Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


2 August 2016

Reciprocity: a response

Sarah P. Morris Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 29.1 (2016): 111-118


This response to a set of wide-ranging papers on the dimensions of reciprocity in Bronze Age Greece introduces three areas for further research, in order to expand the framework in terms of gender, space, and time. These include greater emphasis on the role of women and gender relations in the circulation of labor, land, goods, and prestige; the question of reciprocal relations beyond the Aegean; and, last but not least, the afterlife of prehistoric relationships of reciprocity in ritual practices and elite display in Iron Age Greece. Alternate methodologies are required for these investigations, particularly in archaeological science for exploring diet, health, and foodways that indicate access to resources, in the analysis of non-Aegean documents relevant to Late Bronze Age Greece, and in the juxtaposition of Homeric views of reciprocity with those identified in Bronze Age Greece. As in the evolving development of theories of reciprocity and gift exchange over a century, the ethnographic and ethnohistoric record, largely outside Greece, informs Aegean research.


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