Paper abstract

Burial rituals and social organization: heritage and changes from LM III C to Protogeometric Crete

Perna Katia

The burial culture of the LM III C Crete was characterized by many different tendencies. They were the result of a profound transformation of the political, social and economical equilibrium of the island, in consequence of the crisis of the Mycenaean political system. In the first part of the period burial practices typical of the previous periods (such as inhumation in chamber tombs) coexisted with new ones (inhumations in small tholos tombs and cremations). Whereas, between the end of LM III C and the start of the PG in some parts of the island the situation drastically changed: cremations widespread, armours and prestige goods appeared in the burial furniture, some peculiar types of tomb were introduced, the biritualism became typical in some cemeteries. This is the sign of an ulterior profound change which involved the Cretan society during the Early Iron Age. The aim of this paper is to analyse the many burial rituals of the LM III C-early PG Crete and to explain in a social perspective the emergence of different groups and their use of specific cultural strategies in the burial sphere.

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