Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


5 December 2016

Death and burial in the age of the Cypriot city-kingdoms: social complexity based on the mortuary evidence

Sarah Janes Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 370 (NOV. 2013): 145-168


The major tenet of this paper is that mortuary behavior is a vehicle of social and political change leading to a heightened awareness of identity at death. Through shifting portrayals of identity and changes in the mortuary record, it is possible to highlight developments in the sociopolitical landscape over time and between regions. Employing a rigorous method¬ological approach, new analytical techniques—specifically, spatial and temporal analysis using GIS—and applying carefully constructed theoretical perspectives, this approach can bring a much-needed nuance to age-old questions about the complexities of the island’s sociopolitical development during the Iron Age, 1100-312 B.C. The focus of this paper lies on the extensive yet complex mortuary remains of the Iron Age. Questions of to whom the burial record speaks, and how, are central to our grasp of social complexity, power interactions, and regional development of the Iron Age political territories. Detailed studies of Amathus and Salamis explore these themes and offer nuanced insights into the sociopolitical trajectories of individual polities, their territories, and the island as a whole.


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