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Dwelling among ruins: landscapes in the late 8th century BC Argolic Plain, Greece

Authors
Publication Date
Keywords
  • De The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
  • Df Greece
  • Bl Religion
Disciplines
  • Archaeology

Abstract

This thesis explores the meaningful character of traces of earlier occupation and burial locations visible in the late 8th century BC landscape of the Argolic Plain in the northeast Peloponnese, Greece. It will be argued that, where ruined former habitation remains and burials were observed in the contemporary landscape, these locations were regarded as meaningful places. In the past, scholarly interest has predominantly focussed on late 8th century BC votive activity and burial reuse in connection with Bronze Age chamber tombs and tholoi. However, this thesis will demonstrate that these activities should not be dislocated from the wider landscape but, rather, should be considered alongside contemporaneous interconnected behaviour. In support of this position, evidence of ritual performances among the ruins of abandoned former Bronze Age acropolis locations; placing of burials within the ruins of Bronze Age buildings; and establishment of shrines within areas of Bronze and Early Iron Age cemeteries will be considered along with data specific to late 8th century BC activities in connection with Bronze Age chamber tombs and tholoi. It will be established that these trends should be viewed collectively as a single phenomenon acknowledging locations where earlier occupation and burial remains were observed as places appropriate for the performance of rituals or burial of the dead in the late 8th century BC. This thesis will implement a landscape archaeology approach along with contextual analysis of the data and will propose an interpretation of late 8th century BC interest in earlier constructions visible in the contemporary landscape. This interpretation will assert a potential ideological connection between the location of ritual performances in association with previous occupation or burial areas and the regenerative qualities of the earth.

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