Excavations at Azoria, Eastern Crete

Margaret S. Mook (Iowa State University)

Donald C. Haggis (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)

Lynn Snyder (The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History)

The first season of excavation at the Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, and Archaic site of Azoria in northeastern Crete was conducted in the summer of 2002. The project is sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and conducted under the auspices of the Archaeological Service of the Ministry of Culture of Greece. Funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Geographic Society, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Institute for Aegean Prehistory. This season's work concentrated on the Archaic-period city (ca. 600-475 B.C.)--and its Bronze Age and Early Iron Age foundations (ca. 1200-600 B.C.)--demonstrating evidence of city planning; centralized storage and industrial areas; domestic food-processing and storage; and part of an elite dining area, possibly a shrine building. Work in 2002 has begun to define the plan of the city, the design and organization of houses, and the nature of centralized storage and cultic activities. Study of plant remains allows investigators to assess differentiation in food storage and processing across the site as well as changes through time. Preliminary analysis of pottery indicates that the city was destroyed catastrophically in a fire, sometime at the end of the sixth century, and then reoccupied afterwards on a smaller scale, with a number of buildings abandoned. An earthquake-destruction seems to have occurred after the final Archaic Period abandonment (early 5th century B.C.).

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