Maximilian Buston

DPhil in Archaeology


The dedication of fibulae and the cosmopolitanism of the Aegean in the 13th-7th Centuries BC

Research abstract

This thesis investigates fibulae, a major yet understudied class of metalwork that was introduced in the Aegean betwixt the decline of the Mycenaean world, and fast being
manufactured across the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Their selective adoption and development, uncovers important divergences in modes and styles of dress, as well as dedication practices within Aegean regions.

The thesis has three central aims: 1) to create a new typology of Aegean fibulae and 2) address the diversity of fibulae and the interaction within and between small worlds in the Mediterranean and 3) to understand the processes that made it appropriate to dedicate fibulae at international sanctuary sites.

The typology is recursive and comprises three main elements: the cross-section, profile and catch-plate. A significant part of the thesis concerns the analyses of the fibulae using quantitative methods. One is Diversity (or “SHE”) Analysis that measures richness and evenness. The other is to put into practice methods, including phylogenetic trees, outlined by evolutionary archaeologists. Their methods attempt to isolate selection from stochastic change due to cultural drift, copying-errors and chance.


Professor Irene S Lemos, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Oxford

Professor James Whitley, Professor in Mediterranean Archaeology, Cardiff University


Max is also an interior designer, formerly working at Anouska Hempel.