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Negotiating Island Identities


The Active Use of Pottery in the Middle and Late Bronze Age Cyclades


Negotiating Island Identities explores the history of interaction between Crete and the Cycladic islands from the late Middle to Late Bronze II periods when Minoan influence was at its peak. Based on a thorough investigation of pottery assemblages from key sites, the book advocates a rethink of established acculturation scenarios (such as “Minoanisation”) in relation to the Cycladic islands. Openness or closure towards outside influences was not predetermined by cultural, geographical or ecological variables but was socially constructed. Island communities could consciously fashion their worlds and make choices about the nature and degree of interaction with their neighbours.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0392-4
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 26,2014
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 252
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0392-4
$90.00
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Negotiating Island Identities explores the history of interaction between Crete and the Cycladic islands from the late Middle to Late Bronze II periods when Minoan influence was at its peak. Based on a thorough investigation of pottery assemblages from key sites, the book advocates a rethink of established acculturation scenarios (such as "Minoanisation") in relation to the Cycladic islands. Openness or closure towards outside influences was not predetermined by cultural, geographical or ecological variables but was socially constructed and, in some cases, might even be considered a conscious social strategy. As such, the book contrasts static and deterministic models of insularity and contact with complex, flexible and culturally determined perspectives which acknowledge the ability of island communities to consciously fashion their worlds and make choices about the nature and degree of interaction with their neighbours.

More controversially, perhaps, the author argues that Minoanisation, just like subsequent Mycenaeanisation and preceding Middle Helladic influence, should be understood merely as a particular "fashion trend" within long-standing and ever-changing Cycladic acquisition patterns rather than an exceptional phenomenon imposed by a culturally superior Cretan culture.

Ina Berg is Lecturer of Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Manchester. She holds an MPhil in Classics and a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge, UK. Her research focuses on the Cyclades (Greece) in the Middle and Late Bronze Age, in particular the question of cultural interaction between Minoans and the Cycladic islanders. She has also published numerous articles on ceramics, including the application of X-radiography.

Negotiating Island Identities explores the history of interaction between Crete and the Cycladic islands from the late Middle to Late Bronze II periods when Minoan influence was at its peak. Based on a thorough investigation of pottery assemblages from key sites, the book advocates a rethink of established acculturation scenarios (such as "Minoanisation") in relation to the Cycladic islands. Openness or closure towards outside influences was not predetermined by cultural, geographical or ecological variables but was socially constructed and, in some cases, might even be considered a conscious social strategy. As such, the book contrasts static and deterministic models of insularity and contact with complex, flexible and culturally determined perspectives which acknowledge the ability of island communities to consciously fashion their worlds and make choices about the nature and degree of interaction with their neighbours.

More controversially, perhaps, the author argues that Minoanisation, just like subsequent Mycenaeanisation and preceding Middle Helladic influence, should be understood merely as a particular "fashion trend" within long-standing and ever-changing Cycladic acquisition patterns rather than an exceptional phenomenon imposed by a culturally superior Cretan culture.

Ina Berg is Lecturer of Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Manchester. She holds an MPhil in Classics and a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge, UK. Her research focuses on the Cyclades (Greece) in the Middle and Late Bronze Age, in particular the question of cultural interaction between Minoans and the Cycladic islanders. She has also published numerous articles on ceramics, including the application of X-radiography.

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Contributor Biography

Ina Berg

Ina Berg is Lecturer at of Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Manchester. She holds an MPhil in Classics and a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge, UK. Her research focuses on the Cyclades (Greece) in the Middle and Late Bronze Age, in particular the question of cultural interaction between Minoans and the Cycladic islanders. She has also published numerous articles on ceramics, including the application of X-radiography.

  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • List of Illustrations (page 9)
  • List of Tables (page 11)
  • Preface (page 13)
  • Acknowledgments (page 23)
  • Abbreviations and Dating Conventions (page 25)
  • 1. Islands in Time (page 29)
  • 2. Aspects of Cycladic Island Life (page 47)
    • Tides, currents, and winds (page 50)
    • Sails and oars (page 51)
    • Navigation (page 54)
    • Summary (page 54)
    • Soils (page 60)
    • Water (page 62)
    • Erosion (page 64)
    • Cultivated and wild plants (page 67)
    • Domesticated and wild animals (page 68)
    • Products of the sea: fish and marine invertebrates (page 70)
    • Mortality rates and life expectancy (page 78)
    • Height (page 79)
    • Diet, malnutrition, and nutritional deficiencies (page 80)
    • Disease (page 80)
    • Medical knowledge (page 85)
  • 3. Cultural Interaction and Minoanisation (page 89)
  • 4. A Local Perspective on Minoanisation: The Pottery from Phylakopi on Melos (page 101)
    • Melian fabrics (page 106)
    • Forming techniques (page 112)
    • Decoration (page 118)
    • Discussion (page 120)
    • The organization of the Melian pottery production (page 124)
    • Minoan imports (page 132)
    • Conclusion (page 137)
  • 5. Island Strategies in the Aegean (page 139)
    • Discussion (page 142)
    • Keian fabrics (page 144)
    • Forming technique (page 145)
    • Minoan imports and local imitations (page 147)
    • Other imports and local imitations (page 148)
    • Discussion (page 150)
    • Naxian fabrics (page 154)
    • Forming technique (page 154)
    • Minoan imports and local imitations (page 155)
    • Other imports (page 155)
    • Discussion (page 156)
    • Parian fabrics (page 157)
    • Forming technique (page 158)
    • Minoan imports and local imitations (page 158)
    • Other imports and local imitations (page 158)
    • Discussion (page 159)
    • Aiginetan fabrics (page 160)
    • Imports and local imitations (page 161)
    • Discussion (page 162)
    • Kytheran fabrics (page 165)
    • Forming technique (page 165)
    • Minoan imports and local production (page 165)
    • Other imports and local imitations (page 166)
    • Discussion (page 167)
    • The adoption of the potter’s wheel (page 168)
    • Minoan imports and local imitations (page 170)
    • Import strategies (page 171)
  • 6. Islands in Context (page 181)
  • 7. Conclusions (page 197)
  • Bibliography (page 201)
  • Index (page 249)
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