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Mortuary Behavior and Social Trajectories in Pre- and Protopalatial Crete

Mortuary Behavior and Social Trajectories in Pre- and Protopalatial Crete

Borja Legarra Herrero
Volume: 44
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: INSTAP Academic Press
Pages: 482
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  • Book Info
    Mortuary Behavior and Social Trajectories in Pre- and Protopalatial Crete
    Book Description:

    The archaeological remains of Pre- and Protopalatial (Early Minoan I to Middle Minoan IIB) Crete include a large number of tombs and cemeteries dating to the third and second millennium B.C.E. These periods constitute a distinct cycle in terms of mortuary customs that was clearly defined by two significant attributes: the use of similar types of tombs and the deposition of significant amounts of material, objects that must be considered socially valuable. This mortuary cycle corresponded with dynamic social changes on Crete that ended in the appearance of a state society. Cemeteries and funerary rituals were central social arenas in Pre- and Protopalatial Crete. The study of the mortuary record therefore can elucidate dynamic history of Cretan communities during the Pre- and Protopalatial periods. This book constitutes an effort to reach a better understanding of a key period in Cretan and European history by a clear and concise approach to the funerary evidence: it is a comprehensive study of the totality of the known Cretan mortuary record during the Pre- and Protopalatial periods.

    eISBN: 978-1-62303-354-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Figures
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    Prehistoric Crete has had a significant presence in the archaeological literature since the end of the 19th century. One important reason for such significance is the rich and relatively well-preserved archaeological record of the island from the Paleolithic and perhaps Mesolithic periods onward. The archaeological remains include a large number of tombs and cemeteries, many of which date to the third and second millennium b.c.e., also called the Pre- and Protopalatial periods or Early Minoan (EM) I to Middle Minoan (MM) IIB (for a chronological framework, see Table 1). These periods constitute a distinct cycle in terms of mortuary customs...

  8. 2 Archaeology and Death in Pre- and Protopalatial Crete: Theoretical and Methodological Issues
    (pp. 3-18)

    The ultimate aim of this book is to gain a better understanding of Cretan communities in the Pre- and Protopalatial periods. To achieve this, it is first necessary to present the theoretical foundations on which this book lies, and how these address some of the more pervasive assumptions in the studies of Pre- and Protopalatial Crete. The second part of the chapter engages in a more evidence-oriented discussion of how to approach the study of the Cretan mortuary record.

    Over the last few years, several authors (e.g., Hamilakis 2002b; Papadopoulos and Leventhal, eds., 2003; Barrett and Damilati 2004; Parkinson and...

  9. 3 The Pre- and Protopalatial Archaeological Record
    (pp. 19-30)

    The poor quality of the Cretan data has been mentioned in the previous chapter, and its repercussions for our studies must be carefully considered in order to address these issues within a new methodological approach. While this section gives an overview of the most general shortcomings of the data and potential solutions, exact problems regarding mortuary data can only be examined within the particular context of each region, and the archaeological record and history of investigation of each site. Therefore, the more specific problems in data quality will be dealt with separately in each chapter.

    A first glimpse reveals a...

  10. 4 The Mesara Valley, the Asterousia Mountains, and the South Coast
    (pp. 31-64)

    In past research, South-Central Crete has been regarded as a coherent region, in which the Mesara Valley (which includes the north slopes of the Asterousia Mountains and the south slopes of the Psiloritis Mountains) and the Asterousia Mountains (Fig. 7) have been considered in similar terms (Branigan 1970b, 74–75; 1984; Murphy 1998). It has become clear, however, that the very different landscapes that compose South-Central Crete (Watrous, Hadzi-Vallianou, and Blitzer 2004, 35–36) must be taken into consideration (Sbonias 1995; Relaki 2004; Legarra Herrero 2011c). This chapter involves a study of the whole area rather than dividing it into...

  11. 5 North-Central and Central Crete
    (pp. 65-90)

    North-Central and Central Crete includes a variety of regions and landscapes that span the area between the Dictaean Mountains west of the Mirabello Bay and the Psiloritis Mountains west of modern Herakleion (Fig. 36). This chapter focuses mainly on sites located near the north coast of the designated area, as generally these sites have been more intensively investigated and offer the best-available evidence. The few known sites located farther inland are included in this chapter as they are more significantly related to North-Central Crete than to any other region in the study. They represent only a handful of sites, none...

  12. 6 The Mirabello Bay and the Ierapetra Region
    (pp. 91-118)

    The area around the Mirabello Bay may at first appear to be a distinct and geographically well-defined region (Fig. 68), but the immediate environs of the bay must be considered in tandem with the area around the modern town of Ierapetra on the south coast of Crete, as the wide valley connecting them meant there was quick and easy acess between the two. This close association can also be argued through the Pre- and Protopalatial mortuary records of both areas. In a similar vein, two cemeteries that do not lie geographically within the Mirabello area, but rather on the stretch...

  13. 7 East Crete
    (pp. 119-134)

    As noted in the previous chapter, in this study East Crete is defined geographically as the area situated east of the two valleys that cut the island from north to south, from the Siteia coastal plain to the south coast at Koutsouras (Figs. 68, 100). It has been argued that this separation is not only geographical but is also related to particularities in the mortuary behavior and the history of research in the region that conditions the understanding of mortuary behavior in East Crete.

    The history of research of the mortuary record in East Crete can be characterized by a...

  14. 8 West and West-Central Crete
    (pp. 135-140)

    This chapter analyzes the data from two different large areas: West Crete, which is defined in this study as the region west of Souda Bay and the Lefka Mountains; and West-Central Crete, which refers to the region between the Lefka Mountains and the Psiloritis Mountains (Fig. 123). In this study, the definition of these regions is not based on geographical features and both areas comprise a variety of microregions, from steep mountainous landscapes to rich coastal plains. They are also not defined culturally and do not necessarily equate with two meaningful units in the study of Pre- and Protopalatial Crete....

  15. 9 Mortuary Behavior and Social Organization
    (pp. 141-166)

    Having broken down the analysis of the mortuary evidence into geographical regions in previous chapters, it is time to take a more comprehensive look at how the different areas of Crete compare in terms of mortuary behavior in the different periods, and to situate the emerging patterns more clearly within the theoretical framework of this study.

    Neolithic mortuary customs on the island are not well understood as few Neolithic tombs are known (Zois 1973; Godart and Tzedakis 1992; Strasser 1992; Triantaphyllou 2008). Many of them have in fact been included in this study as they represent burial contexts that continued...

  16. Appendix 1. Gazetteer of Funerary Contexts in Pre- and Protopalatial Crete
    (pp. 167-304)
  17. Appendix 2. Dubitanda
    (pp. 305-308)
  18. References
    (pp. 309-344)
  19. Index
    (pp. 345-360)
  20. Tables
    (pp. None)
  21. Figures
    (pp. None)