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Assessment of environmental change in the Near Eastern Bronze Age

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This dissertation research investigates both spatial and temporal aspects of Bronze Age land use and land cover in the Eastern Mediterranean using botanical macrofossils of charcoal and charred seeds as sources of proxy data. Comparisons through time and over space

This dissertation research investigates both spatial and temporal aspects of Bronze Age land use and land cover in the Eastern Mediterranean using botanical macrofossils of charcoal and charred seeds as sources of proxy data. Comparisons through time and over space using seed and charcoal densities, seed to charcoal ratios, and seed and charcoal identifications provide a comprehensive view of island vs. mainland vegetative trajectories through the critical 1000 year time period from 2500 BC to 1500 BC of both climatic fluctuation and significant anthropogenic forces. This research focuses particularly on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus during this crucial interface of climatic and human impacts on the landscape. Macrobotanical data often are interpreted locally in reference to a specific site, whereas this research draws spatial comparisons between contemporaneous archaeological sites as well as temporal comparisons between non-contemporaneous sites. This larger perspective is particularly crucial on Cyprus, where field scientists commonly assume that botanical macrofossils are poorly preserved, thus unnecessarily limiting their use as an interpretive proxy. These data reveal very minor anthropogenic landscape changes on the island of Cyprus compared to those associated with contemporaneous mainland sites. These data also reveal that climatic forces influenced land use decisions on the mainland sites, and provides crucial evidence pertaining to the rise of early anthropogenic landscapes and urbanized civilization.

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Date Created
2013

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The incorporation of Greek folk melodies in the piano works of Yannis Constantinidis: with special consideration of the 22 songs and dances from the Dodecanese

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Yannis Constantinidis was the last of the handful of composers referred to collectively as the Greek National School. The members of this group strove to create a distinctive national style for Greece, founded upon a synthesis of Western compositional idioms

Yannis Constantinidis was the last of the handful of composers referred to collectively as the Greek National School. The members of this group strove to create a distinctive national style for Greece, founded upon a synthesis of Western compositional idioms with melodic, rhyhmic, and modal features of their local folk traditions. Constantinidis particularly looked to the folk melodies of his native Asia Minor and the nearby Dodecanese Islands. His musical output includes operettas, musical comedies, orchestral works, chamber and vocal music, and much piano music, all of which draws upon folk repertories for thematic material. The present essay examines how he incorporates this thematic material in his piano compositions, written between 1943 and 1971, with a special focus on the 22 Songs and Dances from the Dodecanese. In general, Constantinidis's pianistic style is expressed through miniature pieces in which the folk tunes are presented mostly intact, but embedded in accompaniment based in early twentieth-century modal harmony. Following the dictates of the founding members of the Greek National School, Manolis Kalomiris and Georgios Lambelet, the modal basis of his harmonic vocabulary is firmly rooted in the characteristics of the most common modes of Greek folk music. A close study of his 22 Songs and Dances from the Dodecanese not only offers a valuable insight into his harmonic imagination, but also demonstrates how he subtly adapts his source melodies. This work also reveals his care in creating a musical expression of the words of the original folk songs, even in purely instrumental compositon.

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2011

Six Chinese piano pieces of the twentieth century: a recording project

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This paper describes six representative works by twentieth-century Chinese composers: Jian-Zhong Wang, Er-Yao Lin, Yi-Qiang Sun, Pei-Xun Chen, Ying-Hai Li, and Yi Chen, which are recorded by the author on the CD. The six pieces selected for the CD all

This paper describes six representative works by twentieth-century Chinese composers: Jian-Zhong Wang, Er-Yao Lin, Yi-Qiang Sun, Pei-Xun Chen, Ying-Hai Li, and Yi Chen, which are recorded by the author on the CD. The six pieces selected for the CD all exemplify traits of Nationalism, with or without Western influences. Of the six works on the CD, two are transcriptions of the Han Chinese folk-like songs, one is a composition in the style of the Uyghur folk music, two are transcriptions of traditional Chinese instrumental music dating back to the eighteenth century, and one is an original composition in a contemporary style using folk materials. Two of the composers, who studied in the United States, were strongly influenced by Western compositional style. The other four, who did not study abroad, retained traditional Chinese style in their compositions. The pianistic level of difficulty in these six pieces varies from intermediate to advanced level. This paper includes biographical information for the six composers, background information on the compositions, and a brief analysis of each work. The author was exposed to these six pieces growing up, always believing that they are beautiful and deserve to be appreciated. When the author came to the United States for her studies, she realized that Chinese compositions, including these six pieces, were not sufficiently known to her peers. This recording and paper are offered in the hopes of promoting a wider familiarity with Chinese music and culture.

