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Trustees of Indiana University (Bloomington, IN 47405-7000)
Christine M. Shriner (Project Director: November 2003 to January 2009)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

$100,000 (approved)
$100,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2004 – 12/31/2007

An Explanation for Emergent Complex Society at the Sites of Lerna and Kolonna, Greece

Research undertaken with a view to testing hypotheses about the emergence of complex society in Early Bronze Age (roughly, 2150-2000 B.C.) Lerna and Kolonna, Greece.

The thrust of the proposed research is to test our conclusions for emergent complexity at Lerna with a comparable Greek Early Bronze Age site. Kolonna, on the island of Aegina, has been suggested as the first "state" in the Aegean complex (Rutter, 2001; Niemeier, 1995). At Kolonna we have not only the opportunity to examine once again this pivotal 150 years of rapid ceramic technological development (Walter and Felten, 1981), but also the archaeologically recognized distribution of the specialized products (Aeginetan Ware) from this technological phenomenon. Success in this project will not just add some crucial new facts to existing knowledge on the production, technology, and exchange of "Aeginetan Ware". If we see the same type of emergence at Kolonna that we did at Lerna, these conclusions will substantiate our new form of emergent complexity and a new method of explanation for such complexity in the archaeological record. In turn, these conclusions and method of explanation will increase our understanding of the elements that contribute to the formation of state society (and urbanization). This understanding is basic to the study of Mycenaean (Late Bronze Age) society, and through that to the subsequent development of classical Greece. This research project focuses on a specific region of the world and only the nature of cultural change in one artifactual assemblage (ceramics). However, this method of explanation has broader applicability. The approach offered in this research project is useful in any setting and would address questions concerning social complexity that transcend the details of a specific regional cultural history.