From Post-Palatial Occupation to Greek City-State: The Case of Mirambello (Crete)

Gaignerot-Driessen F.
Between 1350 and 1200, the Mycenaean palaces governing the Aegean world are successively destroyed and the gradual dissolution of the palatial administration leads to the disappearance of its main events (archives in Linear B, monumental architecture, minor arts). It was not until the 8th century. to see the writing reappear in the new form of the Greek alphabet, and a unique political model, that of the Greek city-state ( polis ), then gradually emerge. At the end of what social, political, economic and cultural mutations and according to what chronology did the Aegean communities move from a centralized state system, that of the Mycenaean palaces to another, that of the Greek city-state? 
The native land of the Minoan civilization and the crossroads of the sea routes linking the Aegean world with Sicily and southern Italy, Anatolia and the Levant, Egypt and Libya, Crete represents a particularly rich terrain to answer this question. One of the objectives of this study is to escape the traditional thematic compartmentalisation and to summon all the available sources on the subject, its geographical framework is reduced to a relevant and well-documented unit of the island: the periphery of the Bay of Mirambello, hinge region between Central Crete and Eastern Crete. This part of the island, which has been the subject of intensive archaeological exploration since the end of the 19th century, has in particular delivered many sites dated between the late Bronze Age and the First Iron Age and has Seen to develop the urban center of seven poleis. 
Depending on the identifiable chronological phases and the typology of the identified sites, layout schemes can be identified and represented by a series of GIS maps. The evolution of social structures, economic strategies, cultural orientations and political organizations during the period can also be envisaged, starting from the vestiges of the material culture related to the religious, the funerary, the residential and the political. In the end, it appears that it is in the first half of the 7th century. Avt n. È. That it is necessary to situate the emergence of the Greek city-state in this region of Crete and that this occurs at the end of a long process of formation, initiated the day after the collapse of the Palace of Knossos. If the birth of the polis in Mirambello constitutes a major break political, it relies instead on the existing social structures and cultural elements that originated in the late Bronze Age. 
All the documentation gathered for this study is presented in Part II of the volume: the presentation of the inventoried sites takes the form of systematic records designed for research and illustrated with maps, plans, drawings and Photographs.


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