It has long been argued whether the EM III-MM IA period exists in East Crete and how it should be defined. There have been attempts to resolve the issue using ceramic material and/or stratigraphy; however, this issue has never been fully resolved.
The EM III-MM IA period is now viewed as a time of major growth that gradually increases in complexity through MM I (Schoep 2006; Schoep et al. 2012) and is often explained through ideological and peaceful influence of elites on communities. There is also evidence for major urban and rural growth (Whitelaw 2012).
Despite the data from regional surveys confirming the increased number of sites in East Crete, the gradual growth of sites can only be seen up until EM IIB. The increase of sites in EM III is rather rapid and cannot be explained only by natural generation growth.
This paper examines and – where possible – provides answers to the two main questions, i.e. how to look at the EM III-MM IA period from the perspective of ceramics and stratigraphy at Priniatikos Pyrgos, and what is the background of the decline of Priniatikos Pyrgos after EM III-MM IA.