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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Michael Sugerman

Subject Categories

Anthropology | Archaeological Anthropology


In archaeology, the analysis of ordinary things does not often lead to assessments of power. Political systems are difficult to trace materially because today they seem separate from our lives, but yet are involved in most everything we do. In this case study of first millennium BCE Idalion, Cyprus, I have found that the producers of undecorated, or utilitarian, pottery are impacted by political behavior and social relationships, which both impact their economic stability. When discussing the political economy, archaeologists describe elites as the controllers of wealth including the consumption and sometimes production of high value goods. However, I argue that they also play a role in the production of utilitarian pottery. I combine craft production theory, archaeological theories of power, and petrographic analysis, to analyze the organization of production of pottery and its role in the political economy. In the Mediterranean, and specifically on Cyprus, political economies are defined most-often through the translation of inscriptions and texts. For the first millennium BCE, the term “city-kingdom” is common on Cyprus. This use of texts and inscriptions causes a problem because archaeologists do not often assess the legitimacy of these political terms, such as kingdoms and states, through material culture, thereby allowing political types to be poorly understood. To better define the Cypriot political type, city-kingdom, I approach politics from the mode of defining power and based my analysis on the multi-dimensional nature of power. The way power impacted producers of utilitarian pottery at Idalion includes political and economic power that placed limits on their access to raw materials, trade routes, and/or markets, and also social power through the relationships potters navigated to ensure their own economic stability and success. At Idalion, power was flexible and impacted by various cultural factors and by analyzing it through pottery production I am able to provide a tentative definition of a city-kingdom.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.