Home Region:  Southeastern Europe (Europe)

Neolithic Crete

D G SC WF HS EQ 2020  gr_crete_nl / GrCrNeo

Preceding:
[continuity/discontinuity; Mesolithic Crete] [None]   Update here
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
3000 BCE 1900 BCE Prepalatial Crete (gr_crete_pre_palace)    [continuity]
Add one more here.

The Cretan Neolithic period spans the four millennia between around 7000 and 3000 BCE. [1] [2] Until archaeological work in 2008‒2009 unearthed evidence for hominin occupation on the island as early as 130,000 years ago (in the Lower Palaeolithic), it was believed that the Neolithic farmers whose settlements appear from c. 7000 BCE were the first people to colonize Crete. [3] Nevertheless, one recent genetic study suggests that the Neolithic Cretan population was composed chiefly of newcomers rather than descendants of the island’s Mesolithic inhabitants. [4] They likely sailed from southwestern Asia, [4] bringing a characteristic agricultural package of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, bread wheat and other domesticated food plants. [5]

[1]: (Tomkins 2007) Tomkins, P. 2007. "Neolithic: Strata IX-VIII, VII-VIB, VIA-V, IV, IIIB, IIIA, IIA and IC Groups." In Knossos Pottery Handbook: Neolithic and Bronze Age (Minoan), edited by N. Momigliano, 9-39. British School at Athens Studies 14. London: British School at Athens. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/SRWVHUTT.

[2]: (Tomkins 2008) Tomkins, Peter D. 2008. "Time, Space and the Reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic." In Escaping the Labyrinth: The Cretan Neolithic in Context, edited by Valasia Isaakidou and Peter D. Tomkins, 21-49. Oxford: Oxbow Books. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/P6XBRAKC.

[3]: (Strasser et al. 2010, 145-46) Strasser, Thomas F., Eleni Panagopoulou, Curtis N. Runnels, Priscilla M. Murray, Nicholas Thompson, Panayiotis Karkanas, Floyd W. McCoy, and Karl W. Wegmann. 2010. "Stone Age Seafaring in the Mediterranean: Evidence from the Plakias Region for Lower Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Habitation of Crete." Hesperia 79 (2): 145-90. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/VR7DEQG3.

[4]: (Fernández et al. 2014) Fernández, Eva, Alejandro Pérez-Pérez, Cristina Gamba, Eva Prats, Pedro Cuesta, Josep Anfruns, Miquel Molist, Eduardo Arroyo-Pardo, and Daniel Turbón. 2014. "Ancient DNA Analysis of 8000 B.C. Near Eastern Farmers Supports an Early Neolithic Pioneer Maritime Colonization of Mainland Europe through Cyprus and the Aegean Islands." PLoS Genetics 10 (6): e1004401. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/9TJ7CEP6.

[5]: (Broodbank and Strasser 1991, 236) Broodbank, Cyprian, and Thomas F. Strasser. 1991. "Migrant Farmers and the Neolithic Colonization of Crete." Antiquity 65 (247): 233-45. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/RVNBC48R.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
35 S  
Original Name:
Neolithic Crete  
Capital:
none  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[4,500 BCE ➜ 3,000 BCE]  
Duration:
[7,000 BCE ➜ 3,000 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Succeeding Entity:
Prepalatial Crete  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity/discontinuity  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [None]  
Succeeding: Prepalatial Crete (gr_crete_pre_palace)    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[35 to 70] people 7000 BCE 5900 BCE
[105 to 160] people 5899 BCE 5300 BCE
[210 to 350] people 5299 BCE 4900 BCE
[263 to 500] people 4899 BCE 3000 BCE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[1 to 2]  
Religious Level:
1  
Administrative Level:
1  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent  
Professional Priesthood:
absent  
Professional Military Officer:
absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent  
Merit Promotion:
absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent  
Examination System:
absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent  
Judge:
absent  
Formal Legal Code:
absent  
Court:
absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
absent  
Food Storage Site:
absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
unknown  
Port:
present  
Canal:
absent  
Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent  
Script:
absent  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent  
Sacred Text:
absent  
Religious Literature:
absent  
Practical Literature:
absent  
Philosophy:
absent  
Lists Tables and Classification:
absent  
History:
absent  
Fiction:
absent  
Calendar:
absent  
Information / Money
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
absent  
Foreign Coin:
absent  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent  
General Postal Service:
absent  
Courier:
absent  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
absent  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
absent  
  Fortified Camp:
absent  
  Complex Fortification:
absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
absent  
  Copper:
absent  
  Bronze:
absent  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
absent  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
absent  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
absent  
  Spear:
absent  
  Polearm:
absent  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
absent  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Dog:
absent  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
absent  
  Shield:
absent  
  Scaled Armor:
absent  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
absent  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
absent  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
absent  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Neolithic Crete (gr_crete_nl) was in:
 (7000 BCE 3001 BCE)   Crete
Home NGA: Crete

