Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


27 April 2011

Wine and olive oil from an Early Minoan I hilltop fort

A.J. Koh & P.P. Betancourt Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry 10.2 (2010): 15-23.


Aphrodite’s Kephali is a small hilltop site in Eastern Crete. Its pottery indicates that it was inhabited during Early Minoan I (EM I), ca. 3200–2700 B.C. The fortified site has a considerable amount of storage, including nine pithoi. The analysis by gas chromatography of sherds from the site indicates that vessels contained olive oil and wine. These results are the earliest documented presence of both of these commodities in Crete. The evidence is important because the domestication of the olive and grape at this early period in Crete has been previously questioned.

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