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Building the Bronze Age: Architectural and Social Change on the Greek Mainland during Early Helladic III, Middle Helladic and Late Helladic I
Author: Corien Wiersma. xxii+561 pages; illustrated throughout in black and white with some colour. 98 2014. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781905739868. Epublication ISBN 9781905739899.
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Communities living on the Greek Mainland during the end of the Early Bronze Age (EBA. ca. 2200-2000 BC) and the earlier Middle Bronze Age (MBA, ca. 2000-1800 BC) were thought to be relatively simple and egalitarian, while during the later MBA and early Late Bronze Age (LBA, ca. 1700-1600 BC), monumental and rich graves were suddenly constructed.

The systematic analysis of domestic architecture, which was long overdue, shows indeed that houses were relatively simple. However, subtle differences between houses and settlements did exist and change through did take place, especially during the later MBA and early LBA. The architectural patterns could with some certainty, be ascribed to changes in social relations, as well to internal developments and external influence.

During the late EBA, the household seems to have been the most important social unit. It was self-sufficient, though to some extent dependent on the wider community. This is reflected in the freestanding but homogenous appearance of houses. During the earlier MBA, the first subtle changes take place: more rectangular instead of apsidal houses are constructed, house size and the number of rooms increase and slightly more architectural variation is seen. These developments intensify during the later MBA and early LBA. It is suggested that some households started to cooperate and that some households expanded in size. These changes may have led to less dependency of the household on the wider community, which subsequently enabled the development of more architectural variation.

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