Building on yourself to build for another: An architectural analysis of the graves from the North Cemetery of Ayios Vasilios.
For this paper I have systematically examined the construction process of the tombs from the North Cemetery of Ayios Vasilios (Laconia, Greece) using a method called architectural energetics. This method of analysis translates an architectural unit into labour costs. The calculated workhours have been combined with a precedence diagram in order to closely examine the level of human interaction, rather than to just compare labour costs. The study concludes that the transportation of the building materials that were used for the tombs was the most labour-intensive task. It also concludes that the materials that came from farthest away seem to have played the biggest role in the creation of meaning in the funerary rituals. Furthermore, two distinct strategies of construction were identified, one that focussed on scale, using low-cost materials that would have been locally available, and one that focussed on elaboration, using high-cost materials that must have come from elsewhere. The high-cost materials are theorized to have been involved in the creation of social networks among groups.
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