Households at the Dawn of the Bronze Age in the Aegean Basin: Socio-Cultural Anthropological Perspectives
This interdisciplinary project focuses on households as primary sources to study the emergence of social hierarchies in the Early Bronze Age (early third-millennium BCE) Aegean basin. The project looks at two case sites: the mainland site of Platia Magoula Zarkou (Thessaly, Greece) and the coastal site of Çukuriçi Höyük (Western Anatolia, Turkey). Investigating ethnographic examples in tandem with archaeological data enables questions about whether people living at the two archaeological sites were organized in a more hierarchical or egalitarian fashion, and about whether elites already existed at these sites during the Early Bronze Age. The project is being carried out in close cooperation with two archaeologists and a zooarchaeologist. We follow a household archaeology approach under the auspices of an interdisciplinary DOC-Team project.
Sabina Cveček studied ethnology and socio-cultural anthropology at the Universities of Ljubljana and Vienna. After the CREOLE (Cultural Differences and Transnational Processes) MA studies at the Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna, Sabina Cveček received a DOC-team grant from the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Within her doctoral research project, “Households at the Dawn of the Bronze Age: Anthropological Contextualizations of Local Social Organization within the Aegean Basin” she looks at the non-state social organization through ethnographic cases and prehistoric archaeological data from Early Bronze Age (beginning of 3rd Millennium BC) sites: Platia Magoula Zarkou (Thessaly, Greece) and Çukuriçi Höyük (Western Anatolia, Turkey). In 2019, she was a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale, Germany.
“Throwing their weights around? Anthropological perspectives on commodity and gift exchange at the dawn of the Early Bronze Age in Western Anatolia,” in: Journal of World Prehistory (in review); “Review of Antweiler, C., Our Common Denominator. Human Universals Revisited,” in: Journal of Social Anthropology, New York 2018, 26(2), p. 269–270.
When based on cross-cultural ethnographic evidence, metalworking is commonly perceived as a male craft, performed in male spaces, away from female members of a household or society. In this lecture, Sabina Cveček presents an alternative possibility from Early Bronze-Age Çukuriçi Höyük, where metalworking took place within multi-gendered and multi-generational households and homes.