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Monastiraki Katalimata

Monastiraki Katalimata: Excavation of a Cretan Refuge Site, 1993-2000

Krzysztof Nowicki
with a foreword by Metaxia Tsipopoulou
Volume: 24
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: INSTAP Academic Press
Pages: 275
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  • Book Info
    Monastiraki Katalimata
    Book Description:

    The natural terraces hanging high on the northern cliff of the Cha Gorge at the site of Monastiraki Katalimata in eastern Crete were discovered as an excellent refuge site for the first time about 5,500 years ago. At first sight, Katalimata looks like an extreme refuge place where one might expect small groups of people hiding for a brief time during the most serious period of threat. Excavation of the largest of the terraces, however, has shown that use of the place was often long-lasting and more complex. The most interesting result of the project was the identification at Katalimata of almost all the same phases known from elsewhere in Crete (and, in some cases, the broader Aegean region) as periods of disturbances, relocations, and destructions. The pottery, when compared with the material from Chalasmenos and neighbouring sites near Kavousi, allows the site to be placed in a well-established historical context in relation to the general breakdown of LM IIIB settlement pattern around 1200 B.C. This monograph provides a detailed discussion of the six occupational phases recorded on the largest of Monastiraki Katalimata's terraces (Final Neolithic, MM II, LM IB-IIIA1, LM IIIC, Early Byzantine, and Late Venetian to the 17th century A.D.) and offers a reconstruction of the site's role in the context of Cretan history.

    eISBN: 978-1-62303-060-5
    Subjects: History, Archaeology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. List of Plates
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Foreword
    (pp. xvii-xxii)
    Metaxia Tsipopoulou

    The Late Minoan III period, and in particular its second half, after the fall of the Mycenaean palaces, has deeply preoccupied many of the archaeologists working in Crete during the last 15 to 20 years. Many studies from western, central, and eastern parts of the island have gradually begun to shed light on this still imperfectly known period: from Chania, with the research of Birgitta Hallager; from the region of Rethymnon, with that of Anna Lucia D’Agata, and of Maria Vlasaki and Eleni Papadopoulou; from Central Crete, with the work of Eleni Hatzaki at Knossos and of Giorgos Rethemiotakis in...

  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  8. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    The excavation of Monastiraki Katalimata was designed as a follow-up to and extension of my field research on the defensible Dark Age sites in Crete. The latter began in 1983 (several years before Katalimata was rediscovered) with topographical studies of sites that had often been described as refuge settlements because of their inaccessible locations on the peaks of mountains and steep hills or, in extreme versions, on rocky knolls with precipitous cliffs. The first target of this research was Karphi, the most famous, the largest, and (previously) the best-published site of this type (Pendlebury, Pendlebury, and Money-Coutts 1937–1938b; Nowicki...

  9. 2 Topography of the Site
    (pp. 7-12)

    The village of Monastiraki is located in eastern Crete on the eastern side of the isthmus of Ierapetra, approximately 3 km southeast of the coastal village of Pacheia Ammos (Fig. 1A, B). In this region of Crete, the three most characteristic elements of the landscape—the sea, the mountains, and the plain—meet in a most spectacular way. The mostly flat and slightly rolling plain of the isthmus is bounded on its east by the huge barrier of the Thriphti Mountains, with its highest peak at Stavromenos (1,476 masl). The mountains rise abruptly from the plain by way of rocky...

  10. 3 Excavation of Terrace C
    (pp. 13-40)

    As mentioned above in Chapter One, Terrace C was surveyed in 1990, and a plan of the buildings (as visible on the surface) was drawn at that time. When this terrace was chosen for excavation in 1993, therefore, the preliminary work had been completed, and the area was well prepared for further investigation (Fig. 8). The characteristics of the terrace ledge made it impossible to excavate the entire terrace at once in a series of square trenches. Instead, it was necessary to dig rather small areas to make sure that the deposit under excavation, once touched, could be unearthed and...

  11. 4 History of Terrace C
    (pp. 41-70)

    The Final Neolithic period was the earliest in the sequence of levels identified during the excavation on Terrace C, although this phase was not recorded during the 1990 survey. Proper FN habitation deposits were preserved in Room 6 and in Contexts 175 and 182 in the East Area. The FN contexts in Room 6 were characterized by a very dark gray soil mixed with ash, sherds, and animal bones; the sherds and bones were usually burned. Soil characteristics and finds suggest that these contexts comprised a food preparation and cooking area. Although only a few sherds and some traces of...

  12. 5 Monastiraki Katalimata and Cretan History
    (pp. 71-92)

    First and foremost, the excavation at Katalimata was undertaken as part of the Chalasmenos Project. Its aim was to establish the chronological and functional relations between these two settlements during the LM IIIC period. This primary goal has been successfully achieved, and the results of the project must be considered seriously in any further detailed analysis of events in Crete and beyond from the very end of the thirteenth through the twelfth century B.C. The location of Katalimata leaves no room for doubts about the reasons behind its occupation. The pottery, particularly when compared with the material from Chalasmenos and...

  13. 6 Catalog of Pottery
    (pp. 93-112)

    The pottery is presented here by the chronological position of the context (see pp. 4–5). For the arrangement of vessels by date and shape, see Concordance A. Entries include the following information:

    1. KP catalog number

    2. Figure and plate numbers

    3. KT pottery group number

    4. Context

    5. Shape (whenever possible to identify)

    6. Dimensions (whenever possible to estimate)

    7. Description of general fabric characteristics and decoration

    8. Dating (whenever possible to identify)

    KP 1 (Fig. 32). KT 161. 103. Jar. Rim d 25.6 cm. Coarse, dark brown, phyllite.

    KP 2 (Fig. 32). KT 161. 103. Cooking pot?...

  14. 7 Catalog of Pottery Groups
    (pp. 113-124)

    This catalog includes the full register of pottery groups. Each group is connected with a particular context number, and usually, but not always, several KT numbers derive from one context (see pp. 4–5). For a list of cataloged vessels belonging to each group, see Concordance B. Entries include the following information:

    1. KT number

    2. Year of excavation

    3. Terrace definition and room number

    4. Context

    5. Number of sherds and date

    6. Weight

    KT 1. 1996. Terrace C, Room 6. From section along Wall 1. 12 Neolithic, 40g.

    KT 2. 1993. Terrace C, Room 6. From 37, surface...

  15. 8 Catalog of Small Finds
    (pp. 125-128)

    This catalog includes the full excavation register of small finds: bone tools, glass objects, metal objects, chipped stone, ground stone tools, stone vases, and a sealstone. Entries include the following information:

    1. Catalog number (as originally inventoried during the excavation)

    2. Figure and plate numbers

    3. Description

    4. Dimensions (whenever possible to estimate)

    5. Context

    6. Year excavated

    7. Dating (whenever possible to identify)

    KTB 1 (Fig. 82; Pl. 28A). “Chisel,” complete but broken into several pieces and restored. L 10.4; th 0.9 cm. From 41. 1993. FN.

    KTB 2 (Fig. 82; Pl. 28A). “Chisel,” small fragment preserved. L pres...

  16. References
    (pp. 131-138)
  17. Concordance A: Cataloged Pottery Listed by Date and Shape
    (pp. 141-148)
  18. Concordance B: Cataloged Pottery within Each Pottery Group
    (pp. 149-158)
  19. Index
    (pp. 161-166)
  20. Figures
    (pp. None)
  21. Plates
    (pp. None)