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Look Inside Ancient Crete

Ancient Crete
From Successful Collapse to Democracy's Alternatives, Twelfth–Fifth Centuries BC

$63.99 (C)

  • Date Published: March 2014
  • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from May 2019
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107688414

$ 63.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • ‘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.

    • First synthesis of diverse and rich new archaeological data from LBA-EIA Crete
    • Contextualizes sites and artifacts within Crete's striking and complex landscape
    • Highlights current thematic issues in archaeology in relation to ancient Greek studies, particularly the role of agency and contingency in state formation and collapse
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...important book... Essential." --Choice

    "...useful and comprehensive and will stimulate much discussion." --BMCR

    “This book presents a coherent argument and an original synthesis. Wallace’s knowledge of the island cannot be equaled.” --American Journal of Philology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107688414
    • length: 479 pages
    • dimensions: 255 x 178 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.98kg
    • contains: 204 b/w illus. 7 colour illus. 11 maps 3 tables
    • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from May 2019
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Crete Between East and West, State Collapse, and State Emergence:
    1. Introduction
    2. Method and structure
    3. Text perspectives
    4. Chronology, terminology, and dating methods
    5. The Late Bronze Age Cretan landscape and its use
    6. The broader framework: structures of landscape use by the LBA-EIA transition
    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
    8. The changing use of space: introduction
    9. Settlement pattern in Crete
    10. Subsistence in the new settlement environment
    11. Settlement change outside Crete: islands and peninsulas
    12. Mainland central Greece: settlement priorities during and after collapse
    13. Constructing post-collapse society: inside Cretan settlements, c.1200–1000 BC
    14. Ceremonial and ritual practice within settlements
    15. Beyond settlements: the changing cultural landscape
    16. Mortuary space and practice in Crete and other areas
    17. The structure of collapse in Crete
    Part III. After the Fall: Interactions with Other Mediterranean Regions in the Twelfth to Eighth Centuries BC:
    18. Introduction
    19. Long-distance contacts before and after the collapse horizon, c.1300–1000 BC
    20. The social role of exotica
    21. Exchange structures inside post-collapse Crete
    22. Lift-off: east Mediterranean trade and the central Aegean from the tenth century
    23. Nothing to declare? – Crete in the tenth through eighth centuries
    24. Modes and routes of exchange within Crete in the later EIA
    25. Crete's membership in the 'orientalising' and colonial worlds from the seventh century
    Part IV. 'Proto-poleis'? – The Growth of Social Complexity in Crete from the Tenth through the Seventh Centuries:
    26. Main sources of evidence discussed
    27. Settlement patterns (1): the nucleation phenomenon
    28. Settlement patterns (2): small sites and small-group identity
    29. Subsistence and land-use in the expanding polities
    30. Inside settlements
    31. The mortuary record
    32. The ritual landscape and the construction of political identity
    33. The early Archaic horizon: correlates of state development and growth in the archaeological record
    34. The polis as place and as concept in Crete
    35. The value of 'classic' state formation models to PG-early Archaic Crete, viewed in its Mediterranean context
    Part V. Constructing Difference: The History, Structure, and Context of Cretan States in the Later Archaic through Classical Periods:
    36. Introduction
    37. Problems in generalization and comparison
    38. The central Greek polis structure over time: tensions between tyranny/kingship and participative governance
    39. Special aspects of the Archaic to Classical Cretan pols
    40. Cretan identities in historical perspective
    41. Serfdom and slavery in the construction of Late Archaic to Classical society: comparisons between Crete and other Aegean areas
    42. The public feasting tradition and its political significance in Crete and other areas
    43. A final comparison: democracy and its alternatives in the Aegean world.

  • Author

    Saro Wallace, University of Reading
    Saro Wallace is Lecturer in Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Reading. A recipient of a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and regular grants from the British Academy and Institute for Aegean Prehistory, she has published many papers and reviews in the field of Bronze to Iron Age Greece. She currently directs excavations at the Late Bronze-Early Iron Age mountaintop site of Karfi, Crete.

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