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Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

ARTICLES | 2010

11 May 2011

Social strategies, ritual and cosmology in Early Bronze Age Cyprus: An investigation of burial data from the north coast

J.M. Webb & D. Frankel Levant 42.2 (2010): 185-209.

Abstract

Early Bronze Age communities on the north coast of Cyprus developed a distinctive ceramic tradition with a rich array of forms, including ritual vessels with symbolically complex decoration reflecting the importance of horned animals and other phenomena in a local cosmology. These were deposited in tombs together with decorated drinking bowls and quantities of cattle bones, suggesting the high cost of funerary events. In addition, some tombs appear to have been the scene of ongoing ritual activities and possibly mortuary ‘shrines’. These and other forms of patterned behaviour relating to death and burial served to promote new forms of authority through connections with ancestors. North coast mortuary ceremonial also played a key role in the longer-term development of ritual iconography and ritualized practices in Bronze Age Cyprus.

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