From the end of 4th millennium BC, eastern Arabia knew a period of increasing social complexity and growing trade networks, accompanied by highly-specia- lised adaptive strategies developed to cope with environmental instability. Oases and coastal plateaus were surrounded and signalled by hundreds of monumental burials. These massive funerary structures towered over mountain ridges and settlements among date palms. Their spatial distribution and their structure un- derwent a gradual variation during the whole 3rd millennium BC: investigating these processes through time offers a unique and privileged perspective on the coeval changes affecting population structure and local economies. This work represents the first step to analysing Arabian prehistoric environments, material cultu- re and monumental architecture from the perspective of cultural evolutionary theory. A new systematic de- scription of ceramic materials and funerary structures is presented and used to explore the broad variability in their diagnostic elements through time and space. The resulting dynamics are then observed to formulate new hypotheses about the underlying mechanisms of culture change. Results show how the adoption of an appro- priate analytical scale allows for a better understanding of what is observed in the archaeological record. A formal assessment of connections between local environments and cultural response could open new, intere- sting scenarios for the study of prehistoric eastern Arabia.

Processi Evolutivi nell’Arabia Orientale del III Millennio a.C. Un approccio quantitativo per l’analisi dei patterns di trasmissione culturale

BORTOLINI, EUGENIO
2012

Abstract

From the end of 4th millennium BC, eastern Arabia knew a period of increasing social complexity and growing trade networks, accompanied by highly-specia- lised adaptive strategies developed to cope with environmental instability. Oases and coastal plateaus were surrounded and signalled by hundreds of monumental burials. These massive funerary structures towered over mountain ridges and settlements among date palms. Their spatial distribution and their structure un- derwent a gradual variation during the whole 3rd millennium BC: investigating these processes through time offers a unique and privileged perspective on the coeval changes affecting population structure and local economies. This work represents the first step to analysing Arabian prehistoric environments, material cultu- re and monumental architecture from the perspective of cultural evolutionary theory. A new systematic de- scription of ceramic materials and funerary structures is presented and used to explore the broad variability in their diagnostic elements through time and space. The resulting dynamics are then observed to formulate new hypotheses about the underlying mechanisms of culture change. Results show how the adoption of an appro- priate analytical scale allows for a better understanding of what is observed in the archaeological record. A formal assessment of connections between local environments and cultural response could open new, intere- sting scenarios for the study of prehistoric eastern Arabia.
RIVISTA DI SCIENZE PREISTORICHE
Eugenio Bortolini
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/396138
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact