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Reference: Price, Richard P. S., (1997). Burial practice and aspects of social structure in the late Chalcolithic of north-east Bulgaria. DPhil. University of Oxford.Citable link to this page:

 

Burial practice and aspects of social structure in the late Chalcolithic of north-east Bulgaria

Abstract: The study considers archaeological evidence for burials and other mortuary practicesfrom the Late Chalcolithic period in north-east Bulgaria. The Late Chalcolithic isdefined (circa 4500-4000 B.C.) and around 900 burials are attributed to two culturalgroups within the region in this period.It is argued that previous studies of the evidence can be rejected for assuming astraightforward equivalence between burial forms and social structures. An alternativemodel of social organization is proposed based on the 'structuration' and 'habitus'models of Giddens and Bourdieu which emphasize the role of the individual in thereproduction of social institutions. This framework is used to examine the importanceof (mortuary) rituals and the symbolic use of material culture in strategies intended tomaintain or alter the distribution of power and resources.The data is examined using quantitative measures of spatial and temporal variability andstatistical measures of association between variables. It is argued that two basic patternscan be discerned and which correspond to the defined cultures. The inland culturalpattern is further divided into two 'types' based on the location and forms of burials.Burial forms and grave goods are also examined qualitatively and the values attributedto artefacts, materials and the processes of burial are addressed. From this it is arguedthat meanings are fundamentally mediated through processes of reciprocation betweenkinship groups and with ancestors. Social structures based on gender and age, thesettlement community and residence are proposed.'Codes' of the use of material culture within mortuary rituals are described andevaluated through a consideration of assemblages and performance. Changes withinand between cemeteries over time are used to reconstruct patterns of competition andemulation.The interpretations of social interaction in burial practices are related to other forms ofevidence from the Late Chalcolithic in north-east Bulgaria and suggestions made for anew understanding of social organization in both cultures.The conclusions are placed in a wider spatial and temporal perspective and conclusionspresented relating to both the data studied and the theoretical models adopted.

Type of Award:DPhil Level of Award:Doctoral Awarding Institution: University of Oxford Notes:The digital copy of this thesis has been made available thanks to the generosity of Dr Leonard Polonsky

Bibliographic Details

Issue Date: 1997Identifiers

Urn: uuid:e93fb806-0a9a-4250-9e42-789743ca8f5e

Source identifier: 602335545

Source identifier: 602335546 Item Description

Type: Thesis;

Language: eng Subjects: Bulgaria Burial Copper age Prehistoric peoples Social structure Antiquities Tiny URL: td:602335545

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Author: Price, Richard P. S. - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyFaculty of Anthropology and Geography - - - - Bibliographic Details

Source: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:e93fb806-0a9a-4250-9e42-789743ca8f5e



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