A Bottom-Up Approach to Understanding Changes in Social Complexity during the Prehistoric Bronze Age on Cyprus
Author(s): Laura Swantek
For at least the last 5,000 years, competition for social and economic control led to the acquisition of social power and wealth by some individuals or groups and the emergence of complex social systems. This paper will present the preliminary results of a larger study intended to identify the changing network structures that underlie society at the household, village and regional scales and led to the emergence of social complexity as a system level phenomenon during the Prehistoric Bronze Age on Cyprus (2400-1700 Cal BCE). Using data from excavated settlements and cemeteries as proxies for facets of social and economic inequality including differential access to resources, labor and exchange networks, this research quantifies wealth based on Gini Coefficients and identifies changes in social networks and the emergence of social complexity through time and across space. It incorporates theories and methodologies developed in the interdisciplinary field of complex systems science and network theory in conjunction with anthropological thinking. The results of this work will give us an understanding of how social complexity emerges and changes in middle-range society and offers a more in-depth understanding of the Prehistoric Bronze Age on Cyprus.
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A Bottom-Up Approach to Understanding Changes in Social Complexity during the Prehistoric Bronze Age on Cyprus. Laura Swantek. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398308)