Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


Monday 3 December 2012

Burial Practices during the Neopalatial, Final Palatial and Postpalatial periods in Central Crete (in Greek)

Georgios Evangelou National and Kapodistrian University of Athens 2009

Burial Practices during the Neopalatial, Final Palatial and Postpalatial periods in Central Crete (in Greek)

Description: 4 volumes (pages 558 - 222 - 659 - 191), 2 catalogues, 64 plates, 100 graphs, 45 maps, 184 drawings

Country: Greece

Supervisor: George S. Korres

Other supervisors: E. Mantzourani, E. Platon

Examiners: N. Sgouritsa, I. Karali - Giannakopoulou, A. Papadimitriou - Grammenou, I. Papadatos

AIM OF THE STUDY: to investigate the development of the mortuary practices in Central Crete during the Neopalatial, Final Palatial and Postpalatial periods (approx. 1700 – 1200 B.C).

METHOD: Τhis study constitutes a first attempt at contextual analysis of the data from cretan tombs, taking account of the latest theoretical interpretive approaches. A relational database («RADAMANTHYS») was designed and implemented for the purposes of the study composed of three files: (1) a database of the sites (analyzed cases: 264), (2) a database of burial structures (analyzed cases 518). and 3) a database of the finds of each tomb. Data analysis identified differences and similarities in time and space. Specifically there were analyzed: 1: regional characteristics (quality of information, spatial distribution of burial sites): 2: burial structures (quality of information, architectural types and their spatial distribution, visibility of the graves); 3: modes of disposal (primary and secondary interments, child burials, ritual practices); 4: the funerary assemblages (pottery, metal and stone vases, jewellery, weapons, tools, equipment, statuettes, organic material); 5: categories of differentiation (size, quality of construction, wealth of tombs and cemeteries); 6: spatial analysis of cemeteries (evolution through time, groupings of tombs); 7: time of use of the cemeteries (calculation of size population); 8: discussion of data from Physical Anthropology research.


  • Using the specific method we can analyze even multiple used robbed or disturbed tombs.
  • The research of mortuary practices can be improve dramatically through the use of digital databases and applications of geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Extensive  analysis of osteological material in situ and further laboratory study is required.


  • Mortuary practices do not simply serve as an exact expression of social reality. They create social reality as well as shaping people’s perception of the world and their position within it.
  • Capturing data from other cultural areas should be examined within the wider historical frame of the era under investigation.
  • The detection of social changes must be studied within a specific chronological and spatial context avoiding general interpretive schemas.


  • Social and mortuary practices in central Crete has not had the same intensity over time and space. This expresses a different development of the regional societies of the island.        
  • The transformation of social and mortuary practices in central Crete and in the whole island are associated with wider structural political and cultural changes that took place in the southern Aegean Sea during the Late Bronze Age.

Read the dissertation: Press here


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