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Date Created
2012

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Survey of selected contemporary Taiwanese female composers of music for solo piano

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The purpose of this project was to examine the lives and solo piano works of four members of the early generation of female composers in Taiwan. These four women were born between 1950 and 1960, began to appear on the

The purpose of this project was to examine the lives and solo piano works of four members of the early generation of female composers in Taiwan. These four women were born between 1950 and 1960, began to appear on the Taiwanese musical scene after 1980, and were still active as composers at the time of this study. They include Fan-Ling Su (b. 1955), Hwei-Lee Chang (b. 1956), Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew (b. 1957), and Kwang-I Ying (b. 1960). Detailed biographical information on the four composers is presented and discussed. In addition, the musical form and features of all solo piano works at all levels by the four composers are analyzed, and the musical characteristics of each composer's work are discussed. The biography of a fifth composer, Wei-Ho Dai (b. 1950), is also discussed but is placed in the Appendices because her piano music could not be located. This research paper is presented in six chapters: (1) Prologue; the life and music of (2) Fan-Ling Su, (3) Hwei-Lee Chang, (4) Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew, and (5) Kwang-I Ying; and (6) Conclusion. The Prologue provides an overview of the development of Western classical music in Taiwan, a review of extant literature on the selected composers and their music, and the development of piano music in Taiwan. The Conclusion is comprised of comparisons of the four composers' music, including their personal interests and preferences as exhibited in their music. For example, all of the composers have used atonality in their music. Two of the composers, Fan-Ling Su and Kwang-I Ying, openly apply Chinese elements in their piano works, while Hwei-Lee Chang tries to avoid direct use of the Chinese pentatonic scale. The piano works of Hwei-Lee Chang and Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew are chromatic and atonal, and show an economical usage of material. Biographical information on Wei-Ho Dai and an overview of Taiwanese history are presented in the Appendices.

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Date Created
2011

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Games of Thrones: board games and social complexity in Bronze Age Cyprus

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This study frames research on board games within a body of anthropological theory and method to examine the long-term social changes that effect play and mechanisms through which play may influence societal change. Drawing from ethnographic literature focusing on the

This study frames research on board games within a body of anthropological theory and method to examine the long-term social changes that effect play and mechanisms through which play may influence societal change. Drawing from ethnographic literature focusing on the performative nature of games and their effectiveness at providing a method for strengthening social bonds through grounding, I examine changes in the places in which people engaged in play over the course of the Bronze Age on Cyprus (circa 2500¬–1050 BCE), a period of increasing social complexity. The purpose of this research is to examine how the changes in social boundaries concomitant with emergent complexity were counteracted or strengthened through the use of games as tools of interaction.

Bronze Age sites on Cyprus have produced the largest dataset of game boards belonging to any ancient culture. Weight and morphological data were gathered from these artifacts to determine the likelihood of their portability and to identify what type of game was present. The presence of fixed and likely immobile games, as well as the presence of clusters of portable games, was used to identify spaces in which games were played. Counts of other types of artifacts found in the same spaces as games were tabulated, and Correspondence Analysis (CA) was performed in order to determine differences in the types of activities present in the same spaces as play.

The results of the CA showed that during the Prehistoric Bronze Age, which has fewer indicators of social complexity, gaming spaces were associated with artifacts related to consumption or specialty, heirloom and imported ceramics, and rarely played in public spaces. During the Protohistoric Bronze Age, when Cyprus was more socially complex, games were more commonly played in public spaces and associated with

artifacts related to consumption. These changes suggest a changing emphasis through time, where the initiation and strengthening of social bonds through the grounding process afforded by play is more highly valued in small-scale society, whereas the social mobility that is enabled by performance during play is exploited more commonly during periods of complexity.

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2016

Toward a Theory of Social Stability: Investigating Relationships Among the Valencian Bronze Age Peoples of Mediterranean Iberia

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What causes social systems to resist change? Studies of the emergence of social complexity in archaeology have focused primarily on drivers of change with much less emphasis on drivers of stability. Social stability, or the persistence of social systems, is

What causes social systems to resist change? Studies of the emergence of social complexity in archaeology have focused primarily on drivers of change with much less emphasis on drivers of stability. Social stability, or the persistence of social systems, is an essential feature without which human society is not possible. By combining quantitative modeling (Exponential Random Graph Modeling) and the comparative archaeological record where the social system is represented by networks of relations between settlements, this research tests several hypotheses about social and geographic drivers of social stability with an explicit focus on a better understanding of contexts and processes that resist change. The Valencian Bronze Age in eastern Spain along the Mediterranean, where prior research appears to indicate little, regional social change for 700 years, serves as a case study.

The results suggest that social stability depends on a society’s ability to integrate change and promote interdependency. In part, this ability is constrained or promoted by social structure and the different, relationship dependencies among individuals that lead to a particular social structure. Four elements are important to constraining or promoting social stability—structural cohesion, transitivity and social dependency, geographic isolation, and types of exchange. Through the framework provided in this research, an archaeologist can recognize patterns in the archaeological data that reflect and promote social stability, or lead to collapse.

Results based on comparisons between the social networks of the Northern and Southern regions of the Valencian Bronze Age show that the Southern Region’s social structure was less stable through time. The Southern Region’s social structure consisted of competing cores of exchange. This type of competition often leads to power imbalances, conflict, and instability. Strong dependencies on the neighboring Argaric during the Early and Middle Bronze Ages and contributed to the Southern Region’s inability to maintain social stability after the Argaric collapsed. Furthermore, the Southern Region participated in the exchange of more complex technology—bronze. Complex technologies produce networks with hub and spoke structures highly vulnerable to collapse after the destruction of a hub. The Northern Region’s social structure remained structurally cohesive through time, promoting social stability.

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Date Created
2020