Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


2 February 2016

Bodies Transformed: Negotiations of Identity in Chalcolithic Cyprus

Kirsi O. Lorentz European Journal of Archaeology 17.2 (April 2014): 229-247


This paper focuses on how the human body, and the dead body in particular, was used to create social categories and identities in prehistoric Cyprus. Specifically, it explores how a particular condition, such as death, was integrated into social processes, and how the treatment of dead bodies both created and reinforced social categories and identities. The material the paper focuses on is the mortuary evidence from Chalcolithic Cyprus (3800–2300 BC). In particular, it argues that the extensive, intentional manipulation of dead bodies and human remains visible in Cypriot Chalcolithic cemeteries was aimed at integrating the individual to communal, collective wholes on the occasion of death and during the time period that followed.


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