UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Evaluating entanglements at Middle–Late Bronze Age Phylakopi : a space syntax approach to the Pillar Rooms Complex and LH IIIA Megaron Braun, Graham C.


Interconnectivity in the Bronze Age Aegean has often been framed in terms of ‘Minoanisation’ and ‘Mycenaeanisation’, which imply the adoption of materials and practices in regions outside of the Minoan and Mycenaean worlds. These terms do not allow for a reciprocal relationship between these implied Minoan and Mycenaean ‘cores’ and those ‘peripheral’ populations who are receiving their cultural traits. Instead of using theories of unidirectional relations, models of multidirectional interaction, specifically globalisation, appear to offer more balanced evaluations of connectivity in the archaeological record. Globalisation is complemented by recent materiality studies like material entanglement and dependency, and so together they are utilized here to develop new perspectives on connectivity as it is perceived in the archaeological record. The archaeological data under study in this thesis comprise architecture at the site of Phylakopi on Melos, an island within the Cycladic archipelago that occupies the seascape between Crete and mainland Greece. Two buildings have previously been identified as embodiments of foreign contact in the Middle–Late Bronze Age: the Pillar Rooms Complex, which demonstrates connections with Neopalatial Crete, and the LH IIIA Megaron, which aligns with examples of megara on the Mycenaean mainland. Using methodologies derived from space syntax, I produce new data on these buildings that consider the organization of their spatial components. This facilitates close comparisons with contemporaneous buildings on Crete and mainland Greece. These analyses and comparisons lead to nuanced conclusions about the adoption and adaptation of Minoan and Mycenaean spatial characteristics at Phylakopi. My analysis therefore positions architectural units in question within the physical and socio-political contexts in order to reveal the dynamic relationships represented in their material forms. The designers of the Pillar Rooms Complex made important alterations to the typical Minoan organization to send specific messages to other Melians visiting the building, whereas the LH IIIA Megaron is positioned within the wider development of megara in the Aegean, indicating that it derives its form from a long tradition that spans the entirety of the Mediterranean Bronze Age.

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