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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.
31

Feasting practices and changes in Greek society from the Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age

Fox, Rachel Sarah January 2009 (has links)
In this thesis I offer a diachronic survey of feasting practices on the Greek mainland from c. 1600 to c. 700, covering the Early Mycenaean era, the palatial period, and the Early Iron Age. I focus upon three specific spheres of feasting activity in each period under discussion - sociopolitical, funerary and sanctuary-based - and employ multiple sources of evidence in order to create a comprehensive image of feasting styles and behaviour in each of these spheres. In particular, I direct my focus towards the association between feasting practices and sociopolitical changes and the ways that they impact upon each other, in order to increase our understanding of both phenomena. Feasts can be an active way of bringing about sociopolitical developments, for example if they are employed by leaders or members of the elite in order to attain, maintain or express authority over others; conversely, the types of sociopolitical milieu in existence can affect and alter the styles of feasting that people practise. For the Early Mycenaean period, I highlight the fluidity of feasting activities, as this is not only a unique characteristic of commensality in this era but also reflects the competitive sociopolitical environment. I then examine the palatial period and how far the palaces' influence can be said to have spread over their polities, by focusing on how much control they had over feasting activities. For the Early Iron Age, I deal with issues of change and continuity and how feasting could be both a reassuring continuum in times of uncertainty and a method mobilised by leaders to convey their authority. Finally, I offer a case-study of feasting in the poems of Homer and Hesiod and consider how these can inform us about late 8th-century mental perspectives on commensality, including codes of feasting behaviour.
32

Post-classical performance culture and the Ancient Greek novel

Bentley, Gillian Granville January 2014 (has links)
Scholars have focused mainly on the sophisticated and specifically literary elements of the novel, revealing a staggering amount of intertextual traffic between the novels and canonical authors from Homer to Herodotus to Plato to Menander. While this (very successful) endeavour has raised the value of the novels’ ‘cultural capital’, it has generally neglected another important aspect of the genre—the so-called ‘low’, ‘sub-literary’ influences on the novels. No work of art exists in a cultural vacuum—as work on intertextuality has shown, novelists like Achilles Tatius and Chariton were familiar with not only Homer and Plato but with contemporary intellectual culture. It seems more than possible that their knowledge would have extended beyond the textual and into the performance culture of the time. The principle concern of my thesis is the question of why the novel is so performative and theatrical. I explore the performance culture influences on three ancient Greek novels—the Callirhoe of Chariton of Aphrodisias, Leucippe and Clitophon of Achilles Tatius, and the Aethiopica of Heliodorus. Each novel makes use of ‘theatre’ metaphorically but also practically and narratologically. The impact of performance culture extends beyond the influence of scripted literary dramatic texts and engages with the broader forms of performance—from mime and pantomime to public speaking. I demonstrate that ‘sub-literary’ performance serves as vibrant, important dialogic partner for the novels, a voice to be heard among the medley of other ‘languages’ (Bahktin’s heteroglossia), if we but listen. By no means do I reveal any uncontaminated evidence for mime or pantomime within the novels, but multiply filtered reflections of popular performance traditions. I suggest that the novel authors composed with performance models in mind or with a sustained, explicit dialectic with performative intertexts.
33

Echoes of the Underworld : manifestations of death-related gods in early Greek cult and literature