General Variables
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[4,500 BCE ➜ 3,000 BCE]



Duration:
[7,000 BCE ➜ 3,000 BCE]

The Cretan Neolithic is divided in the Earlier Neolithic (7000-5300 BCE), Late Neolithic (5300-4500 BCE), and Final Neolithic (4500-3000 BCE) periods. [1]

[1]: Tomkins, P. 2007. "Neolithic: Strata IX-VIII, VII-VIB, VIA-V, IV, IIIB, IIIA, IIA and IC groups," in Momigliano, N. (ed.), Knossos Pottery Handbook: Neolithic and Bronze Age (Minoan) (British School at Athens Studies 14), London, 9-39; "Time, space and the reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 21-48.


Political and Cultural Relations
Succeeding Entity:
Prepalatial Crete

Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity/discontinuity

It is generally argued that newcomers from the area of South-West Asia Minor arrived in Crete. [1] [2]

[1]: e.g. Evans, J. D. 1994. "The early millennia: continuity and change in a farming settlement," in Evely, D., Hughes-Brock, H. and Momigliano, N. (eds), Knossos: A Labyrinth of History. Papers Presented in Honour of Sinclair Hood, London, 1-20

[2]: Broodbank, C. and Straser, T. F. 1991. "Migrant framers and the Neolithic colonization of Crete," Antiquity 65, 233-45.


Preceding Entity:
Mesolithic Crete

It is generally argued that newcomers from the area of South-West Asia Minor arrived in Crete. [1] [2]

[1]: e.g. Evans, J. D. 1994. "The early millennia: continuity and change in a farming settlement," in Evely, D., Hughes-Brock, H. and Momigliano, N. (eds), Knossos: A Labyrinth of History. Papers Presented in Honour of Sinclair Hood, London, 1-20

[2]: Broodbank, C. and Straser, T. F. 1991. "Migrant framers and the Neolithic colonization of Crete," Antiquity 65, 233-45.

Preceding Entity:
Neolithic Crete [gr_crete_nl] ---> Prepalatial Crete [gr_crete_pre_palace]

Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity

Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[35 to 70] people
7000 BCE 5900 BCE

people. The largest settlement and the only with continuous and permanent habitation from the earliest phase of the Neolithic (7000-6500/6000 BCE) is Knossos. The extent of the settlement increased from the Initial Neolithic to the Final Neolithic periods: Initial and Early Neolithic (7000-5900 BCE) c.0.25-0.35 ha; Middle Neolithic (5900-5300 BCE) c. 0.7-0.8 ha; Late Neolithic I (5300-4900 BCE) c. 1.4-1.75 ha; and Late Neolithic II and Final Neolithic I-IV (4900-3000 BCE) c.1.75-2.5 ha. [1] If we apply a population density of 150 to 200 people per hectare [2] to our total areas of settlement, we arrive at the following figures: Initial and Early Neolithic c.35/50 to 53/70 people; Middle Neolithic c. 105/140-120/160 people; Late Neolithic I c. 210/280-263/350 people; and Late Neolithic II and Final Neolithic I-IV c.263/350-375/500 people. This demographic development reflects significant socio-economic changes; it is worth to note that the first rapid increase of the Knossian settlement, occurred during Middle Neolithic-Late Neolithic I, coincides with marked changes in the spatial organization of the site, architecture, and patterns of production, consumption and exchange of goods. [3] [4] Another large settlement was established on the hill of Phaistos, in the Mesara plain, during the Final Neolithic period (4500-3000 BCE). [5] It’s size is estimated to 2 ha. [6] a figure which implies a population of 300-400 souls.

