Mutable spaces and unseen places: A study of access, communication and spatial control in households at Early Iron Age (EIA) Zagora on Andros

25 July 2017

This paper explores household spatiality using excavated household data from the Early Iron Age settlement of Zagora on Andros, in Greece. The site has extensive household remains, undisturbed by subsequent occupation, with clear evidence of an intensification of spatial arrangements during the final phase of occupation. As such, the Zagora material is well-suited to nuanced investigations of space and human behaviour. The principles of convex spatial analysis (access analysis) are employed as a first step in examining spatial arrangements and control in the context of human behaviour. Emphasis is placed on the value of access analysis as a visual (rather than quantitative) tool for exploring the use and perception of space from partially preserved household remains. This research queries how identified patterns of access and communication might have shaped the experience and social perception of household space. It examines the degree of control over sight, movement and the level of interaction between household inhabitants and the larger community. It then considers how other spatial attributes such as access to natural light, and the configuration of floor areas, hearths and other built features can help us further explore the functional and social implications of spatial arrangements. This analysis allows for the patterns, characteristics and attributes of different spatial systems to be readily and visually assessed. Most importantly, the approach is provisional not prescriptive, and does not prioritise one spatial interpretation over others