Mortuary differentiation and social structure in the Middle Helladic Argolid, 2000-1500 B.C.

Milka, E., 2019, [Groningen]: University of Groningen. 738 p.

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This PhD thesis was carried out as part of the VIDI project Shifting Identities: Social Change and Cultural Interaction in the Middle Helladic Argolid, 2000 - 1500 BC, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
Until recently the Middle Helladic period was described as homogeneous and static. However, recent research has shown regional variability, early changes and more complexity. The basic question addressed in this dissertation is: What does the mortuary patterning tell us about the social structure of Middle Helladic society? The archaeological, anthropological and radiocarbon data from selected sites were integrated to determine if there is variation between individual burials, groupings and cemeteries, and to reconstruct change through time. This work was done for selected Greek Argive sites, namely Lerna, Myloi, Kastraki, Barbouna and the East Cemetery of Asine, and for the Aspis in Argos.
The analysis has shown that in all cemeteries and through time kinship was the most important structuring principle, and age position in the kin network the most important component. Gender was less emphasised but it became more important during the MH III-LH I period in some, but not all sites. Differentiation was not only observed within each burial place, but also between sites during the same period. Generally, a steady ‘scaling up’ was observed, but it did not affect all sites in the same way. Changes started already from the beginning of the Middle Helladic period but they became intensified towards its end. Finally, the existence of elite groups or of aggrandizing leaders of factions was not confirmed for the greater part of the Middle Helladic period-at least not for the sites included in this thesis.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Voutsaki, Sofia, Supervisor
  • Andreou, S., Assessment committee, External person
  • Crielaard, J.P., Assessment committee, External person
  • Wright, J. C., Assessment committee, External person
Award date20-Jun-2019
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-1793-6
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-1792-9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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