[1]: Tomkins, P. 2008. "Time, space and the reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 32, table 3.2.

[2]: Manning, S. 1999. "Knossos and the limits of settlement growth" in Betancourt, P.P., Karageorhis,V., Laffineur, R,, and Niemeier, W-D. (eds), MELETEMATA (Aegaeum 20), Liège, 469-80.

[3]: Tomkins, P., Day, P. M., and Kilikoglou, V. 2004. "Knossos and the early Neolithic landscape of the Heraklion Basin," in Gadogan, G., Hatzaki, E., and Vasilakis, A. (eds), Knossos: Palace, City, State. Proceedings of the Conference in Heraklion organized by the British School at Athens and the 23rd Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Heraklion, in November 2000, for the Centenary of Sir Arthur Evans’s Excavations at Knossos (British School at Athens Studies 12), London, 51-9

[4]: Whitelaw, T. M. 1992. "Lost in the Labyrinth? Comments on Broodbank’s social change at Knossos before the Bronze Age," Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 5, 225-38.

[5]: Todaro, S. and Di Tonto S. 2008. "The Neolithic settlement of Phaistos revisited: evidence for ceremonial activity on the eve of the Bronze Age," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 177-90.

[6]: Watrous, , L. V. and Hadzi-Vallianou, D. 2008. “Initial growth in social complexity (Late Neolithic-Early Minoan I),” in Watrous, L., Hadzi-Vallianou, D. and Blitzer, H. (eds), The Plain of Phaistos. Cycles of Social Complexity in the Mesara Region of Crete, Los Angeles, 221-31.

Population of the Largest Settlement:
[105 to 160] people
5899 BCE 5300 BCE

people. The largest settlement and the only with continuous and permanent habitation from the earliest phase of the Neolithic (7000-6500/6000 BCE) is Knossos. The extent of the settlement increased from the Initial Neolithic to the Final Neolithic periods: Initial and Early Neolithic (7000-5900 BCE) c.0.25-0.35 ha; Middle Neolithic (5900-5300 BCE) c. 0.7-0.8 ha; Late Neolithic I (5300-4900 BCE) c. 1.4-1.75 ha; and Late Neolithic II and Final Neolithic I-IV (4900-3000 BCE) c.1.75-2.5 ha. [1] If we apply a population density of 150 to 200 people per hectare [2] to our total areas of settlement, we arrive at the following figures: Initial and Early Neolithic c.35/50 to 53/70 people; Middle Neolithic c. 105/140-120/160 people; Late Neolithic I c. 210/280-263/350 people; and Late Neolithic II and Final Neolithic I-IV c.263/350-375/500 people. This demographic development reflects significant socio-economic changes; it is worth to note that the first rapid increase of the Knossian settlement, occurred during Middle Neolithic-Late Neolithic I, coincides with marked changes in the spatial organization of the site, architecture, and patterns of production, consumption and exchange of goods. [3] [4] Another large settlement was established on the hill of Phaistos, in the Mesara plain, during the Final Neolithic period (4500-3000 BCE). [5] It’s size is estimated to 2 ha. [6] a figure which implies a population of 300-400 souls.

[1]: Tomkins, P. 2008. "Time, space and the reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 32, table 3.2.

[2]: Manning, S. 1999. "Knossos and the limits of settlement growth" in Betancourt, P.P., Karageorhis,V., Laffineur, R,, and Niemeier, W-D. (eds), MELETEMATA (Aegaeum 20), Liège, 469-80.

