Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Anthropology

Major Professor

Aleydis Van de Moortel

Committee Members

Ted C. Labotka, Boyce N. Driskell

Abstract

Important but seldom asked questions in the study of practice in Bronze Age Aegean society (ca. 3100-1100 B.C.) pertain to the acquisition and usage of stone material in architecture and ground stone tools. My main research questions are, “How did people’s choice of stone material change over time?” and “Why did stone usage change over time?” During the 2013 and 2014 study seasons at Mitrou, I studied the stone inclusions in clayey architectural materials, as well as stone types used in the site’s architecture, and stone types used for ground stone tools at the site. My geological identifications allowed me to first determine whether stone materials used at the site were obtained locally or were imported; then to understand how practices of Mitrou’s inhabitants changed over time with respect to stone materials; and lastly how these practices varied within the settlement of Mitrou. My research indicates that during times of socio-political change at Mitrou (Van de Moortel and Zahou 2012), the availability of various stone resources changed, as did practices with regard to these artifact classes.

Even though the production of architectural materials and ground stone tools is not well understood in the context of Bronze Age society in the Aegean, my work shows that they cannot be assumed to be completely local activities nor completely standardized activities. At Mitrou, people’s use of architectural materials changed drastically at the beginning of the Prepalatial period, and the use of ground stone tools also changed at several points during Mitrou’s 1500-year-long occupation, especially at the beginning of the Prepalatial period and during the Postpalatial period. These changes occurred in conjunction with the changing socio-political dynamics of the settlement.

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