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Knossos upsurge continued after the end of the Minoan civilization

08 January 2016 / 19:01:15  GRReporter
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New research shows that the ancient city of Knossos in Crete had developed trade relations in the early Iron Age (between 1100 and 600 B.C.). Furthermore, it was almost three times larger than stated in the findings of archaeologists who carried out earlier excavations in the region.

In other words, not only did the famous centre during the Bronze Age and symbol of the flourishing Minoan civilization (3500-1100 B.C.) recover after its disintegration but also quickly revived and turned into a cosmopolitan hub in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions.

These are the conclusions of the scientific team at the University of Cincinnati, which will be presented by Antonis Kotsonas, assistant professor in classical archaeology at the same university, during the 117th annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in San Francisco (7-10 January 2016). The conclusions are the result of the fieldwork carried out under Knossos Urban Landscape Project.

According to the article on the university site, scientists have explored the ruins of Knossos for more than a century. Recent research, however, has focused on the urban development of Knossos after the beginning of the Iron Age (around the 11th century B.C.), following the collapse of the palaces built during the Bronze Age. Under the programme, over the past ten years archaeologists have collected a large number of ceramic and other objects that date back to the Iron Age. At the same time, the relics were spread over a large area that was previously unexplored.

During this particular research, archaeologists have established that Knossos had grown in terms of size as well as growth in the quantity and quality of goods imported from mainland Greece, Cyprus, the Middle East, Egypt, Italy, Sardinia and the western Mediterranean, which included objects made of copper and other metals, such as ornaments and jewellery, and various vessels. The majority of the items were found in graves, providing information on the wellbeing of the inhabitants of Knossos, as they symbolized the social status of their owners.

"Distinguishing between domestic and burial contexts is essential for determining the size of the settlement and understanding the demographic, socio-political and economic development of the local community," the archaeologist states in the publication. "Even at this early stage in detailed analysis it appears that this was a nucleated, rather densely occupied settlement extending over the core of Knossos valley, from at least the east slopes of the acropolis hill on the west to the River Kairatos and from the stream Vlychia on the south until roughly midway between the Minoan palace and Kephala hill."

At the end of the publication Kotsonas stresses the importance of preserving the area, because it has many sources of information that the future development of unexplored areas could destroy.

The Knossos Urban Landscape Project is the result of cooperation between the Greek Archaeological Service and the British School at Athens.

Tags: HistoryArchaeologyKnossosArchaeological researchIron AgeUniversity of Cincinnati
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