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The dynamics of isolation and interaction in Late Bronze Age Thrace

Nenova, Denitsa Nikolaeva; (2018) The dynamics of isolation and interaction in Late Bronze Age Thrace. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In a period when complex systems of Bronze Age social life and urban communities were well-established in the Aegean and Anatolia, the southeast corner of the Balkans, commonly known as Thrace, appears to have remained largely unaffected. Nevertheless, the presence of a few similar artefacts between the latter and the first two regions during the 2nd millennium BC has provoked scholars to propose various forms of cultural encounter. This has diverted the research focus in Thrace from a thorough examination of local characteristics and, along with the lack of much systematic study, has limited our understanding of internal social patterns of development. Moreover, the existing partition of the area among Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey and repeated amendments to borders throughout the 20th century has further constrained synthetic archaeological investigations. Bearing in mind that modern political divisions do not necessarily coincide with any prehistoric social pattern, this thesis approaches the Late Bronze Age (LBA) in Thrace from an alternative contextual and geographic perspective. More than a hundred LBA sites have now been identified in the area of modern day Bulgaria, and there is a wealth of complementary information from north-eastern Greece, with a contrasting possible gap in Turkish Thrace. In this dissertation, a new, detailed cross-border examination of the local ceramics calls into question existing culture-historical constructs such as the ‘Plovdiv-Zimnicea’ culture and offers a chronologically structured analysis of local pottery sequences. Complementary multivariate spatial analysis of the site distribution reveals settlement patterns with different micro-regional characteristics. As a result, the study highlights clusters of attributes and cycles of micro-regional interaction and independence at this key location of potential Eurasian articulation. Ultimately, a general pattern of isolation in the final phases of the Bronze Age can be recast by considering a combination of both persistent vectors of long-range contact and also a high degree of local cultural diversity.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The dynamics of isolation and interaction in Late Bronze Age Thrace
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from Volume 1 of the ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042028
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