This paper investigates aspects of community identity in the Aegean Islands and Crete through examination of their domestic environments, between c. 1200–900 BC, a period when Cycladic, Eastern Aegean islands and Crete were en-gaged in different social developments.
Sturt W. Manning, Carole McCartney, Bernd Kromer & Sarah T. Stewart Antiquity 84 (September 2010): 693–706.
Intensive survey and initial excavations have succeeded in pushing back the Neolithic human occupation of Cyprus to the earlier ninth millennium cal BC. Contemporary with PPNA in the Levant, and with signs of belonging to the same intellectual community, these were not marginalised foragers, but participants in the developing Neolithic project, which was therefore effectively networked over the sea.
When did upper Palaeolithic cave art come to be thought of as religious? The author shows an origin rooted in the intellectual movements of the later nineteenth century, and in particular in the personage and thought of Salomon Reinach.
P. Biagi & E. StarniniAntiquity 84 (September 2010): webpage.
During a study trip in the Lower Danube Valley in the summer of 2009, we crossed the western part of the Moesian Platform, along a route partly following the Iskar River Valley, which brought us to the Danube throughout Pleven and Nikopol. Here, along the road that runs parallel to the Zass’idere torrent, close to its confluence with the Danube at the southern outskirts of Nikopol, we noticed that the cutting of the earth road along the slopes of Ali Kach Baba hill had exposed a white chalk formation (Upper Cretaceous) with several embedded seams of flint nodules.
The body in the Neolithic was used as adequate symbolic medium which on the one hand strengthened the crucial features of individuals, while on the other was capable to explicate the essential function of particular objects and constructions. As result to this also the concept of imagery hybridism was deployed which incorporate human body within more complex segments of visual culture and symbolic communication.
This paper reviews the radiocarbon, stratigraphic and pottery evidence from five early pottery sites in SW Turkey. A comparison of the results with data from Ulucak in West Turkey indicates no significant time lag between these areas. The onset of Neolithic sites early in the 7th millennium calBC makes it difficult to link their emergence to the collapse theories applied to SE Anatolian societies at the end of the PPNB period. The chronology proposed is not compatible with allegedly contemporary developments in SE Europe.
In the Neolithic of Northern Greece the disposal of the deceased is strongly related to the community of the living, and in most cases to the built environment. Burials often occur in close proximity to, or underneath ‘domestic’ structures. The constant association of dead ancestors with the living social environment may indicate a particular desire by Neolithic people to negotiate their past by incorporating it into their own present.
This paper is an attempt to elucidate a rather understudied aspect of Neolithic imagery from Thessaly, Greece, objects representing phalli, and at the same time to consider the possibility that gender was not a prominent structuring principle in the past, allowing for the fact that phalli did not elicit a pervasive binary categorization of bodies, but instead were invoked in specific circumstances with particular objectives.
C. Knappett, D. Pirrie, M.R. Power, I. Nikolakopoulou, J. Hilditch & G.K. RollinsonJournal of Archaeological Science 38.2 (February 2011): 219-232.
A wide range of existing mineralogical and geochemical methodologies such as optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction, manual scanning electron microscopy, ICP-MS and INAA have been utilised in the analysis of ancient ceramics, in attempts to elucidate patterns of regional trade and interaction. However, advances in automated scanning electron microscopy with linked energy dispersive spectrometers (SEM-EDS) have created the potential to offer a seamless combination of textural and mineralogical data based on the acquisition of energy dispersive spectra that has so far been unattainable with existing techniques.
Eleftheria Paliou, David Wheatley & Graeme EarlJournal of Archaeological Science 38.2 (February 2011): 375-386.
In recent years various methods of visibility analysis have been applied to investigate human engagement, experience and socialisation within historic and prehistoric ‘natural’ and built environments. On many occasions these approaches appear to be either extremely limited or wholly inadequate for the interpretation of complex built structures and building interiors because they do not fully model the three-dimensional geometry of such spaces.
Michela SpataroJournal of Archaeological Science 38.2 (February 2011): 255-269.
This paper deals with the importance of chemical analyses in characterising prehistoric pottery fabrics. Two three-year projects focussed on the minero-petrographic and SEM/EDS analyses of the oldest pottery from south-east Europe (ca. 6000 cal BC).
Gérard Poupeau, François-Xavier Le Bourdonnec, Tristan Carter, Sarah Delerue, M. Steven Shackley, Jean-Alix Barrat, Stéphan Dubernet, Philippe Moretto, Thomas Calligaro, Marina Milić, Katsuji KobayashiJournal of Archaeological Science 37.11 (November 2010): 2705-2720.
In this paper we evaluate the relative analytical capabilities of SEM-EDS, PIXE and EDXRF for characterizing archaeologically significant Anatolian obsidians on the basis of their elemental compositions. The study involves 54 geological samples from various sources, together with an archaeological case study involving 100 artifacts from Neolithic Çatalhöyük (central Anatolia).
Charcoal and charred seeds at five Bronze Age archaeological sites discern ancient land use in the eastern Mediterranean. Seed frequencies of orchard crops, annual cereals and pulses, and wild or weedy plants are used to characterize plant utilization at different archaeological sites on the island of Cyprus, in the Rift Valley of Jordan, and in the Jabbul Plain and along the upper Euphrates River valley in Syria.
S. Sotiropoulou, V. Perdikatsis, Ch. Apostolaki, A.G. Karydas, A. Devetzi & K. BirtachaJournal of Archaeological Science 37.8 (August 2010): 1830-1840.
This paper refers to an investigation of finds that are associated with the raw materials and tools for the preparation or use of lead pigments at Akrotiri on Thera, Greece, during the Early, Middle and Late Cycladic Bronze Age (c. 3000–1600 BC). For the detection and the preliminary characterisation of remains of pigments that were found on stone tools, the in situ application of X-Ray Fluorescence spectroscopy proved to be invaluable.
Donald A. Davidson, Clare A. Wilson, Irene S. Lemos & S.P. TheocharopoulosJournal of Archaeological Science 37.7 (July 2010): 1564-1571.
Xeropolis is a tell site on the island of Euboea, Greece just to the east of the village of Lefkandi, and was occupied from the Early Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age. Excavations in recent years have provided an opportunity to investigate site formation processes using geoarchaeological and geochemical techniques.