Mobility or movement implies starting and finishing locations. This paper focuses on finishing points, moments in time revealed by excavation. It recognizes two clearly distinct, successive moments at each stage in a site’s occupation sequence, first the moment revealed by a context, for example a destruction event, and second what followed, also an event (or a continuity) but which can be characterized as the response or reaction to the foregoing event. The paper considers whether mobility might or might not be implied by the reaction.
The case study is the occupation sequence over the period Middle Minoan III to Late Minoan II (1700 B.C. - 1390 B.C. at the limits) on the excavated site immediately west of the Knossos Stratigraphical Museum. Over this time at least five events and five reactions are apparent. First, MM III B-LM I A Transition, c. 1600 B.C., a destruction (probably earthquake) and continuity. Second, c. 1525 B.C., the Thera Volcanic Eruption near the end of LM I A, and a major response, new buildings in ashlar masonry. Third, at the end of LM I A, the sudden interruption of the new building work (very probably earthquake) and an unexpected response, change to an industrial site and the erection of a new building with ritual connotations. Fourth, destruction of the building by fire at the end of LM IB and the erection (LM II) of a further new building and the completion of the old unfinished building (event 3), with much use of gypsum. Fifth, destruction of the LM II buildings by fire and construction of circular platforms in ashlar masonry, probably reused, on now open ground (LM III A 1).
Reaction 1 was local continuity. Reaction 2 indicates Knossian mobility, with new wealth and access to increased resources. Reactions 3A and 3B each imply different forms of intra-site mobility and socio-economic or socio-political change. Reaction 4 certainly implies mobility, the initial presence of Mycenaeans. Reaction 5 again implies intra-site mobility, this time under Mycenaean suzerainty.