Middle Bronze Age Cyprus inter-site relationships: a social network analysis approach
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For the Middle Cypriot period in Cyprus, general scholarly view holds the belief that there was an increasing social complexity leading to the transformation of the island during the Late Cypriot period. This evolutionary scheme, based on the Near Eastern social model, assumes that Cyprus follows the footsteps of contemporary Near Eastern societies, and there was a certain level of contact between the two. However, as in the previous Early Cypriot period, there is no settlement formation of centers and satellites, and Cyprus is rather insular with only a handful of imports found on the island during the Middle Cypriot period. We propose that Social Network Analysis can provide an alternative perspective to this issue and to the nature of the social process in the Middle Bronze Age Cyprus (from Early Cypriot III to Middle Cypriot II, ca. 2050 – 1750 B.C.) working through the inter-site relationships. The results from the Social Network Analysis of inter-site relationships demonstrates that the social process was stagnant throughout the Middle Bronze Age of Cyprus. Therefore, we can argue that although there was an increase in the copper production, this did not lead to an increase in the social complexity in a way that we would expect in the contemporary Near East.