Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2010

13 August 2012

Ancient Crete. From Successful Collapse to Democracy’s Alternatives, Twelfth to Fifth Centuries BC

Saro Wallace

Ancient Crete. From Successful Collapse to Democracy’s Alternatives, Twelfth to Fifth Centuries BC

City: Cambridge

Year: 2010

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Description: Hardback, 476 p., 211 b/w illustrations, 11 maps, 3 tables, 25,3x21,5 cm


‘Ancient Greece’ with its associations of city states, democratic governance, and iconic material culture, can no longer be envisaged as a uniform geographical or historical entity. The Classical city-states of Crete differed considerably in culture, history and governance from those of central Greece. In this book, Saro Wallace reaches back into Crete’s prehistory, covering the latest Bronze Age through the Archaic periods, to find out why. It emphasizes the roles of landscape, external contacts, social identity construction and historical consciousness in producing this difference, bringing together the wealth of new archaeological evidence available from the island with a variety of ancient text sources to produce a vivid and up-to-date picture of this momentous period in Crete’s history.


Part I: Crete Between East and West, State Collapse, and State Emergence

1. Introduction [3]
2. Method and structure [7]
3. Text perspectives 18]
4. Chronology, terminology, and dating methods [22]
5. The Late Bronze Age Cretan landscape and its use [30]
6. The broader framework: structures of landscape use by the LBA-EIA transition [39]

Part II. ‘Positive’ Collapse and Its Effects, c.1200–1000 BC: The Restructuring of Space and Place

7. Approaches to studying collapse – explanation and characterization [49]
8. Settlement pattern in Crete [52]
9. Subsistence in the new settlement environment [73]
10. Settlement change outside Crete: islands and peninsulas [76]
11. Mainland central Greece: settlement priorities during and after collapse [88]
12. Constructing post-collapse society: inside Cretan settlements, c.1200–1000 BC [104]
13. Focus on ceremonial and ritual practice within settlements [127]
14. Beyond settlements: the changing cultural landscape [136]
15. Mortuary space and practice in Crete and other areas [150]
16. The structure of collapse in Crete [164]

Part III. After the Fall: Interactions with Other Mediterranean Regions in the Twelfth to Eighth Centuries BC

17.Introduction [169]
18. Long-distance contacts before and after the collapse horizon, c.1300–1000 BC [171]
19. The social role of exotica [177]
20. Exchange structures inside post-collapse Crete [187]
21. Lift-off: east Mediterranean trade and the central Aegean from the tenth century [195]
22. Nothing to declare? – Crete in the tenth through eighth centuries [202]
23. Modes and routes of exchange within Crete in the later EIA [215]
24. Crete’s membership in the ‘orientalising’ and colonial worlds from the seventh century [218]

Part IV. ‘Proto-poleis’? – The Growth of Social Complexity in Crete from the Tenth through the Seventh Centuries

25. Main sources of evidence discussed [231]
26. Settlement patterns (1): the nucleation phenomenon [233]
27. Settlement patterns (2): small sites and small-group identity [254]
28. Subsistence and land-use in the expanding polities [263]
29. Inside settlements [267]
30. The mortuary record [286]
31. The ritual landscape and the construction of political identity [312]
32. The early Archaic horizon: correlates of state development and growth in the archaeological record [327]
33. The polis as place and as concept in Crete [339]
34. The value of ‘classic’ state formation models to PG-early Archaic Crete, viewed in its Mediterranean context [343]

Part V. Constructing Difference: The History, Structure, and Context of Cretan States in the Later Archaic through Classical Periods

35. Introduction [353]
36. Special aspects of the Archaic to Classical Cretan polis [358]
37. Cretan identities in historical perspective [363]
38. Serfdom and slavery in the construction of Late Archaic to Classical society: comparisons between Crete and other Aegean areas [376]
39. The public feasting tradition and its political significance in Crete and other areas [384]
40. A final comparison: democracy and its alternatives in the Aegean world [391]

References [401]

Index [447]


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