The Archaeology of Community on Bronze Age Cyprus: Politiko Phorades in Context


The study of human communities is central to a social archaeology. Reviewing evidence from several published and unpublished sites on prehistoric Cyprus, and in particular from the recently concluded excavations at Politiko Phorades, this article considers the concept of "community" and how it may be relevant to archaeology. Having established this relevance, the focus then falls on the socially and spatially remote mining community, which represents the work- and living-space of people drawn together by the imperatives of time and labor. Do the expediency and impermanence that characterize such communities in the modern world find echoes in the prehistoric past? It is suggested that the concept of place was instrumental in structuring Bronze Age communities, and that the smelting site at Phorades formed part of a nested, regional community with a distinct social organization and communication networks linked to other regional and supra-regional polities.

DOI: 10.3764/aja.107.4.559