We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

The collapse of palatial society in LBA Greece and the postpalatial period

Middleton, Guy Daniel (2008) The collapse of palatial society in LBA Greece and the postpalatial period. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (Volume 1)
PDF (Volume 2)


This thesis offers a contextualised approach to the collapse of the Mycenaean palace societies of mainland Greece, c.1200BC, and aspects of Mycenaean society in the postpalatial (LHIIIC) period. It seeks to provide a fuller understanding of how these palace societies collapsed by considering them in the context of general theories of collapse, by examining and critiquing specific theories developed to account for the Mycenaean collapse, and by identifying and using as analogues social processes at work in other historical societies that experienced collapse, namely the Hittites, the Western Roman Empire and the Maya. These processes were affected by a range of other factors, which may or may not have contributed to collapse at any given time, and which depended on individual and group motivations, contemporary conditions, and unique socio-historical circumstances. Some collapse theories, in particular those that rely on migration, are dismissed, as is the possibility of creating a generalized theory of collapse. In this way, while no single novel theory of Mycenaean collapse is developed, it is hoped that a more convincing picture of collapse, as a process grounded in active social relationships, is given.It is argued that collapse affected palatial areas and occurred over a period of time, but that areas without palace societies did not collapse, although they were affected by changing circumstances. In this context, settlement and mobility, as well as aspects of rulership and social structure in the postpalatial period are explored, and a main concern is to emphasise the differing nature of the evidence from areas that had been palatial and areas that had not been. This provides a more balanced view of postpalatial Greece, highlighting aspects of continuity from non-palatial areas as well as areas that had had palaces, and modifying a view that continuities should be sought merely from the archaeologically more prominent palatial Mycenaean society. It is hoped that a more nuanced view is offered of how continuities from palatial era society should be considered, and that the study may further throw some light on aspects of Mycenaean society before the collapse.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:56

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter