chapter  3
71 Pages

Movement, ‘Anatolianising’ culture and Aegean social change c. 3500–2300 bc

BySaro Wallace

The Neolithic–Early Bronze Age I–II period in the south-central Aegean saw rapid socioeconomic growth, clearly linked to expanded volumes of movement. Use of the term 'Anatolianising' to describe this phenomenon in what follows does not imply that Aegean groups became progressively indistinguishable in social or cultural terms from those on the Anatolian mainland. In evident reaction to past diffusion-based perspectives, there is distinct reluctance in this model to see movement itself as a major force in cultural change. Staged movement would imply limited integration of migrants in the newly settled Aegean areas. Topographically-fragmented and uneven in agricultural quality, the south-central Aegean lands offered plenty of actual and figurative space for movement to transform social and cultural life. Cypriot archaeology, until recently characterised in some quarters by a heavily processual/ecological outlook, has offered especially strong reaction to models assuming movement as a driver of change at the time.