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BRINGING IN THE DEAD: BURIALS AND THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVE ON KYTHERA IN THE SECOND PALACE PERIOD

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Summary. 

This article analyses the mortuary data of the ‘Second Palace’ period (c. 1700–1450 BC) on the Aegean island of Kythera. It proposes that the chamber tombs which were first introduced to the island in this period can offer potential insights into aspects of local-level social relations, especially at the central site of Kastri. This approach complements the broader cultural perspective that has usually been taken regarding these tombs, which have been viewed as indicators of Cretan cultural influence and, indeed, colonization. It is proposed that a strong horizontal in-group solidarity was being expressed by the tomb-using group at Kastri through spatial and diachronic uniformity in burial practices, and that this uniformity should be viewed at least partially as a response to local-level social agendas. The hypothesis is then explored that status identities were also being asserted in the burial sphere by at least some members of this group, through tomb location, the resources devoted to mortuary rituals and, perhaps, emphasis on lineage.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of ClassicsUniversity of CambridgeSidgwick AvenueCambridge CB3 9DA

Publication date: 2007-08-01

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