Space and Social Complexity in Greece from the Early Iron Age to the Classical Period

by Ruth Westgate

Hesperia, Volume 84, Issue 1
Page(s): 47-95
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/hesperia.84.1.0047
Year: 2015


This article explores ways in which the increasing segmentation and specialization of domestic space in central and western Greece in the 8th-4th centuries B.C. relate to social complexity. Segmentation served to differentiate between members of a household, introducing different patterns in the use of space, both between men and women and between free and slave. The need for physical boundaries and architecturally specialized rooms intensified as the size and heterogeneity of communities increased, and stronger cues in the built environment were needed to ensure that behavioral conventions were observed. Other factors contributing to the increase in rooms include social stratification and economic specialization.