The Aegean area has represented since at least the Upper Palaeolithic the most vital theatre of mobility in the Eastern Mediterranean. The motivation, the direction and the scale of mobility has led scholarship to define limited or more extensive land or sea trade networks and changing spheres of interaction in the Aegean in particular from the late 5th through the 2nd mill. BC. Contacts between Crete and the East Aegean / Western Anatolia cannot so far be traced before the Early Minoan II (EM), as finds from Liman Tepe V and Miletus II indicate. Increased interaction is registered at the end of the Middle Bronze Age (MB) with the erection of the New Palaces in Minoan Crete.
Recent excavations at the Heraion of Samos have revealed for the first time a flourishing, strongly fortified MB settlement with evolved political, economic and social structures, which interacted with Mainland Greece, the Cyclades and the Old Palaces of Crete. In this paper, Minoan imported pottery and small finds as well as pottery of Minoan inspiration will be discussed within their Samian context in order to clarify the scale and the value of interaction between Crete and the Southeast Aegean during the Old Palace period.