Session: #513

Theme & Session Format

6. Material culture studies and societies
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Producing Power: Exploring the Relationship between Production and Socio-Economic Change in the Mediterranean from the Chalcolithic to the Iron Age
The rise of social complexity in the Mediterranean during late prehistory has been the object of many regional studies. The emergence of increasingly complex social hierarchies took place at different paces in different areas around the Mediterranean – e.g. in the Near East, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Iberia, north Africa – but also different tempos within these sub-regions. What were the socio-economic and political strategies through which these processes were articulated? Did they lead to similar production strategies across the Mediterranean? Are they identifiable in the archaeological record through indicators that are comparable between areas?

This session aims to gather specialists working on settlement patterns, material culture, architecture, and bioarchaeology from the Chalcolithic to the Iron Age from the Near East to the Atlantic façade of Iberia to explore the relationship between production and broader indicators of socio-economic change. Areas of production can include:
- Agricultural strategies, e.g. cereal production, processing, and storage;
- Zooarchaeological evidence for husbandry strategies and animal size;
- Pottery production, e.g. the development and diffusion of standardised forms (cooking vessels, transport vessels, fine tableware);

These will be considered in relation to other indicators of socio-economic organisation, for instance:
- Settlement patterns, e.g. concentrated versus diffuse urbanism, site hierarchies;
- Early evidence for and characteristics of architectural complexity and the internal organisation of sites.
The session aims to facilitate scientific discussion on (1) the effect of socio-economic systems (analysed here through settlement pattern and architectural characteristics) on production, (2) crop and animal husbandry adaptations in different cultural and environmental contexts. We invite papers of any applicable methods that represent farming practices and land management in the region throughout this period (Chalcolithic to Iron Age). Integrative papers drawing evidence from materials studies, bioarchaeological approaches, survey and field excavations are especially welcome.
Mediterranean, Metal Ages, Complexity, Production
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Main organiser:
Silvia Valenzuela-Lamas (Spain) 1
Angela Trentacoste (United Kingdom) 2
Ariadna Nieto-Espinet (Spain) 1
Silvia Guimarães-Chiarelli (Portugal) 3,1
1. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IMF-CSIC)
2. School of Archaeology, University of Oxford
3. CIBIO/InBIO - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos