Social Memory and Identity in the Mesara Landscape: Collective Island Memory Contrasting with Strategies of Empire

DSpace Repository

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Urcid, Javier
dc.contributor.advisor Koh, Andrew J. Susmann, Natalie 2013-05-22T16:17:30Z 2013-05-22T16:17:30Z 2013
dc.description.abstract This thesis focuses on the power center shifts in the Mesara (Crete) between Phaistos, Ayia Triada, and Gortyn from the Neolithic to Roman periods. After a critical analysis of Minoan archaeology and the way the term “palaces” (termed “court-centered buildings”) has hindered state formation theory, I hypothesize that Phaistos was a disembedded capital for the Mesara. Additionally, I consider the active role of landscape, primarily how certain natural features being identified as meaningful by past settlement could have dictated the initial decision to place the court-centered building at Phaistos. Via an exploration of collective memory, I identify the Kamares cave as one of those meaningful features, demonstrative of sociocultural significance even prior to the construction of the court-centered building. Depending on the political period, the acknowledgement of Phaistos as a locale of significance varies. Landscape theory helps us understand which location was significant during any given period. Essentially, the acknowledgement and influence of collective memory grants landscape a more active role in determining locations of importance, meaning that buildings are simply a marker. If the Phaistos court-centered building did not exist, the location would still be considered culturally significant to the inhabitants who shared the collective memory of the region. The assumption of power by local external forces, such as the Knossians and Mycenaeans, demonstrates an interesting balance between acknowledging preexisting collective memory, and wanting to define a new order. When drastic landscape transformation occurs, and previous sociocultural associations are abandoned, buildings are no longer just a marker, and actually hold power. Thus, the construction of Gortyn and the fall of Phaistos demonstrate a lack of concern for the previously culturally significant location, and how Gortyn, a location lacking in cultural meaning (though defensibly sensible) become a locale of power simply by the presence of a building.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Natalie M. Susmann 2013
dc.subject Crete
dc.subject Mesara
dc.subject Phaistos
dc.subject Ayia Triada
dc.subject Gortyn
dc.subject Minoan
dc.subject Archaeology
dc.subject Anthropology
dc.subject Collective Memory
dc.title Social Memory and Identity in the Mesara Landscape: Collective Island Memory Contrasting with Strategies of Empire
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Graduate Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies MA Masters Ancient Greek and Roman Studies Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search BIR


My Account