Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


8 January 2015

Migration, mobility and craftspeople in the Aegean Bronze Age: a case study from Ayia Irini on the island of Kea

Natalie Abell World Archaeology 46:4 (2014), 551-568


This paper investigates the question of human mobility from a practice-centered perspective, and argues for the value of such approaches in elucidating how new ideas and objects enter a community and become ‘local’ over time. In particular, I focus on the Middle Bronze Age in the Aegean Sea, and the foundation of a new settlement on the island of Kea, at Ayia Irini, apparently aimed to take advantage of an intensification of interregional trade and rising interest in the substantial metal resources at Lavrion, just opposite Ayia Irini on the coast of Attica. On the basis of the kinds of objects produced by local craftspeople, and the techniques used to do so, it is argued that the settlement of Ayia Irini incorporated people from diverse regions; the movement and integration of non-local people into the community over time resulted in an assemblage of artifacts and a way of life in the Aegean that was distinctively multicultural.


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