Mortuary Ritual and Society in Bronze Age Cyprus...

Book Details

Author  Priscilla Keswani
Publisher  Equinox Publishing
Publication Date   December 1, 2006
ISBN  1845532821
Pages  188

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Description

A ground-breaking investigation of burial practices and social transformations in the era when Cypriot agricultural communities moved from village to urban life and became major players in the eastern Mediterranean copper trade. The author develops an innovative theoretical and methodological approach that enables her to define and elucidate the shifting spatial relationships between tombs and habitation areas, the elaboration of rituals involving secondary treatment and collective burial, and changing patterns of mortuary expenditure and symbolism throughout the Bronze Age. Keswani proposes that during the Early-Middle Bronze periods, the growing elaboration of mortuary festivities and their crucial importance in negotiating status hierarchies contributed to the intensification of Cypriot copper production and the expansion of interregional exchange relations. Subsequent changes in mortuary practice suggest that the importance of collective burial rites and traditional modes of ritual display diminished over the course of the Late Bronze Age, as urban institutions multiplied and the bases of social prestige were transformed.

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