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Animals and socio-economy in Late Bronze to Early Iron Age Greece: a zooarchaeological perspective from Lefkandi, Euboea

Mulhall, AD; (2016) Animals and socio-economy in Late Bronze to Early Iron Age Greece: a zooarchaeological perspective from Lefkandi, Euboea. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis re-evaluates the nature, organisation and development of Greek animal socio-economy between ca. 1200 and 700 B.C., focusing predominantly on the domestic livestock at the centre of day-to-day exploitation strategies. Such a re-evaluation is overdue given that there have been few significant advances in our understanding of contemporary human-animal interactions since the traditional ‘Dark Age’ perspectives directed towards this timeframe first received wide-scale rejection over 40 years ago. Indeed, critical evaluation shows that existing socio-economic models are extremely limited and subject to similar underlying problems: a reliance on ‘pastoralism’ concepts without sufficient definition in context; the subconscious pervasiveness of outdated economic theories; and an over-extrapolation of limited and often poorly representative or methodologically unsound zooarchaeological data. Through the original analysis of large and previously unstudied animal bone assemblages (ca. 50,000 fragments) from Lefkandi, Euboea – which was occupied from ca. 2100 to 700 B.C. and flourished after 1200 B.C. – this thesis elucidates animal socio-economy from a site-based perspective. Aware of the pitfalls of generating a purely economic account, zooarchaeological investigations focus on exploitation and management strategies, live animal welfare, and the processing and utilisation of carcasses. Concurrently, appropriate attention is directed towards recognising the impacts of taphonomic and sampling biases. In order to place intra-site results within a wider context, comparative analyses of suitable datasets from other Greek sites are conducted so as to detect regional patterning and determine the appropriateness of data extrapolation. Drawing together these various lines of research, the existing socio-economic hypotheses are determined to be inadequate. Instead, the zooarchaeological remains from Lefkandi are assessed to formulate a new multifaceted model of animal socio-economy that emphasises the fundamental continuities across the span of the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages. The wider relevance of this model is carefully assessed, with significant though selective extrapolative potential being determined.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Animals and socio-economy in Late Bronze to Early Iron Age Greece: a zooarchaeological perspective from Lefkandi, Euboea
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
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 SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473729
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