MacKin, Ellie January 2015 (has links)
This thesis examines mythic representations of death- and Underworld-related divinities in light of contemporary archaic and early classical Greek associated cultic practice. Current scholarly approaches to these so-called ‘chthonic’ divinities generally adopt a view of the divine framework of the Underworld which places death-related concerns as the primary focus of the divinities concerned. In this project I have looked at Hades, Persephone, Demeter, Hekate and the Moirai and Keres for analysis of this framework. This thesis demonstrates that the death-related functions of these divinities were not the principle factor in their characterisations, but were rather only one aspect of a more nuanced identity. More generally, this thesis demonstrates that the ways that the Greeks viewed death and utilised death-related gods in cultic and literary representations support the idea that the association with death was not the primary aspect of any of these divinities. By investigating the mythic characterisations and cultic realities of these divinities, utilising the methodological approach of thin-coherence, this thesis shows that a more nuanced picture emerges. This thesis contributes a new approach to the death-related divine, demonstrating primarily that their death-related function is not the primary source of cultic dedication. In cases where a death-related divinity does not receive cultic dedication, or significant cultic dedication, the death-related function found in their mythic profile remains their primary function. I show that death-related gods who receive cultic dedication do so within the remit of other areas of interest, and this is most usually demonstrated in the contrasting tropes death/fertility, death/agriculture, and death/marriage. These tropes are demonstrated in various ritual activities throughout this thesis. Therefore, this project shows that death is an area of concern that permeates the world of the living and is not separate from it.
34

A comparative analysis of the decorated pottery of the second millennium BC Eastern Mediterranean

Panagiotou, A. January 2015 (has links)
This project undertakes a comparative analysis of decorated pottery (or the lack thereof) in the complex, urban societies that developed around the Eastern Mediterranean in the second millennium BC: principally those of Egypt, the Levantine coast, and the Aegean. The aim of the analysis is firstly to assess the actual differences in the scale of the presence of decorated pottery between those eastern Mediterranean societies, secondly to study the association of these differences with social shifts and contexts and their implications for the configuration of culture and aesthetics, and ultimately, to arrive at a broader understanding of the roles that the production and consumption of decorated pottery can play as a part of material culture. My approach combines a broad, comparative perspective with detailed examination of select archaeological contexts and deposits, including first hand inspection of relevant pottery assemblages at Knossos. This systematic, comparative investigation of the social significance of those contrasts in practices across the eastern Mediterranean is informed by theories and methods derived from the fields of archaeology, anthropology, technology studies and the history of art and ornament.
35

Aspects of complexity at Arslantepe

Guarino, P. January 2014 (has links)
This doctoral research examines the multi-period site of Arslantepe (Malatya – South-eastern Turkey). It identifies archaeological evidence for social complexity within the site’s Late Chalcolithic (period VII in Arslantepe chronology) community and seeks to define the character and nature of this complexity. Craft specialisation and differential consumption is assessed through an analysis of the production and distribution of artefacts with a comparative analysis of the functional characteristics of monumental architecture and other buildings. A specific focus is placed on an analysis of the Arslantepe VII ceramic assemblage to investigate what this can tell us about the organisation of its production. The overarching aim is to assess the degree of economic centralisation and redistribution activities within Arslantepe’s developing socio-political organization. The evidence from Arslantepe is then reconsidered within the larger picture of 4th millennium Greater Mesopotamia, and wider debates on the formation of social complexity. A comparison of Arslantepe VII with contemporaneous sites in the region facilitates a revaluation of the interpretative models used to explain the emergence and development of complex forms of socio-political organization during the 4th millennium BC in Greater Mesopotamia.
36

An archaeological discussion of writing practice : deconstruction of the ancient Egyptian scribe

Pinarello, M. S. January 2014 (has links)
This thesis contests the reified status of ‘scribe’ and its Egyptological construction as social category, and returns to the ancient Egyptian writing practices attested in the archaeological record. It aims to deconstruct the ‘scribe’ category and to suggest a new perspective that takes into account historiography and museum displays, particularly in the way that specific object types—i.e. pen and palette—have been used to fetishise the ‘scribe’ as a distinct class of people in ancient Egyptian society. As a first step, the thesis presents a complete dataset of those two object types so far recorded from documented excavations, to test the distribution and detailed context of each example. The research then further concentrates on archaeological methods to recontextualise writing implements, presenting a case study on the material culture from the ancient Egyptian site of Balat ‛Ayn Asīl in the western desert. There, a more diffuse material culture of writing practices provides a marked contrast with the dataset of conventionally defined writing equipment. From this comparison, the thesis questions the image of literacy as primary marker of social distinction—one of the most persistent assumptions in Egyptology and its approach since the discipline’s birth. In conclusion, study of the power of communication and the role played by writing needs to be detached from the bias involved in elite-centred reconstructions. In the case of ancient Egypt, as in modern societies, a simplified dichotomy between ruling literate elite and ruled illiterate mass does not match the archaeological evidence of complexity.
37

