BRONZE AGE INTRAREGIONAL MOBILITY IN EAST CRETE: FROM MESORACHI TO PAPADIOKAMPOS
The paper is an overview of recent excavations at Mesorachi and Papadiokampos between 2007 and 2015. Geographically this region of eastern Crete forms a natural boundary on the north coast between the Mirabello and Siteia Bays, which for most of Cretan history was a sparsely inhabited periphery. One exception is the Bronze Age. For this period our project has recovered a cluster of Final Neolithic-Early Bronze I sites, an unusual Middle Bronze II Peak Sanctuary, and a large coastal town occupied from the Middle Bronze II to Late Bronze I periods. Viewed together these sites show a surprisingly dynamic pattern of settlement which began with defensible locations at Mesorachi at the beginning of the Bronze Age. From the EM II-MM I period local habitation moved to the foothills above Papadiokampos near Haghios Ioannis. During the Protopalatial period a new settlement appeared on the coast with a Peak Sanctuary on the Trachilas Peninsula. This town was rebuilt in LM I and abandoned for good after the LM IB destruction.
The artefacts and ecofacts from these sites provide intriguing evidence for the local diet and economy and relations with other parts of Crete and the wider Aegean world. The data also reveal distinctive features of settlement organization that are not typical of the Protopalatial and Neopalatial periods (e.g., an unusual plan with each house surrounded by gardens rather than being grouped tightly together). Our paper considers this combined evidence in the framework of “intraregional mobility”.