The second voyage of Odysseus: Tale of the traveling warrior of Bronze Age Europe

Author(s): Tamas Polanyi

Year: 2016


Elites and the deconstruction of elite-centered perspectives of past societies have long been at the focus of archaeological approaches. In European Bronze Age research there is a revitalized interest in reconnecting diverse regions and understanding them as parts of an abstract pan-European ideological system - the warrior ethos. The primary theoretical vehicle employed in this endeavor, institutional analysis of synchronic societies, draws our attention to social and political structures created, modified and transformed from the top, chiefly by a narrow group of warrior elites. Warriors became the new "super actors" who single-handedly shape their communities and connect them into inter-regional flows of prestige goods, new and advanced technologies, and knowledge. In archaeological interpretations warrior institutions are defined, constructed and reproduced by not merely a set of signifying objects, a ‘symbolic package’, uncovered mostly in burials; but by a shared life style and a common set of practices. In this paper I attempt to complicate this rather one-dimensional understanding of local communities by employing a gender-sensitive contextual analysis of multiple cemeteries and an inter-contextual approach to (re)evaluate assumed regalia of warriors.

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The second voyage of Odysseus: Tale of the traveling warrior of Bronze Age Europe. Tamas Polanyi. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404761)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;