PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON THE PROTOGEOMETRIC POTTERY OF THE SIDEROSPILIA NECROPOLIS (PRINIAS)
The necropolis of Siderospilia of Prinias and those of the Knossos area are the greatest Early Iron Age necropoleis excavated in central Crete. A preliminary examination of the grave goods found in the first of these allowed us to identify the tombs used in Protogeometric times and to give a first “physiognomy” to the contemporary ceramic style, previously known, in this area, by sporadic findings only.
The ceramics of Siderospilia continue, in parallel with the Knossian ones, the legacy of the TM IIIC and, at the same time, independently from the Knossos area, re-elaborate decorative motifs and suggestions coming from outside the island, especially from Cyprus. Among the imports, the showiest is a rare Attic Late Protogeometric krater (1000-900 BC), which is the only one so far found in in a necropolis of Crete (a small imported fragment was found in the urban area of Knossos) and the southernmost exported specimen in the Aegean Sea. The recipients of this and other valuable imported metal products must have been the members of wealthy local aristocracies. Finally, it seems that the anonymous site on the Patela hill, thanks also to its privileged position on the route connecting the northern and the southern coasts of the island, attracted goods and ideas from various parts of the Mediterranean basin, and that its role as mediator of external stimuli was not secondary.