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The animate house, the institutionalization of the household in Neolithic central Anatolia

Baird, D; Fairbairn, A; Martin, L; (2017) The animate house, the institutionalization of the household in Neolithic central Anatolia. World Archaeology , 49 (5) pp. 753-776. 10.1080/00438243.2016.1215259. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper explores the effectiveness of a domestic mode of production model in explaining the development of Neolithic households in South-west Asia, using evidence from the site of Boncuklu in central Anatolia. We present evidence that Boncuklu households were institutionalized through repetitive practice, highly structured and symbolically charged domestic activity, ritual and symbolism stressing the animate and transcendental nature of the house, relating to continuity and idiosyncratic identity display. The Boncuklu evidence also suggests supra-household groups, possibly bound together by certain landscape exploitation activities, were reinforced by their own distinctive ritual practices and symbolism in parallel with and probably in a certain tension with the cohesive tendencies of individual households, even in the absence of evidence of monumental non-domestic communal structures seen at some Neolithic sites. This suggests the domestic mode of production model does not apply well to Neolithic South-west Asia, certainly for long time periods and in certain regions.

Type: Article
Title: The animate house, the institutionalization of the household in Neolithic central Anatolia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2016.1215259
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2016.1215259
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Neolithic, households, symbolism, skulls, bucrania, corporate groups
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
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/1526389
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