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The village, the island and the notaries : an archaeological, ethnographic and archive-based analysis of the rural landscape, 18th-20th century Kythera, Greece.

Smith, Elizabeth Alexandra (2012) The village, the island and the notaries : an archaeological, ethnographic and archive-based analysis of the rural landscape, 18th-20th century Kythera, Greece. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This study seeks to explore the dynamics of the rural landscape through the integration of archaeological, ethnographic and archive based analyses. The selected case study is the village of Mitata and its two associated 'hamlets', on the island of Kythera from the 18th to the 20th century. By integrating the three distinct data sets: the physical remains at the hamlets of clusters of field houses or spitakia, the notarial documents and census records from the 18th and 19th century alongside later ethnographic testimony, a picture is built of an ever changing landscape characterised by the flexible strategies designed to cater for the needs and obligations of the basic household economy. The ultimate aims of the household, as the basic economic and production unit within the system, is to achieve a measure of self sufficiency through effective management of its landholdings and to ensure the successful social reproduction through dowry practices that ideally are designed to create a neodomestic household, based upon the nuclear family. The pressures that such social practices and obligations exert upon the household are integral to the way that the landscape is ultimately conceived, used and managed. Various strategies are employed to mitigate the risk and the economic burden that property devolution creates, such as land exchanges and consolidation of holdings through acquisition. All of these strategies are ultimately linked and connected to the wider internal and external village networks as well as engaging with major socio-economic forces of the period. The landscape therefore is as much a social product as it is shaped and transformed by shifting economic trends and changing farming practices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.555214
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2017 10:35
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2017 10:35
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12872

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