Elite place-making and social interaction in the Late Cypriot Bronze Age
Kevin D. Fisher Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 22.2 (December 2009): 183-209.
Monumental buildings constructed with ashlar masonry have long been recognized as a hallmark of the Late Cypriot (LC) period (ca. 1650-1100 BC). Yet little attention has been paid to the vital role they played in the (trans)formation of social structures and maintenance of elite power. I examine how these buildings were designed to facilitate social interactions, including ritual activities centred on feasting, through which social statuses, roles and identities were negotiated and reproduced. This was achieved through the purposeful arrangement of rooms to control access and encourage or discourage particular types of interaction, as well as the strategic placement of symbolically-charged architectural elements such as ashlar masonry as a means of reifying social boundaries. Following from that, I suggest that these monumental buildings were socially-constructed and meaningful places of action and interaction and thus a central component of LC elite identities and the strategy of place-making, through which they derived and maintained their power.