Death in Late Bronze Age Greece: Variations on a Theme

ISBN : 9780190926069

Joanne M. A. Murphy
360 ページ
156 x 235 mm

Late Bronze Age tombs in Greece and their attendant mortuary practices have been a topic of scholarly debate for over a century, dominated by the idea of a monolithic culture with the same developmental trajectories throughout the region. This book contributes to that body of scholarship by exploring both the level of variety and of similarity that we see in the practices at each site and thereby highlights the differences between communities that otherwise look very similar.

The introduction of wealthy burials in the transition from the Middle Helladic period and the building of elaborate tombs during the Late Bronze Age underscores a long-acknowledged change in cultural importance of burials and their locations for contemporary society.
Initially archaeologists were interested in these tombs because of the impressive finds that were discovered in them, but as the body of literature on mortuary rituals has grown more recently these tombs have been utilized as lenses through which we can study the related society in novel ways.

By bringing together an international group of scholars working on tombs and cemeteries on mainland Greece, Crete, and in the Dodecanese we are afforded a unique view of the development and diversity of these communities. The papers provide a penetrative analysis of the related issues by discussing tombs connected with sites ranging in size from palaces to towns to villages and in date from the start to the end of the Late Bronze Age. Death in Late Bronze Age Greece contextualizes the mortuary studies in recent debates on diversity at the main palatial and secondary sites and between the economic and political strategies and practices throughout Greece. The papers in the volume illustrate the pervasive connection between the mortuary sphere and society through the creation and expression of cultural narratives, and draw attention to the social tensions played out in the mortuary arena.


1. Introduction and Discussion of Late Bronze Age Mortuary Practices

Joanne M. A. Murphy

2. Late Bronze Age Tombs at the Palace of Nestor, Pylos

Joanne M. A. Murphy, Sharon R. Stocker, Jack L. Davis, and Lynne A. Schepartz

3. 'You Can't Take It With You.' The Socio-political Context of Changing Burial Traditions During the Mycenaean Palatial Period at Mycenae and Prosymna

Kim Shelton

4. The Mycenaean Cemetery of Deiras in a Local and Regional Context

Nikolas Papadimitriou, Anna Philippa-Touchais, and Gilles Touchais

5. The Mycenaean Cemetery at Ayia Sotira, Nemea R.

Angus K. Smith, Mary K. Dabney, and James C. Wright

6. The Mycenaean Cemetery at Clauss, near Patras. The Rise and Fall of a Local Society towards the End of an Era

Constantinos Paschalidis

7. Death in Early Mycenaean Achaea

Lena Papazoglou-Manioudaki

8. The Chamber Tombs of the Trapeza, Aigion: Preliminary Observations on Rituals of a Small Mycenaean Community

Elizabetta Borgna and Gaspare De Angeli

9. Claiming Social Identities in the Mortuary Landscape of the Late Bronze Age Communities of Northern Greece

Sevi Triantaphylou and Stelios Andreou

10. Landscape, Feasting, and Ancestors in the Burial Tradition of Mycenaean Rhodes

Mercourios Georgiadis

11. Langada Revisited: Construction Practices, Space, and Socio-Cultural Identity in the Koan Burial Arena During the Mycenaean Palatial and Postpalatial Periods

Calla Mc Namee and Salvatore Vitale

12. Middle Minoan III Late Minoan IIIB Tombs and Funerary Practices in South- Central Crete

Luca Girella

13. The Power of the Dead: The Late Minoan III Cemeteries of Mochlos and Myrsini

R. Angus Smith

14. Funerary Practices, Female Identities, and the Clay Pyxis in Late Minoan III Crete

Anna Lucia D'Agata


Dr Murphy holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati (Ph.D.), and University College Dublin, and studies Greek archaeology, archaeological methods and theory, the archaeology of religion, and the archaeology of mortuary systems. She is Director of the Kea Archaeological Research Survey that examines the value of pedestrian survey as an archaeological method.