Collections > Azoria Project Archive > Publications > Urbanization and the Emergence of the Greek Polis: The Case of Azoria, Crete

Perhaps the most striking development accompanying the emergence of the Greek city-state (ca. 1200-480 BC) was the appearance of new urban centers whose form, contents, and construction provided the most visible and effective means of creating, reinforcing, and symbolizing the social, political, and economic relationships that characterized the new polis system. Excavations at the site of Azoria (East Crete) have brought to light an unparalleled collection of architectural data, largely unobscured by later activities, that provides one of the best opportunities to study the architectural correlates of urbanization in the Greek world. This paper explores three levels of the built environment at Azoria - the domestic, the civic, and the - and demonstrates that the architectural landscape of the nascent city-state not only served to reflect the dramatic social and political developments that accompanied the emergence of the polis, but in effect, also functioned a.s an active agent in their creation.