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Prehistoric and Protohistoric CyprusIdentity, Insularity, and Connectivity$
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A. Bernard Knapp

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199237371

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237371.001.0001

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Protohistoric Bronze Age Cyprus (ProBA): A Sociohistorical Approach

Protohistoric Bronze Age Cyprus (ProBA): A Sociohistorical Approach

(p.131) 4 Protohistoric Bronze Age Cyprus (ProBA): A Sociohistorical Approach
Prehistoric and Protohistoric Cyprus

Bernard A. Knapp (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a comprehensive discussion of Protohistoric Bronze Age Cyprus (ca. 1650–1100 BC) and its material record, which is characterized by several striking changes: town centres with monumental architecture; new, socially‐stratified burial practices; first appearance of writing (Cypro‐Minoan); intensification of copper production and development of extensive trade contacts; fortifications and other martial paraphernalia. This transformed material record indicates that Cypriot society was no longer egalitarian, isolated, or village‐oriented but rather had become socially stratified, internationally‐oriented and town‐centred. The successful production and trade of Cyprus's copper resources together with the generation of agricultural surpluses indicate that political authority on the island had become centralized. The key indicators of a stratified, complex society are considered through detailed examination of settlement trends (site hierarchy), socio‐political organization (architecture, mortuary practices, seals, sealings), production and exchange (copper, metals, jewellery, luxury goods, storage facilities, seal impressions), gendered representations (terracotta and metal figurines), mortuary practices (pottery, metal objects, luxury imports), monumentality and memory (architecture, sites), migration, hybridization, and the Aegean ‘colonization’ of Cyprus (pottery, metals and metallurgy, ivories, figurines, seals, architectural features, burials). All these materials typically reveal a mixture of Cypriot, Levantine, and Aegean elements, and are more likely to reflect an amalgam of ideas and influences from all of them rather than proof for an origin (or colonization) from one any single one.

Keywords:   complex society, monumentality and memory, settlement trends, production, exchange, gendered representations, migration, hybridization, Aegean colonization

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