Contextual reappraisal of excavated evidence found under the palace at Phaistos has shown that most Neolithic and EBA deposits represent the debris of large-scale events of consumption of food and drink operating at a communal level and taking place at multiple locations on the hill. On the basis of this evidence, it has been proposed that during the EBA the Phaistos hill functioned, not as a canonical settlement, but rather as a place of encounter where a wider regional population, resident beyond the hill, periodically gathered to participate in feasts, which served both to foster cooperation between individuals and to create a common regional identity (the so-called Mesara culture). This interpretation, in turn, raises the question of the function of certain red-floored buildings constructed in specific locations of the hill in each phase of the EBA. In this paper, focusing on the evidence available for the EM III period it will be argued that these red-floored buildings were communal buildings, constructed in strategic positions along the four main axes that connected the hill to its territory (from the south, west, north-west and north-east), by distinct corporate groups. These groups mobilised the necessary workforce for these construction projects through the use of the same system of ration-bowls, represented by the plain handleless cup. By cross-comparing the evidence available for EM III and MM II it will be argued that the introduction of plain handleless cups in EM III signalled the introduction of a system in which cooperation between groups is organised and managed through bottom-up actions (“dispersed corporate grouping”), and not through top-down actions directed by a leader or by a single leading group (central authority).

‘The ties that bind’ . Food consumption and the construction of corporate identities in Early Bronze Age Mesara

simona v. Todaro
2023-01-01

Abstract

Contextual reappraisal of excavated evidence found under the palace at Phaistos has shown that most Neolithic and EBA deposits represent the debris of large-scale events of consumption of food and drink operating at a communal level and taking place at multiple locations on the hill. On the basis of this evidence, it has been proposed that during the EBA the Phaistos hill functioned, not as a canonical settlement, but rather as a place of encounter where a wider regional population, resident beyond the hill, periodically gathered to participate in feasts, which served both to foster cooperation between individuals and to create a common regional identity (the so-called Mesara culture). This interpretation, in turn, raises the question of the function of certain red-floored buildings constructed in specific locations of the hill in each phase of the EBA. In this paper, focusing on the evidence available for the EM III period it will be argued that these red-floored buildings were communal buildings, constructed in strategic positions along the four main axes that connected the hill to its territory (from the south, west, north-west and north-east), by distinct corporate groups. These groups mobilised the necessary workforce for these construction projects through the use of the same system of ration-bowls, represented by the plain handleless cup. By cross-comparing the evidence available for EM III and MM II it will be argued that the introduction of plain handleless cups in EM III signalled the introduction of a system in which cooperation between groups is organised and managed through bottom-up actions (“dispersed corporate grouping”), and not through top-down actions directed by a leader or by a single leading group (central authority).
2023
9782390613633
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/584269
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