Community Identity and Archaeology

Dynamic Communities at Aphrodisias and Beycesultan

Hardcover : 9780472117864, 276 pages, 9 tables, 23 images, 6 x 9, October 2011
Ebook : 9780472027651, 280 pages, 23 images, 9 tables, October 2011
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Exploring the notion of community identity in an archaeological context

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Community Identity and Archaeology explores the concept of community identity and its application in archaeology, using the modern Turkish sites of Aphrodisias and Beycesultan as case studies to illustrate the formation and dissolution of communities over time.


The concept of the community is vital to the way we understand human societies both past and present, and the last decade has seen widespread interest in communities from both the popular and academic spheres. The concept is also central to archaeology, where the relationship between sites and communities remains controversial. Naoíse Mac Sweeney aims to take the debate one step further, setting out a comprehensive framework for the archaeological investigation of community identity, encompassing theoretical approaches for its conceptualization, practical methodologies for its investigation, and detailed case studies in Anatolia to test and illustrate its arguments.


This book contributes to discussions in archaeological theory and material culture studies and is particularly relevant to archaeologists working on different types of cultural identity. Community Identity and Archaeology’s readership will include undergraduate and graduate students as well as academic specialists. In addition, the book contains material of direct historical interest for Classics and Near Eastern departments. It includes valuable new research relevant for those working on Aegean, Mycenaean, or Early Greek antiquity, as well as specialists in Anatolia including scholars working on the Hittite, Phrygian, and Lydian empires.


Naoíse Mac Sweeney is Lecturer at the University of Leicester.


"In raising these challenges, I wish to echo Mac Sweeney's hope that her "first formulation theory...will be developed much further in years to come." (p. 4) In light of this primary aim, her work is successful in showing the viability of an archaeology of communities...Her convincing reformation of our understanding of Western Anatolia in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages also demostrates the incalculable value of a methodology that considers local perspectives."
—Jeremy LaBuff, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

- Jeremy LaBuff