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Transport Stirrup Jars in Context: Post-palatial Politics and Social Resilience in Late Bronze Age Greece

Author(s): Trevor Van Damme

Year: 2017

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Entanglement theory highlights the dynamic relationship between actors and the objects they create. Recent application of entanglement theory within the framework of post-collapse societies holds much promise for highlighting the role of human actors as agents of resilience. Following the collapse of the palace system in Late Bronze Age Greece (c. 1200 BCE), there were shifts in the overall settlement pattern as a result of increased mobility and innovative technologies (e.g., iron). Within these post-palatial communities, the household offers a stable framework for understanding actor-object relationships within a contextualized setting. In this paper I discuss the actor-object dialectic with reference to a single vessel type, the transport stirrup jar (TSJ). TSJs were the primary vessel for moving bulk liquid commodities in the Aegean during the palatial period. Their production seems to have been closely tied to palatial interests in managing the production of wine and oil. By examining the find contexts of post-palatial TSJs, as well as discussing developments in form, I demonstrate that a shape previously associated with transport had been completely transformed into a functionally useless, but socially potent showpiece. These observations nuance previous understandings of the eventual disappearance of TSJs from the Mycenaean repertoire.

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Transport Stirrup Jars in Context: Post-palatial Politics and Social Resilience in Late Bronze Age Greece. Trevor Van Damme. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431673)


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Spatial Coverage

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

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Abstract Id(s): 15961

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America