Award Date

12-1-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Committee Member

Alan H. Simmons

Second Committee Member

Barbara Roth

Third Committee Member

Liam Frink

Fourth Committee Member

Elspeth Whitney

Number of Pages

78

Abstract

Picrolite, a fibrous green stone originating in the Troodos mountains on the island of Cyprus, appears in the archaeological record almost from the very earliest sites on the island. Thus far, few publications have addressed the material from anything but a descriptive perspective. Research at the Aceramic Neolithic site of Kritou Marottou Ais Giorkis has uncovered a wide variety of picrolite artifacts since excavations began in 1997. Preliminary experimental studies have begun to explore the ease of both obtaining and manipulating the material using only local materials and unassisted manpower. This thesis presents a three-part investigation into the place of picrolite in Neolithic Cyprus. A literature review reveals the dearth of holistic information regarding picrolite, particularly in the Neolithic period. Experimental picrolite working, performed using local raw materials, reveals the relative simplicity of picrolite carving. A brief use wear analysis allows for a reasoned critique of current lithic analysis models used for Cypriot Neolithic sites. Together, these sections allow for a more nuanced approach to the study of picrolite in the Cypriot Neolithic, considering issues including iconography, identity, and social interactions for this period of time.

Keywords

Actualistic; Archaeology; Cyprus; Neolithic; Picrolite; Replicative

Disciplines

Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Archaeological Anthropology | History | International and Area Studies | Islamic World and Near East History | Near and Middle Eastern Studies

Language

English