Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2013

18 September 2013

Aphrodite’s Kephali: An Early Minoan I Defensive Site in Eastern Crete

Philip P. Betancourt (with contributions by Kostas Chalikias, Heidi M.C. Dierckx, Andrew J. Koh, Evi Margaritis, Floyd W. McCoy, Eleni Nodarou & David S. Reese)

Aphrodite’s Kephali: An Early Minoan I Defensive Site in Eastern Crete

City: Philadelphia

Year: 2013

Publisher: INSTAP Academic Press

Series: Prehistory Monographs 41

Description: Hardback, 272 p., 30 tables, 97 b/w figures, 29x22 cm


The small site of Aphrodite’s Kephali, among several other Minoan and later sites, took advantage of the valley topography in the Isthmus of Ierapetra in eastern Crete by establishing themselves along the nearby hills, resulting in easy access to the natural trade route between the Aegean and the Libyan Seas. A discussion of the architecture, artifacts, and ecofacts are presented from the excavation of this Early Minoan I watchtower. The conclusions challenge some of the commonly held views about Crete in the third millennium B.C. It is suggested that rather than being a precursor to a socially complex state that would arise later, early polities involving several communities probably already existed in the isthmus during the EM I period. Social and economic differentiation existed on a regional, not just a local level, and decisions for mutual defense could involve collaboration by groups of workers, including the building of the watchtower that is the focus of this volume.


List of Tables in the Text [vii]
List of Figures in the Text [xi]
Preface  [xvii]
Acknowledgments [xix]
List of Abbreviations [xi]


Philip P. Betancourt, ‘Introduction’ [3-8]

Philip P. Betancourt, ‘The Isthmus of lerapetra’ [9-14]

Floyd W. McCoy, ‘Geology and Geologic History’ [15-33]

Philip P. Betancourt, ‘The FN/EM I Settlement Patterns in the Northern Part of the Isthmus of lerapetra’ [35-40]

Kostas Chalikias, ‘The FN/EM I Settlement Patterns in the Southern Part of the Isthmus of lerapetra’ [41-50]


Philip P. Betancourt, ‘The Excavation of the Site’ [53-56]

Philip P. Betancourt, ‘The Architecture’ [57-73]

Philip P. Betancourt, ‘The Pottery’ [75-99]

Heidi M.C. Dierckx, ‘The Ground and Chipped Stone Tools’ [101-107]

David S. Reese, ‘The Faunal Remains’ [109-110]

Evi Margaritis, ‘Arboriculture at Aphrodite’s Kephali’ [111-114]


Philip P. Betancourt, ‘Hillforts and Watchtowers’ [117-122]

Philip P. Betancourt, ‘The Place of Aphrodite’s Kephali in the Early Development of Fortifications’ [123-129]

Philip P. Betancourt, ‘The Significance of Aphrodite’s Kephali’ [131-149]

Appendix A. Eleni Nodarou, ‘Petrographic Analysis of the Pottery’  [151-169]

Appendix B. Andrew Koh & Philip P. Betancourt, ‘Gas Chromatography Analysis of the Pottery’ [171-223]

References [225]
Index [243]


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