[3]: Tomkins, P., Day, P. M., and Kilikoglou, V. 2004. "Knossos and the early Neolithic landscape of the Heraklion Basin," in Gadogan, G., Hatzaki, E., and Vasilakis, A. (eds), Knossos: Palace, City, State. Proceedings of the Conference in Heraklion organized by the British School at Athens and the 23rd Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Heraklion, in November 2000, for the Centenary of Sir Arthur Evans’s Excavations at Knossos (British School at Athens Studies 12), London, 51-9

[4]: Whitelaw, T. M. 1992. "Lost in the Labyrinth? Comments on Broodbank’s social change at Knossos before the Bronze Age," Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 5, 225-38.

[5]: Todaro, S. and Di Tonto S. 2008. "The Neolithic settlement of Phaistos revisited: evidence for ceremonial activity on the eve of the Bronze Age," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 177-90.

[6]: Watrous, , L. V. and Hadzi-Vallianou, D. 2008. “Initial growth in social complexity (Late Neolithic-Early Minoan I),” in Watrous, L., Hadzi-Vallianou, D. and Blitzer, H. (eds), The Plain of Phaistos. Cycles of Social Complexity in the Mesara Region of Crete, Los Angeles, 221-31.

Population of the Largest Settlement:
[210 to 350] people
5299 BCE 4900 BCE

people. The largest settlement and the only with continuous and permanent habitation from the earliest phase of the Neolithic (7000-6500/6000 BCE) is Knossos. The extent of the settlement increased from the Initial Neolithic to the Final Neolithic periods: Initial and Early Neolithic (7000-5900 BCE) c.0.25-0.35 ha; Middle Neolithic (5900-5300 BCE) c. 0.7-0.8 ha; Late Neolithic I (5300-4900 BCE) c. 1.4-1.75 ha; and Late Neolithic II and Final Neolithic I-IV (4900-3000 BCE) c.1.75-2.5 ha. [1] If we apply a population density of 150 to 200 people per hectare [2] to our total areas of settlement, we arrive at the following figures: Initial and Early Neolithic c.35/50 to 53/70 people; Middle Neolithic c. 105/140-120/160 people; Late Neolithic I c. 210/280-263/350 people; and Late Neolithic II and Final Neolithic I-IV c.263/350-375/500 people. This demographic development reflects significant socio-economic changes; it is worth to note that the first rapid increase of the Knossian settlement, occurred during Middle Neolithic-Late Neolithic I, coincides with marked changes in the spatial organization of the site, architecture, and patterns of production, consumption and exchange of goods. [3] [4] Another large settlement was established on the hill of Phaistos, in the Mesara plain, during the Final Neolithic period (4500-3000 BCE). [5] It’s size is estimated to 2 ha. [6] a figure which implies a population of 300-400 souls.

[1]: Tomkins, P. 2008. "Time, space and the reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 32, table 3.2.

[2]: Manning, S. 1999. "Knossos and the limits of settlement growth" in Betancourt, P.P., Karageorhis,V., Laffineur, R,, and Niemeier, W-D. (eds), MELETEMATA (Aegaeum 20), Liège, 469-80.

[3]: Tomkins, P., Day, P. M., and Kilikoglou, V. 2004. "Knossos and the early Neolithic landscape of the Heraklion Basin," in Gadogan, G., Hatzaki, E., and Vasilakis, A. (eds), Knossos: Palace, City, State. Proceedings of the Conference in Heraklion organized by the British School at Athens and the 23rd Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Heraklion, in November 2000, for the Centenary of Sir Arthur Evans’s Excavations at Knossos (British School at Athens Studies 12), London, 51-9

[4]: Whitelaw, T. M. 1992. "Lost in the Labyrinth? Comments on Broodbank’s social change at Knossos before the Bronze Age," Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 5, 225-38.

[5]: Todaro, S. and Di Tonto S. 2008. "The Neolithic settlement of Phaistos revisited: evidence for ceremonial activity on the eve of the Bronze Age," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 177-90.

[6]: Watrous, , L. V. and Hadzi-Vallianou, D. 2008. “Initial growth in social complexity (Late Neolithic-Early Minoan I),” in Watrous, L., Hadzi-Vallianou, D. and Blitzer, H. (eds), The Plain of Phaistos. Cycles of Social Complexity in the Mesara Region of Crete, Los Angeles, 221-31.

