The Scientific Investigation and Cultural Implications for the Use of Prestigious Substances in the Ancient Mediterranean
Author(s): Zuzana Chovanec
The role of organic residue analysis in archaeological research has shifted from an intermittent side project of interested analytical specialists to becoming standard components of an archaeological research program with a growing number of archaeologists being trained in both excavation and analytical instrumentation. Such developments within the field of archaeology not only highlight the benefits of applying a range of scientific techniques, but also expand the scope of archaeological research questions. However, as organic residue analysis becomes an increasingly technical and specialized sub-discipline of archaeology, much explanatory time focuses on integrating scientific data with archaeological material correlates with perhaps less consideration of broader anthropological implications. This paper aims to examine the interpretative progression from archaeological site, through scientific analysis, and ending with broader cultural implications as they pertain specifically to the case of the use of psychoactive substances on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The investigation of the history of intoxication in the Mediterranean Basin is fraught with interpretative problems, chief amongst which is the fact that the substances being investigated have long histories of use with wide geographic ranges. Further issues that will be addressed pertain to the documentation of organic substances in prehistoric settings.
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The Scientific Investigation and Cultural Implications for the Use of Prestigious Substances in the Ancient Mediterranean. Zuzana Chovanec. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431912)
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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;
Abstract Id(s): 16050