone products are seen as mundane static objects devoid of meaning and lacking significance. The aim of this thesis is to move away from incomplete accounts of ground stone technology and static typologies. Drawing upon the concepts of the chaine operatoire and 'object biographies' this thesis investigates ground stone technology as a social practice focusing on the life-cycle of artefacts from raw material selection to final deposition. The underlying premise is that a contextual approach can contribute to understanding the ways in which the production, consumption and discard of ground stone artefacts were structured within different forms and scales of social practice and the manner in which these differences articulated different meanings and social understandings. The aims of the thesis were materialised through the study of the rich ground stone assemblage from the LN settlement of Makriyalos, Greece. The analysis of the chaine operatoire of the Makriyalos ground stone assemblage revealed diverse technological choices expressed throughout the cycle of production and use. Established traditions existed according to which specific materials were considered to be appropriate for the production of different objects. Furthermore, detailed analysis suggests that the resulting objects were far from mundane artefacts but were instead active media for expressing choices informed by cultural understandings of appropriateness. Building upon analysis of the chaine operatoire, spatial analysis of the Makriyalos assemblage indicated distinct depositional patterns of different categories of ground stone within and between the two phases of Makriyalos. This analysis offers significant insights into the way(s) these implements were incorporated into the social life of Makriyalos. Ultimately, the thesis demonstrates that ground stone artefacts were actively employed in the creation and negotiation of varied and distinct identities (individual vs. communal) that could be transformed through different contexts of practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available