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Title: Prehistoric Cypriot mud buildings and their impact on the formation of archaeological sites
Author: Thomas, G. D.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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The current research grew out of work on the Erimi Culture sites in the west of Cyprus at Lemba Lakkous, Kissonerga Mosphilia and Kissonerga Mylouthkia dating from c3500-2500/2300 B.C. The need to understand the nature of the archaeological deposits and the buildings which form the largest element of those deposits channelled the research along four main paths or aims: 1) the characterisation and classification of all Chalcolithic building elements setting them within a proposed scheme of building types, 2) the establishment of these within the framework of Middle Eastern building traditions with an indication of any cultural links, 3) the identification and characterisation prehistoric building deposits and materials and, 4) the contribution of some thoughts to the understanding of site formation processes. Three avenues of study were followed. The first involved an investigation of the behaviour of the key elements of soil, clay and lime in order to be able to characterise building materials. A study of the archaeological evidence was then undertaken and a scheme for classifying building elements proposed. This was tested in the second avenue of study through experimental reconstruction at Lemba in which comparative modern materials and building types were examined. Further comparative material was obtained from the study and excavation of the recently abandoned village of Souskiou, this being the third avenue of study. This has also been used to identify ways in which buildings collapse or decay and become part of the archaeological record. From these studies a reference collection of comparative building materials and deposits is being assembled and used to explain prehistoric remains. In the final discussion, eight Chalcolithic building types were identified and described. The development of house form is also discussed and the emergence of two very characteristic building types, the courtyard house and the temple/shrine is proposed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available