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Pottery Production, Distribution and Consumption in Early Minoan West Crete

An analytical perspective

Eleni Nodarou
Publication Year:
212pp. Illustrated throughout with maps, plans, figures, drawings and photographs including 38 colour plates
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This study investigates the provenance and technology of pottery during the earlier Prepalatial period (EM I-EM IIB) in west Crete, using an integrated approach involving stylistic examination and archaeometric analysis. Although the stylistic particularities of the west Cretan Early Minoan assemblages have been acknowledged since the 1960s, there has been no attempt to assess and interpret the differences, and integrate this part of Crete into the broader picture of the Prepalatial period. Due to the lack of publications and analyses, west Crete remained estranged from the new developments that have changed the way the Prepalatial period is considered. As part of the GEOPRO TMR Network, this project applies an integrated methodology to the ceramic material from selected sites and investigates issues of pottery provenance and technology. The analytical techniques used comprise thin section petrography, neutron activation analysis and scanning electron microcopy. Possible locations of production for the various fabrics are suggested and technological issues, such as clay recipes, firing practices and pottery manufacturing traditions, are discussed. As the research revealed no imports from outside Crete, and this contrasts with central and eastern Crete, the position and role of west Crete in the southern Aegean during the Early Bronze Age is re-assessed. Appendices include a catalogue of samples, petrographic descriptions, and NAA data. The final section features collection of 38 colour plates, including micrographs.