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TITLE Protopalatial Knossos: The development of a major urban community
AUTHOR Shapland Andrew
LANGUAGE Αγγλικά / English
PUBLISH DATE 29.08.2019
KEYWORDS Knossos, Crete, Aegean, Greece, Protopalatial, Middle Minoan, urbanism, surface survey, urban survey
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The Protopalatial period at Knossos is seen as a time of momentous political change associated with the development of the palace on the Kephala hill. Such architectural and social changes, however, are only indirectly reflected in the survey material that this paper presents. The diagnostic pottery of the Middle Minoan period consists mostly of fine light-on-dark “Kamares Ware” (although painted decoration needed for close dating rarely survives in surface material) and to a lesser extent the mass-produced MM II-IIIA “crude ware”, which can be distinguished from Neopalatial ceramics only in the case of particular shapes. Coarse wares are less specifically diagnostic for this period. The distribution of fine wares in particular documents the expansion of the urban centre to more than 60 ha by the end of the Protopalatial period. This expansion is consistent with the wider territorial expansion of Knossos during this time, which was necessary to support the growing population of the increasingly differentiated urban community. This paper also examines the relationship of the survey data to the published MM burial landscape of the Knossos valley, but it is often difficult to distinguish cemetery areas from the background scatter of settlement debris. For the settlement, the survey material defines the boundaries of the urban core in the Protopalatial period in a more consistent way than the uneven distribution of excavations of MM houses, clustered close to the palace, had allowed previously. This paper concludes that a combination of survey and excavation data largely provides an accurate picture of the extent of Protopalatial Knossos, although the emphasis in the survey data on closely datable fine wares and recovery biases mean that the picture is still incomplete.