Spaces Become Places: Monumental Place-making and Social Interaction in the Late Cypriot Bronze Age
Monumentality, Place-making and Social Interaction on Late Bronze Age Cyprus - (Volume 17) - Kevin D. Fisher
Kevin D. Fisher [+]
University of British Columbia
In Chapter 8, I synthesize the results of these micro-scale analyses through a discussion of how monumental places were created and used. This begins with an examination of the materiality of monumental construction, taking a chaîne opératoire approach that considers the affordances and meanings of building materials. I focus mainly on how ashlar masonry came to be such an effective means of materializing monumentality and elite identity, before considering the significance of other materials, including rubble masonry, mudbrick, plaster, and wood. This is followed by a discussion of observed patterns in the spatial configuration and architectural properties of LC monumental buildings, particularly in terms of potential locations for various types of social interaction. I frame the rest of the synthesis in terms of how Late Cypriot monumental buildings were places of ritual performance, focusing on the commensal politics of feasting, which could be used to create and display social distance between host and guest or downplay difference as a means of promoting wider community identities. Cultic practice worked in a similar manner while adding an additional dimension of legitimation. I conclude the chapter by exploring the relationship between monumentality, identity and social memory during the Late Bronze Age, emphasizing the interplay of human and material agency in the creation of memorable, embodied experiences.