Paper abstract

A building in sector A of the Late Minoan IIIC settlement at Halasmenos, Ierapetra

Tsipopoulou Metaxia

The excavation of the LMIIIC settlement at Halasmenos, Ierapetra, started in 1992 as a Greek-American synergasia directed by the late William Coulson and the speaker, and continues, since 2000, as a Greek systematic research project, approaching its completion. Halasmenos belongs to a dense network of similar settlements of the Final Bronze Age in the area of the Gulf of Mirabello and the Isthmus of Ierapetra, and is a unique case, for its urban organization and for at least seven buildings of megaroid plan. The movable finds also present a mixed characted minoan and mycenaean. Remarkable is the shrine of the “goddesses with up-raised arms”. The paper presents a building, excavated by W. Coulson in Sector A of the excavation, in 1993-1995. It is situated in a central place of the settlement, and faces its main road. The architectural form and the distribution of the finds are analysed, and compared with those of other, previously published, buildings of Halasmenos, and a hypothesis for its function is presented. Since the architecture of this building of Sector A has no parallel among other buildings of Halasmenos, both at the time of its excavation, and until now, the excavator believed that it was the central building of the settlement, where a chieftain lived. The continuation of the excavation since 1995 showed that the building in Sector A is situated opposite the three adjacent megara, and in contact with another megaron. On the other hand, in 2005, another, much larger building, situated in the center of the settlement, was excavated, which was probably the habitation of an elite family. In the light of this recent find, the presentation of the building in Sector A constitutes a new challenge.

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