The Disciplinary Landscape: Violence, Fortification, and the Making of Political Subjects in the Cypriot Bronze Age
The research presented in this dissertation considers the sociopolitical efficacy of a group of fortresses that were built during the transition from the relatively insular and egalitarian village-based society of the Early and Middle Cypriot Bronze Age, to the urban, regionally-connected polities of the Late Cypriot Bronze Age. I argue that these fortresses should not be understood only as symptoms of political transformation, but are instead active participants in the restructuring of Cypriot society. I advance the theory that fortresses are best understood as a hybrid assemblage of things and landscape that makes up a special kind of Foulcauldian apparatus. Through the operation of defensive, monumental, and disciplinary techniques, this apparatus generates a disciplinary landscape through which authority is represented and social inequality is experienced and apprehended, and by which subjects and territories are produced. A review of the study of fortresses reveals the problems they have posed in archaeological analyses, and the changes in interpretation of the Cypriot fortresses that have occurred over time. Evidence for increasing violent conflict during the Bronze Age, counter to the recent pacification of Cypriot prehistory, provides context for the fortresses’ construction. The main case study of the dissertation is then presented: a cluster of four fortresses in the central Mesaoria plain of Cyprus: Barsak, Glykia Vrysi, Kafkallia, and Nikolidhes. Under the auspices of the Agios Sozomenos Excavation and Survey Project of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities, I assisted in excavations at Barsak and Nikolidhes and completed a regional survey, the preliminary results of which are included in this study. The main analyses are then presented in two parts, divided by the scale at which the efficacies of the fortress apparatus are generated, namely that of the structure itself, and the structure within the landscape. First, I consider how architectural form and features produce defensibility. I use architectural energetics calculations to demonstrate how the labor and material investment in construction created monumental structures, and analyses of spatial syntax and architectonics show how the fortresses experiment with different ways to control space and movement. Finally, I investigate the operation of the fortress apparatus in the landscape, particularly its role in processes of surveillance and territorialization. GIS analyses of prominence, intervisibility, and movement explore how the apparatus generates disciplinary force, shaping the human experience and perception of the landscape. Diachronic changes in settlement and physical and visual connections with and between the fortresses reveals the impacts of the fortress apparatus on Cypriot society, producing new relations of power and domination that would continue to characterize the Late Bronze Age long after the fortresses go out of use.
Bronze Age; Cyprus; Fortresses; Landscape; Materiality; Violence
Smith, Adam Thomas; Manning, Sturt
Near Eastern Studies
Ph. D., Near Eastern Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis