ARCHITECTURAL INDICES OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC VARIABILITY: AN ETHNOARCHAEOLOGICAL CASE STUDY FROM SYRIA.
AuthorKAMP, KATHRYN ANN.
KeywordsEthnology -- Syria -- Darnaj.
Syria -- Rural conditions.
Domestic relations -- Syria -- Darnaj.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIf archaeologists are to discern social facts from the material remains of extinct societies, they must develop explicit methodologies for relating material culture to social behavior. Ethnoarchaeological research is one means of generating and testing such analytic principles. The Syrian village of Darnaj in the context of comparative materials from elsewhere in Western Asia is used as a case study for examining the relationships between domestic architecture and three socioeconomic household attributes: household size, number of coresiding conjugal family units, and household wealth. To allow an assessment of the relative effectiveness of architecture for predicting socioeconomic variability, data on some household belongings were collected and analyzed as well. In all cases, domestic architecture proves at least as accurate as movable possessions for predicting the socioeconomic attributes tested. In Darnaj the total area of rooms designed for people is the best indicator of household size. The number of sitting and goods storage rooms and the presence of redundant dowry sets are the most accurate predictors of the number of co-residing conjugal family units, and wealth is most highly correlated with total compound area. These and other compound features are discussed and probable reasons for the association or lack of association of each attribute with the socioeconomic characteristics are presented. In conclusion, some statements about (1) the nature of the rules relating domestic architecture to household socioeconomic characteristics, (2) ways that domestic architecture can be used to discern socioeconomic variability in the archaeological record, and (3) means of excavating, recording, and publishing architectural data to maximize its utility as a socioeconomic indicator are offered.