Mortuary Variability at Salamis (Cyprus)

Relationships between and within the Royal Necropolis and the Cellarka Cemetery

Authors

  • Nicholas G. Blackwell Bryn Mawr College

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jmea.v23i2.143

Keywords:

Cyprus, Early Iron Age, city-kingdoms, Salamis, mortuary analysis, state formation, orthostat masonry, Homeric burials

Abstract

The Royal Necropolis and the Cellarka cemetery at Iron Age Salamis (Cyprus) have notable funerary shifts that likely reflect changes in socio-political organization. Construction of the Royal Tombs eventually ceased in favor of grave reuse, roughly when initial elite Cellarka burials appeared in emulation of the Royal Necropolis. This study modifies Rupp’s (1988) argument that the Royal Tombs represent aggrandizing individuals who legitimized a monarchical government through funerary display. Instead, it is argued that the Salaminian burials show transformations in social stability indicative of power being renegotiated among competing regions. Not only were social statuses at stake but also inter regional social, political and economic relations, especially as they are concerned with territorial boundaries and mercantile privileges. A Salaminian strategy for island supremacy over the other early city-kingdoms, particularly Kition, emphasized international relations through display of foreign items and through legitimizing claims of association with Bronze Age Enkomi. The development of the elaborate mortuary displays at Salamis, subsequent restrictions in funerary behavior and even perhaps the often-claimed parallels to Homer are all part of this process of multi-regional competition.

Author Biography

Nicholas G. Blackwell, Bryn Mawr College

Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010-2899, USA

Published

2011-01-20

How to Cite

Blackwell, N. G. (2011). Mortuary Variability at Salamis (Cyprus): Relationships between and within the Royal Necropolis and the Cellarka Cemetery. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 23(2), 143–167. https://doi.org/10.1558/jmea.v23i2.143

Issue

Section

Articles