Ceramics and social practices at Ille Cave, Philippines

Balbaligo, Y. E. January 2015 (has links)
This research uses ceramic analysis to investigate variations in technological practices in the Philippines, and the relationships with pottery traditions previously reported for wider Southeast Asia. The thesis focuses on an examination of the earthenware ceramics from the multi-period burial and occupation site of Ille Cave and Rockshelter, and nearby cave sites in northern Palawan, Philippines. Previous work on Philippine ceramics has used surface decorations to discuss grand narratives of human movement. This thesis argues that technology, rather than decoration or style, is a better indicator of people and social practice. While critiquing these dominant interpretations, this thesis seeks to build on previous work by demonstrating how differences in ceramic technology can be interpreted as indicators of distinct learning traditions and learning networks, suggesting different communities of practice. The range of techniques used to prepare the clay, form and decorate the ceramics, were analysed macroscopically in hand specimen, and microscopically by petrography, stereoscopy, and scanning electron microscopy to reconstruct the chaîne opératoire which shows difference in technological practice. Results indicate that most of the ceramics were locally made and used as votive offerings rather than as grave goods, jar burials or for ritual breakage, during the Developed Metal Age. The cave sites were returned to as a fixed point in the landscape to commemorate the dead. It is suggested that the variability in ceramics coupled with the mortuary practices were expressions of a group’s social complexity and cultural identity. The ceramic variability shows distinct cultural pluralism which demonstrates a diversity of social groups in a small locale. Although some commonalities in pottery production and decorative techniques with those in wider Southeast Asia are discussed, the current lack of dating evidence or comparative ceramic technology studies makes it difficult to interpret the direction and timing of large scale cultural change. This thesis, however, presents methods and theories for how this research can be developed.
38

Defining the regional characteristics of Final Neolithic and Early Bronze Age pottery in Attica

Nazou, M. January 2014 (has links)
Situated between mainland and island-defined archaeological entities, Attica has traditionally been treated as a transitional borderland between what is perceived as ‘Helladic’ versus ‘Cycladic’ culture. Most discussions of social and cultural interactions in the southern Aegean have so far assumed a peripheral role for Attica during the Final Neolithic (41 00-31 00 BC) and the Early Bronze Age (3100- 2000 BC). This is mainly an accident of investigation, due to the lack of systematic research focusing on the stylistic character of FN-EBA material culture excavated at sites within this region. Among the archaeological evidence from Attica, pottery is the most abundant artefact type and its presence at all the excavated sites provides considerable research potential for detailed inter-site comparisons. This thesis systematically describes, summarises and presents a large body of FN-EB II pottery from Attica. Two as yet unpublished ceramic assemblages in southeastern Attica provide the principal case studies: Kontra Gliate (also known as Kiapha Thiti) and Mine 3 at Thorikos. The stylistic characteristics and variation within and between these ceramic assemblages are defined in terms of time and space, and the relationships between fabrics, forms and surface treatments are explored. In addition, smaller assemblages of pottery from other FN-EB II sites in Attica and the surrounding islands were studied with the same methodology, for the first time allowing detailed comparisons: the Agora of Athens, the Kitsos Cave, Thorikos Velatouri, Plakari on Euboea, Kephala on Kea and Kolonna on Aegina. The analysis explores Attica’s stylistic connections with neighbouring areas, i.e. Boeotia, Euboea, the Cyclades, the Saronic Gulf and the northeastern Peloponnese, and defines site- specific and regional variants of FN-EB II pottery styles. The thesis concludes by suggesting an interpretation of the patterns of pottery production and consumption in Attica during the FN-EB II periods.
39

Cords of time : an iconographic analysis of the flat two dimensional knot in the context of classic period Maya representation

Robinson, T. P. E. January 2014 (has links)
In his book 'A Study In Maya Art And History: The Mat Symbol', Robicsek draws our attention to what he considers to be a well-defined group of motifs represented on Maya artifacts, and which he diagnoses as mat symbols (Robicsek 1975: 17). Robicsek identifies forty three varieties of mat-symbols which he organizes into four sets based on their design (Robicsek 1975: 186). The first design ‘consists of two bands of equal lengths twisted around each other’ (Robicsek 1975: 187), whilst the second conforms to the first design except that the twists are ‘enclosed within a medallion-like frame’ (Robicsek 1975: 187). The third design is an ‘interwoven design, which shows not only simple twists, but also a more intricate “in-and-out” pattern’ (Robicsek 1975: 187). The fourth he terms a ‘decorated design’ resembling the first with the exception that ‘circular motifs’ (Robicsek 1975: 187) are shown as attached to the twists. The third set, the motifs with an interwoven design are the items which interest me and which form the subject of this research. I have identified these motifs as representations of knots and propose that they should be categorized―based on their shared characteristics which I describe in Chapter Four―as members of a particular type of knot. The focus of this research is therefore not Maya knots per se but rather a particular knot type characterized by an interwoven design. Knots are constructed from perishable material, which does not survive in the archaeological record; therefore my dataset comprises representations of knots pictured on different media such as ceramics, sculpture, monuments and architecture. Because knot representation is richest in the Classic Period, this is the time period on which my research focuses. I propose that how or where this particular knot type was displayed was not arbitrary, but rather reveals intentionality; the implication is that knot motifs were vehicles for the communication of certain ideas or concepts and as such were infused with meaning. This position is supported by the research set out in Chapter Three which looks at the use of knots by different cultures over time and through space. Recovering meaning involves an analysis of the relationship between the knot representations and the items or personages, such asthrones or deities, which display the knots. Also entailed is a consideration of when (the date of the representation) and where (which sites), the knots were displayed. By means of these analyses an understanding is gained of the knot, based on its relationship with people and things over time and through space. The identification of one group of Robicsek’s purported ‘mat motifs’ as knots serves to open the door to more rigorous analysis. As a first step in unraveling and deconstructing Robicsek’s ‘mat symbol’ hypothesis, it is hoped that this work will inspire further research on the remaining motifs which are still erroneously interpreted as ‘mats’.
40

Cultural transmission of lithic artefact traditions : an experimental approach

Page, S. N. January 2014 (has links)
Experimental methods for exploring the idea that cultural variation can be explained as part of a process analogous to that of biological evolution have been used in psychology to examine how human copying error effects the transmission of simple artefact form. Applying these methods in an archaeological framework, this study is the first of its kind to develop a programme of transmission chain experiments exploring different aspects of skill, social interaction and copying error and their effect on the evolution of artefact form in two different Palaeolithic technologies: blade production and Acheulean handaxe manufacture. In the blade replication experiment, form trajectories produced by two different levels of skill could be distinguished, with the more skilled knappers choosing to pass on the best match for blade length, in preference to shape or ridge pattern. In the Acheulean experiments, in conditions where loss of refinement features was expected, a surprising result was the consistent survival of planform symmetry. Where maintaining refinement was the focus of the teaching condition, thinning was achieved to a high level, without loss of size, but paradoxically, symmetry survived less well. It was concluded that the level of knapping skill, in all transmission scenarios, was a key factor in the formation of attribute variation. Difficulty experienced when aligning results from experimentally produced transmission biases with archaeological assemblages, demonstrated that in reality, cultural transmission was likely a fluid process where differing biases occurred at different times within the lifecycle of each Palaeolithic group. The specific signal provided by archaeological assemblages is likely to reflect the skill level and position of the knappers within that cycle, rather than the existence of a singular type of transmission bias. This approach provides new and enhanced ideas on the nature of cultural transmission in the Middle Pleistocene groups of Homo heidelbergensis, reinforcing the importance of teaching in the culture evolutionary process.

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