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

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dc.contributor.advisor Urcid, Javier
dc.contributor.advisor Koh, Andrew J.
dc.contributor.author Susmann, Natalie
dc.date.accessioned 2013-05-22T16:17:30Z
dc.date.available 2013-05-22T16:17:30Z
dc.date.issued 2013-05-22
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/24931
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. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.rights Copyright by Natalie M. Susmann 2013 en_US
dc.subject Crete en_US
dc.subject Mesara en_US
dc.subject Phaistos en_US
dc.subject Ayia Triada en_US
dc.subject Gortyn en_US
dc.subject Minoan en_US
dc.subject Archaeology en_US
dc.subject Anthropology en_US
dc.subject Collective Memory en_US
dc.title Social Memory and Identity in the Mesara Landscape: Collective Island Memory Contrasting with Strategies of Empire en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.department Graduate Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies


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