Email address: MMonaco1@sheffield.ac.uk
A critical examination of social stratification in prehistoric Cyprus using skeletal and funerary data
This project is designed to investigate the emergence of social stratification through the analysis of osteological and archaeological material from Chalcolithic - Late Bronze Age Cypriot cemeteries. An integrated approach will enable the combination of skeletal evidence for activity and lifestyle with select funerary elements sensitive to social changes (e.g. grave goods, tomb architecture) in order to generate new data to critically review status-based differentiation within prehistoric communities.
The rise of elites in prehistoric Cyprus is a widely-debated by archaeological scholars. Nevertheless, there is little consensus on the answers to essential question such how to identify the incipient stages of this social phenomenon or the definition of probable indicators of social status within the archaeological record. While funerary evidence has long been a key source of data in these debates, skeletal analysis has been widely neglected. Moreover, recent excavations of crucial archaeological sites have provided new evidence, both funerary and osteological, which may transform our perception of social complexity in prehistoric cultures.
In consequence, an integrated approach to this argument capitalizing on skeletal and funerary as well as old and new data has become critical, as new, more effective methods have been developed to interpret the bodily implications of social inequalities.