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Title: Socioeconomic change and the meaning of settlement in the Early Iron Age of Crete, 12th-7th centuries BC
Author: Wallace, S. A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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A settlement shift occurred in Crete during the 12th century BC (Late Minoan IIIC) from valleys and coasts to more elevated, usually defensible, sites in foothill and mountain zones. The study’s aim is to place this phenomenon in the context of socio-economic change known to have occurred in the Aegean/east Mediterranean in the 12th-7th centuries BC (Early Iron Age: EIA). The implications of the settlement shift for subsistence (sometimes argued to have been its prime mover) are addressed through hinterland characterisation at six sites/site clusters in various regions of Crete. All have occupation starting in this period, but contrast greatly in their size, local topography and length of use. The approach makes use of long-term land-use and settlement history, ethnography and soil studies, alongside archaeological data for the period (which now includes some archaeobotanical/faunal studies). On their own, none of these data sources can define EIA subsistence regimes. Considered together in the six different cases, they do allow significant conclusions to be drawn about the most likely practices and about the general degree of change between Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age subsistence. In the second half of the thesis, and analysis is made of socio-political/economic relationships within and between the new communities, and how these changed over the course of the EIA. They are discussed in the context of wider Aegean developments in exchange economy and in social organisation, strongly connected to new systems of production, circulation and consumption of high-value goods. Many settlements founded in the shift of the 12th century were abandoned, while significant nucleation took place at others, from the Protogeometric period (early 10th century). The latter continued to develop through Archaic (7th and 6th centuries BC) and in many cases became Classical poleis. Their locations can be shown to share better access to large arable hinterlands and to communication routes than the abandoned sites, again giving rise to questions of how EIA settlement related to economic considerations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available