Agency and personhood at the onset of the Mycenaean period

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This paper offers a critical evaluation of the debate on agency and personhood in archaeology. Despite some very interesting and sharp discussions, the debate has suffered from the projection of anachronistic definitions of the person and an overreliance on specific ethnographic readings. In addition, little attempt is made to integrate abstract theoretical discussions with close analyses of empirical data. I would like to suggest that this should be our priority. In the second part of the paper, I will apply these ideas by examining notions of personhood and agency held by the inhabitants of the southern Greek mainland between ca 1800 and 1600 B.C. The analysis will be based on the mortuary practices and imagery of the period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65 - 92
Number of pages28
JournalArchaeological Dialogues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2010


  • Personhood
  • agency
  • Middle Bronze Age
  • Mycenaean
  • mortuary practices
  • imagery

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