Protogeometric and Geometric Crete Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Judson, Catharine
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Classics
  • The Protogeometric period on Crete, generally the 10th and 9th centuries BCE, was characterized by a change in settlement patterns from small settlement clusters in Late Minoan IIIC to larger culture-regions defined by centralized and nucleated settlements linked to increasingly defined territories. Understanding the meaning of these changes in spatial structures and social organization, and their impact on later settlement patterns of the Cretan Early Iron Age requires a finer analytical scale and narrower temporal framework. It is, however, a necessary part of moving away from reductive historicizing narratives of palatial collapse or polis development prevalent in scholarship on Early Iron Age settlement development. Instead, reconstructing the material ways in which culture-regions were defined over the course of the Protogeometric period and beyond allows us to consider new approaches for tracking the early development of polities normally predicated on historical paradigms. This project gathers the published evidence for the Cretan Protogeometric period in order to develop new models for visualizing ways in which deliberately-constructed relationships between communities in shifting settlement systems acted as mechanisms for the definition of culture-regions. The “adherent model” suggests that communities that closely adhered to Late Minoan IIIC settlements and cemeteries through the re-use of older habitation sites for ritualized activities, such as burial or feasting, remained highly localized and organized according to close kinship ties for much of the Early Iron Age. In contrast, the “nucleated model” predicts a system in which communities abandoned Late Minoan IIIC sites over the course of the Protogeometric period and developed larger corporate groups at an earlier date. These models ascribe different relative rates of social cohesion to different spatial patterns at the regional and site levels. The usefulness of the adherent model for visualizing the spatial and cultural dimension of social change within communities over the course of the Early Iron Age is further explored through a series of case studies that examine differential patterns of mobility in habitation and ritual spaces. Case studies from the Kavousi region and Knossos underpin major parts of the discussion of these archaeologically visible patterns and their intersections with historical narratives.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Antonaccio, Carla
  • Dillon, Sheila
  • Valladares, Herica
  • Haggis, Donald
  • Gates-Foster, Jennifer
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2018

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