The Early Bronze Age of the Oman Peninsula: from chronology to the dialectics of tribe and state formation2 is one of the most exhaustive papers ever written about cultural and social evolution in the Oman Penin- sula. Its thorough analysis significantly hinted at an evolutionary body of theory to explain such complex dynamics, by shifting from crystallised phases and types to more specific processes of variation. The present review aims at emphasizing the theoretical and methodological relevance of a critical chapter of Arabian archaeology. After a brief description of 3rd millennium BC funerary practices of eastern Arabia, a critical evaluation of Serge Cleuziou’s work will introduce the debate about ‘dichotomy’ and ‘conti- nuity’ in the archaeological pattern of Oman and the United Arab Emirates. An overview of the relevant literature and recent field researches documenting evidence of gradual change in the empirical record will be followed by a paragraph focused on classification issues. A new classificatory approach is needed, and it is claimed that Evolutionary archaeology could offer the most appropriate framework to understand and explain variation over time in Bronze Age funerary structures. The basic tenets of Darwinian archae- ology will be explained with particular reference to the problem of defining meaningful units of analysis in the context of interest, while the conclusive paragraph will show an applicative example of preliminary classification conducted on a small sample of tombs.

The Early Bronze Age of the Oman Peninsula: from Chronology to Evolution

BORTOLINI, EUGENIO
2012

Abstract

The Early Bronze Age of the Oman Peninsula: from chronology to the dialectics of tribe and state formation2 is one of the most exhaustive papers ever written about cultural and social evolution in the Oman Penin- sula. Its thorough analysis significantly hinted at an evolutionary body of theory to explain such complex dynamics, by shifting from crystallised phases and types to more specific processes of variation. The present review aims at emphasizing the theoretical and methodological relevance of a critical chapter of Arabian archaeology. After a brief description of 3rd millennium BC funerary practices of eastern Arabia, a critical evaluation of Serge Cleuziou’s work will introduce the debate about ‘dichotomy’ and ‘conti- nuity’ in the archaeological pattern of Oman and the United Arab Emirates. An overview of the relevant literature and recent field researches documenting evidence of gradual change in the empirical record will be followed by a paragraph focused on classification issues. A new classificatory approach is needed, and it is claimed that Evolutionary archaeology could offer the most appropriate framework to understand and explain variation over time in Bronze Age funerary structures. The basic tenets of Darwinian archae- ology will be explained with particular reference to the problem of defining meaningful units of analysis in the context of interest, while the conclusive paragraph will show an applicative example of preliminary classification conducted on a small sample of tombs.
Aux Marges de l'archéologie: ouvrage à la mémoire de Serge Cleuziou
353
369
Eugenio Bortolini
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/395928
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