Population of the Largest Settlement:
[263 to 500] people
4899 BCE 3000 BCE

people. The largest settlement and the only with continuous and permanent habitation from the earliest phase of the Neolithic (7000-6500/6000 BCE) is Knossos. The extent of the settlement increased from the Initial Neolithic to the Final Neolithic periods: Initial and Early Neolithic (7000-5900 BCE) c.0.25-0.35 ha; Middle Neolithic (5900-5300 BCE) c. 0.7-0.8 ha; Late Neolithic I (5300-4900 BCE) c. 1.4-1.75 ha; and Late Neolithic II and Final Neolithic I-IV (4900-3000 BCE) c.1.75-2.5 ha. [1] If we apply a population density of 150 to 200 people per hectare [2] to our total areas of settlement, we arrive at the following figures: Initial and Early Neolithic c.35/50 to 53/70 people; Middle Neolithic c. 105/140-120/160 people; Late Neolithic I c. 210/280-263/350 people; and Late Neolithic II and Final Neolithic I-IV c.263/350-375/500 people. This demographic development reflects significant socio-economic changes; it is worth to note that the first rapid increase of the Knossian settlement, occurred during Middle Neolithic-Late Neolithic I, coincides with marked changes in the spatial organization of the site, architecture, and patterns of production, consumption and exchange of goods. [3] [4] Another large settlement was established on the hill of Phaistos, in the Mesara plain, during the Final Neolithic period (4500-3000 BCE). [5] It’s size is estimated to 2 ha. [6] a figure which implies a population of 300-400 souls.

[1]: Tomkins, P. 2008. "Time, space and the reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 32, table 3.2.

[2]: Manning, S. 1999. "Knossos and the limits of settlement growth" in Betancourt, P.P., Karageorhis,V., Laffineur, R,, and Niemeier, W-D. (eds), MELETEMATA (Aegaeum 20), Liège, 469-80.

[3]: Tomkins, P., Day, P. M., and Kilikoglou, V. 2004. "Knossos and the early Neolithic landscape of the Heraklion Basin," in Gadogan, G., Hatzaki, E., and Vasilakis, A. (eds), Knossos: Palace, City, State. Proceedings of the Conference in Heraklion organized by the British School at Athens and the 23rd Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Heraklion, in November 2000, for the Centenary of Sir Arthur Evans’s Excavations at Knossos (British School at Athens Studies 12), London, 51-9

[4]: Whitelaw, T. M. 1992. "Lost in the Labyrinth? Comments on Broodbank’s social change at Knossos before the Bronze Age," Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 5, 225-38.

[5]: Todaro, S. and Di Tonto S. 2008. "The Neolithic settlement of Phaistos revisited: evidence for ceremonial activity on the eve of the Bronze Age," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 177-90.

[6]: Watrous, , L. V. and Hadzi-Vallianou, D. 2008. “Initial growth in social complexity (Late Neolithic-Early Minoan I),” in Watrous, L., Hadzi-Vallianou, D. and Blitzer, H. (eds), The Plain of Phaistos. Cycles of Social Complexity in the Mesara Region of Crete, Los Angeles, 221-31.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[1 to 2]

