A view of MM IIIA at Phaistos: Pottery production and consumption at the beginning of the Neopalatial Period
L. Girella Aegean Archaeology 9, 2007-2008 : 49-89.
The article investigates aspects of pottery production and consumption at Phaistos during Middle Minoan (MM) IIIA. After the excavations carried out by Pernier and Levi, our knowledge of MM III has seen significant progress over the last decade helping us to look at the role of the palace in this period as well as allowing the ceramic sequence of MM IIIA and MM IIIB to be distinguished. In particular, owing to the rich series of MM IIB and MM IIIA pottery deposits at the site, it is now possible to differentiate on stratigraphic and stylistic grounds an Early from a Mature MM IIIA phase. Using typology and evaluating aspects of pottery manufacture and technology, this article tries to clarify the role of Phaistos in the Early MM IIIA phase and to understand patterns of change and continuity after the earthquake destruction of MM IIB. The analysis reveals considerable continuity from MM IIB pottery manufacture and decoration, along with major changes that raise questions about the social groups using the pottery and new ways of consumption. Although physically damaged, the Phaistos palace emerges as an important entity in MM IIIA, as changes occurring in this period in the western Mesara demonstrate.