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Symbolic behaviour at places of social activity beyond the domestic area in the Ionian Neolithic

By Georgia Stratouli

Abstract

This paper suggests a reassessment of the role of caves during the Neolithic in Greece. Some of these cavities could have hosted performative and ritual events, or other kinds of social and/or symbolic activities and, therefore, could be treated as forms of monuments. These issues are discussed on the basis of Drakaina Cave, located in the Poros Gorge on Kephalonia Island in the Ionian Sea. The archaeological evidence of the cave (e.g. the construction of lime plastered floors, the deliberate deposition of associated artefacts) is traced on three main scales: symbolism, monumentality, and the significance of the cave’s landscape for Neolithic society. Moving away from the site, it is argued that the gorge of Poros itself was a powerful topographic feature, constituting a symbolic resource in the landscape and, thus, a valued site which contributed to the formation of the biography, identity and politics of the Neolithic community in the region.V članku predlagam, da se ponovno oceni vloga jam v grškem neolitiku. V nekaterih izmed njih so se morda odvijale predstave, obredi ali drugačne oblike socialnih in simbolnih dejavnosti, zato lahko te jame obravnavamo kot oblike spomenikov. O tem razpravljamo na primeru jame Drakaina, ki se nahaja v soteski Poros na otoku Kefalonija v Jonskem morju. Arheološko vsebino jame (konstrukcije z apnom tlakovanih tal, namerna depozicija artefaktov) raziskujemo na treh glavnih nivojih: simboliki, monumentalnosti in pomenu jamskega okolja za neolitsko družbo. Širše gledano skušamo dokazati, da je bila tudi soteska Poros s svojimi topografskimi značilnostmi vir simbolizma v pokrajini ter pomembna točka, ki je prispevala k nastanku biografij, identitet in politike neolitskih skupnosti na tem področju

Topics: Neolithic, Drakaina Cave, Ionian Islands, symbolic behaviour, landscape and monuments, social memory and identity
Publisher: 'University of Ljubljana'
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.4312/dp.32.8
OAI identifier: oai:ojs.revije.ff.uni-lj.si:article/2164

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