Settlement hierarchies are difficult to reconstruct because of limited archaeological exploration and poor preservation of the record; archaeological interest has been mostly focused on the Bronze Age past of the island while the small size of the Neolithic sites and their establishment in low-land, riverine locations subject to complex natural and human-cased concealing processes obscure most aspects of the Neolithic landscape. The only known site dated to the Earlier Neolithic period (7000-5300 BCE) was that of Knossos. Domestic units, simple in construction and layout, tend to crowd together and all testimonies shows that people, although lived as separate households, constituted themselves communally. [1] [2] Knossos however was not the only Early Neolithic site; indirect hints points to the existence of sites, albeit still undiscovered, to favorable niches in low-land and riverine locations and/or in easily reached areas of the north coast of the island (Gerani Cave in Rethimnon district, Tylissos in Heraklion district, and Malia and the Mirabello Bay in Lasithi district). [3] During the Late Neolithic period (ca. 5300-4500 BCE) Knossos expand to become a large village. Residences are now more clearly partitioned into separate domestic units and this new spatial arrangement suggests "an encroachment on what had previously been a communal space of production and consumption". [4] The size of the houses suggest that they were used by extended households rather by a single nuclear family. Other sites appeared/continue to be inhabited in many regions of the island: Gerani Cave in the Rethimnon district, Tylissos, Katsabas, Galeni-Roukani, and Mesara area in Heraklion district, and Malia, Sphongaras, Kalo Chorio, Kavousi and Magasas in Lasithi district. [5] The Final Neolithic period (ca. 4500-3000 BCE) mark a significant expansion in settlement by the occupation of most areas of high agricultural productivity, defensible sites, and the colonization of more marginal areas. [6] [5] The extent of the Knossian settlement stayed broadly within the limits reached during the Late Neolithic period. Another important settlement was established on the hill of Phaistos, in the Mesara area. [7] [8] The occupation of defensible sites may not be the respond to an exogenous and/or hostile movement of population. As Tomkins suggested this "may reflect intensifying local competition within and/or between sites, manifest in a developing sense of territoriality and resource circumscription, perhaps caused or exacerbated by a major shift towards greater climatic uncertainty that may occur around this time." [9] The increase in the number of sites, especially in marginal regions, has often been thought to reflect demographic expansion. Although some form of population growth might have occurred, it should be noted that most of these sties are small and short-lived. The colonization of marginal areas reflects "a variety of push and pull factors. In the face of more aggressive acquisitive strategies by more successful households, some households in large lowland villages may eventually, have chosen to take their chance with migration and economic diversification." [10] Understanding the relationship between these various sites (small and large village-sized settlements, hamlets, farms and field houses) is still a matter of scholarly inquiry. The preserved testimonies points to marked differences to the access of sources of wealth and social power (agricultural surplus and high-value/exotic ideas, finished products and raw materials).

[1]: Halstead, P. 1995. "From sharing to hoarding: the Neolithgic foundations of Aegean Bronze Age society," in Laffineur, R. and Niemeier, W.-D. (eds), Politeia. Society and State in the Aegean Bronze Age (Aegaeum 12), Liège, 16-17

[2]: Tomkins, P. 2010. "Neolithic antecedents," in Cline, E. H. (ed.), The Bronze Age Aegean (ca. 3000-1000 BC), Oxford, 36-7.

[3]: Tomkins, P. 2008. "Time, space and the reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 27-33, fig. 3.1.

[4]: Tomkins, P. 2010. "Neolithic antecedents," in Cline, E. H. (ed.), The Bronze Age Aegean (ca. 3000-1000 BC), Oxford, 37.

[5]: Tomkins, P. 2008. "Time, space and the reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 33-5, fig. 3.1.

[6]: Branigan, K. 1999. "Late Neolithic colonization of the uplands of eastern Crete," in Halstead, P. (ed.), Neolithic Society in Greece (SSAA 2), Sheffiled, 57-65

[7]: Watrous, L. V. and Hadzi-Vallianou, D. 2004. "Initial growth in social complexity (Late Neolithic-Early Minoan I)," in Watrous, L. V., Hadzi-Vallianou, and Blitzer, H. (eds), The Plain of Phaistos. Cycles of Social Complexity in the Mesara Region of Crete, Los Angeles, 221

[8]: Todaro, S. and Di Tonto, S. 2008. "The Neolithic settlement of Phaistos revisited: evidence for ceremonial activity on the eve of the Bronze Age," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 177-90.

[9]: Tomkins, P. 2008. "Time, space and the reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 38.

[10]: Tomkins, P. 2008. "Time, space and the reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 39.




Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

Professional Priesthood:
absent

Professional Military Officer:
absent

Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent


Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent


Specialized Buildings: polity owned

Food Storage Site:
absent

The existence of communal food storage installations has already been proposed for the Initial Neolithic (7000-6400 BCE). [1] A burned timber structure just outside the earliest Neolithic settlement at Knossos, closely associated with a large quantity of carbonized grain, was taken as a possible evidence for a communal form of storage. [2] The cache of grain was found in Area AC, a trench opened in the Central Court of the Knossian palace and covering about 55 m2. [3] [4] The area was not built but was used for various activities including threshing, processing of cereals, digging pits, and burials. The cache was close to the central part of the trench and partly outside the area of the sounding. Its southwest edge was marked by a row of stake-holes, two containing ash and one the carbonized remains of a stake. The excavator argued that, “grain from a field of bread wheat had apparently been threshed.” [5] Three rock-cut circular pits were recently excavated at Gazi, east of Heraklion, are dated to the Final Neolithic (3300-3000 BCE). [6] Driessen and Langohr suggested that they were used as large-scale communal stores. [7] The pits contained rough stones, stone tools, animal bones and coarse ware dated to the Roman and Early Byzantine periods. Building remains dated to the Final Neolithic/Early Minoan I - Early Minoan IIA period (3300-2150 BCE) were found in the surrounding area. The excavators date the pits to the Neolithic period due to their similarities to the Neolithic rock-cut pits excavated at Kalavassos in Cyprus. This date was confirmed, in their view, by the discovery of an obsidian blade dated to the Early Neolithic if not earlier. It should be noted that the strata above the pits contained pottery dated from Minoan to Roman times (no information is available for a more accurate dating), and the only published Neolithic artifact, apart from the blade, is a partly preserved figurine. The empirical grounds of the communal storerooms is rather weak. A cache of grain and its association with traces of a timber building in a partially excavated area of the early Neolithic settlement at Knossos are not enough in themselves to confirm the existence of a communal storage installation. One wonders on what basis the circular rock-cut structures at Gazi have been identified as communal stores. Their (very tentative) designation by the excavators as silos is based not on testimonies but on general similarities to other such structures whose use is also not completely certain. Their relationship to the surrounding settlement is also unknown, if such a settlement indeed existed; naming them “communal stores” seems inadvisable. As regards the dating of the Gazi structures to the Final Neolithic, there are no data at all. Their dating even to the Bronze Age must be investigated through a more systematic study of the pottery.

[1]: For a full discussion see Christakis, K. 2014. "Communal storage in Bronze Age Crete: re-assessing testimonies," Κρητικά Χρονικά ΛΔ´, 201-18.

[2]: Tomkins, P. 2004. "Filling in the ’Neolithic Background’: social life and social transformation in the Aegean before the Bronze age," in Barrett, J. C. and Halstead, P. (eds), The Emergence of Civilisation Revisisted (SSAA 6), Sheffield, 43.

[3]: Evans, J.D. 1964. “Excavations in the Neolithic settlement of Knossos, 1957-60,” BSA 59, 130-240

[4]: Evans, J.D. 1994. “The early millennia: continuity and change in a farming settlement” in Evely, D., Hughes-Brock, H. and Momigliano, N. (eds), Knossos. A Labyrinth of History. Papers in Honour of Sinclair Hood, London, 1-55.

[5]: Evans, J. D. 1994. “The early millennia: continuity and change in a farming settlement” in in Evely, D., Hughes-Brock, H. and Momigliano, N. (eds), Knossos. A Labyrinth of History. Papers in Honour of Sinclair Hood, London, 4-5.

[6]: Pylarinou, D. and A. Vasilakis. 2010. “Ανασκαφή οικισμού Τελικής Νεολιθικής και Πρώιμης Προανακτορικής στο Γάζι. Προκαταρκτική έκθεση 2006, 2008,” Αρχαιολογικό Έργο Κρήτης 1, Rethimnon, 276-80.

[7]: Driessen, J. and C. Langohr. 2014. “Recent developments in the archaeology of Minoan Crete,” in Bintliff, J. (ed.) Recent Developments in the Archaeology of Greece (Pharos Suplement Volume 20), 75-115.


Transport Infrastructure

Many coastal communities were engaged with trade especially during the Final Neolithic (4500-3000 BCE); although maritime exchange was attested throughout the Neolithic, it was only the Final Neolithic that trade was intensified. [1] [2] Imported pottery and obsidian found in the coastal sites of Nerokourou, in West Crete, and Petras Kephala, in the eastern region of the island, indicate close trade connections with the Attic-Kephala cultural region (Attica, Euboia and the north-western Cyclades). [3] [4] [5] The travelled distances suggest that mariners used a sea craft with capabilities similar to those of the longboat. [6] [7] Discussing Neolithic trade, Tomkins argued that "Although distant raw materials and objects had long been esteemed as status makers (e.g., Perles 1992; Tomkins 2004, 48), it is only late in FN [ i.e. Final Neolithic] that peoples seek overly to control their acquisition, production, and distribution. In the case of metal, although finished objects, mainly of non-Aegean type, had been circulation for millennia, it is surely significant that our earliest direct evidence for Aegean metallurgy, in the form of ores, crucibles, or slags, comes only late on FN and appears at large coastal sites (e.g., Kea Kephala, Nisiros, Petras Kephala; Broodbank 2000,158-59; Papadatos 2007) and apparently as deliberate depositions at ritual cave sites (e.g., Kitso, Alepotrypa; Tomkins 2009). At FN IV Petras-Kephala, obsidian and metal appear to have arrived in raw form and were then processed and transformed into finished products at the site 9papadatos 2007, 167; D’Annibale 2008, 192). The near absent of obsidian and metal at contemporary inland sites in Crete (Carter 1998) suggest that trading communities like Petras Kaphala would have been been able to construct advantageous social relationships with other prosperous groups, a senario that finds support in occasional finds of obsidian blades and metal objects at FN IV inland villages such as Knossos and Phaistos (A.J. Evans 1928, figure 3f; Todaro and Di Tonto 2008, 183, 185). In this way, trading served and stimulated a wider demand for nonlocal products and practices that would have been possible only if communal controls on accumulation and consumption had been loosened and households were now free to pursue more over and ambitious strategies of accumulation. The development of trading, of restricted control over the production of prestige objects and of hierarchies of access in the late FN should thus be understood in terms of the first emergence of an economy in prestige goods, smaller in scale but broadly analogous to that of the Bronze Age." [8] [9]

[1]: Perlès, C. 1992. "Systems of exchange and organization in Neolithic Greece," Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 5, 115-64

[2]: Broodbank, C. 2000. An Island Archaeology of the Early Cyclades, New York-Cambridge, 166-70.

[3]: Papadatos, Y. and Tomkins, P. 2013. "Trading, the longboat, and cultural interaction in the Aegean during the late fourth millennium B.C.E.: the view from Kephala Petras, East Crete," American Journal of Archaeology 117, 353-81

[4]: Vagnetti, L. 1996. "The Final Neolithic: Crete enters the wider world," Cretan Studies 5, 29-39

[5]: D’Annibale, C. 2008. "Obsidian in transition: the technological reorganization of the obsidian industry from Petras Kephala (Siteia) between Final Neolithic IV and Early Minoan I," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 190-200.

[6]: Tomkins, P. 2010. "Neolithic antecedents," in Cline, E. H. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean (ca. 3000-1000 BC), Oxford, 31-49

[7]: Broodbank, C. 1989. "The longboat and society in the Cyclades in the Keros-Syros culture," American Journal of Archaeology 85, 318-37.

[8]: The above passage is from Tomkins, P. 2010. "Neolithic antecedents," in Cline, E. H. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean (ca. 3000-1000 BC), Oxford, 41 where there is also the cited bibliography

[9]: for a recent discussion see Papadatos, Y. and Tomkins, P. 2013. "Trading, the longboat, and cultural interaction in the Aegean during the late fourth millennium B.C.E.: the view from Kephala Petras, East Crete," American Journal of Archaeology 117, 353-81.



Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent


Religious Literature:
absent

Practical Literature:
absent


Lists Tables and Classification:
absent




Information / Money



Information / Postal System

General Postal Service:
absent


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

The occupation of defensible locations such as steep-sided coastal promontories and hill tops is common during the Final Neolithic (ca. 4500-3000 BCE). The concern of security has been interpreted as the result of " local competition within and/or between sites, manifest in a developing sense of territoriality and resource circumscription, perhaps caused or exacerbated by a major shift towards greater climatic uncertainty that may occur around this time." [1]

[1]: Tomkins, P. 2008. "Time, space and the reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 38.







Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown

Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent


Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.