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Alex Mulhall

Connectivity and economy in Bronze to Iron Age Greece: a zooarchaeological perspective from the trading node of Lefkandi

The Aegean comprised one of the most intensively networked zones of the prehistoric Mediterranean. Within this dynamic setting, Lefkandi, (Evvia, Greece) on a key strait between Euboea and the Greek mainland, is undoubtedly one of the most important known sites, set within a region distinct from the heavily studied foci of Crete and the Peloponnese. A hub of connections by land and sea from the Early Bronze Age to the 8th century BC, Lefkandi variously acted as a bridgehead for the early introduction of wheelmade pottery, was later incorporated in the Mycenaean state of Thebes, and has produced crucial settlement and cemetery remains from the critical period between Bronze Age palatial collapse and the emergence of the Greek polis, including preferential trade contacts with Phoenicia and Italy. Within this rich area of research, a zooarchaeological approach to Late Bronze - Early Iron Age transition at Lefkandi, as well as across the Aegean more widely, has much to offer.

As a zooarchaeologist, my research primarily revolves around recording and analysing the large faunal assemblage retrieved from settlement and funerary contexts at Lefkandi. While they are certainly important, my aim is to move beyond typical zooarchaeological explorations that focus upon changing subsistence/management patterns, and explore the faunal evidence at a nodal port site in terms of the impact of changing conditions on hinterland production, and also potentially inflows and diversity of species and breeds.

This original research addresses my own aims and research questions, but is also part of a wider interdisciplinary project currently underway at Lefkandi, directed by Prof Irene Lemos, Oxford University.

Funding organisation

  • AHRC

Supervisors

 Educational background

  • BSc (Hons), Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 2008
  • MSc, Environmental Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 2009
  • View of the archaeological settlement area or ‘Xeropolis’ at Lefkandi, emphasising its strategic coastal location at the boundary of land- and sea-based networks.

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