webb

Jennifer Webb (La Trobe University), Shifting centres: political, ideological and economic authority on the north coast of Cyprus over the longue durée of the prehistoric Bronze Age

Centres are, by definition, neither beginning nor end points within the landscape; the mobilisation, management and distribution of both symbolic and material resources are therefore critical to their political economies. This paper will explore possible mechanisms involved in the establishment of three localised centres of authority, which succeeded each other in the narrow, naturally bounded coastal strip of northern Cyprus during the 800 years of the prehistoric Bronze Age. Among the factors that appear to have played a role are historical contingency, a favourable natural environment (rainfall, soils, harbours), technological advantage and, potentially, coercion (actual or ideological), alongside less (archaeologically) tangible factors such as cultural and ancestral legitimacy, language and the role of entrepreneurial individuals (‘central persons’).