Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


8 March 2014

The EM III Phase in South Central Crete: New Data from Phaistos

Simona Todaro Aegean Archaeology 10 (2009-2010) [2013]: 65-85.


The Prepalatial period in south central Crete is largely known through the rich but generally unstratified deposits that have been retrieved from the communal tholos tombs, and which have been dated by virtue of stylistic and typological comparisons with ceramic deposits excavated elsewhere in Crete. This dating procedure has been misleading as the lack of criteria through which the EM IIB and the EM III could be distinguished has meant that many ceramic classes or single shapes have been cautiously attributed to a non-specific ‘EM I – MM’ phase. The discovery of uninterrupted sequences of habitation levels at Phaistos from FN to MM I, has shed an important new light on this crucial period of the history of Crete. The new stratigraphic data has in fact shown that many of the fossil-types that had long been considered to be diagnostic of the MM IA period actually appeared in the Phaistian assemblages in EM IIB, with a specific typology and decorative patterns, and only slowly developed through time. In this paper I will focus on four occupation phases (Phaistos Vlll a, b, c and Phaistos IX), which have all been attributed to the EM III, and will try to highlight the continuity and changes that occurred in terms of typology, surface treatment, fabric, and forming technique of the most frequent coarse and fine wares.


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