Warriors’ Equipment: A Tool for Acquiring, Maintaining and Displaying Status and Domination

What can a study of burial rituals from Iron Age Macedonia tell us about representations of domination? The aim of this project is to understand warrior praxis in past societies, specifically by examining how this dominant social group represented itself. The focus is on the warriors’ equipment and the dialectic relationship between user and object, in which warriorhood gives meaning to the weapons and the weapons in turn signify and make warriors. Apart from being tools of war, ancient weapons were also heraldic devices. During burial rituals they were manipulated to create specific representations of the deceased warriors. Although in most cases this identity in death was founded on actual lifeways, it did not always correspond to the biographical reality of the deceased. Understanding the ways in which warriorhood was constructed and communicated can provide insights into how the status of this social group was (re)negotiated and legitimized.

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