Paper abstract

The analysis of Dark Age domestic architecture: the LM IIIC settlement at Vronda Kavousi

Glowacki Kevin T. - Klein Nancy L.

The excavations at Kavousi in eastern Crete, co-directed by W. D. E. Coulson, L. P. Day, and G. C. Gesell, offer new insight into Dark Age society. In this paper, the authors will address the subject of LM IIIC domestic architecture using the results of the excavations at Vronda Kavousi as a case study in order to highlight the value of an objective e LM IIIC settlement. A multi-disciplinary approach, including architectural, ceramic, floral, faunal, geological, and topographical analyses, has provided our most in-depth picture to date of a Dark Age settlement on Crete. The contribution of this methodology to the understanding of domestic architecture is the ability to determine what materials and methods were commonly used, to identify anomalies within individual structures, and to evaluate this information with the assistance of other data concerning room function and human activity. For example, the design and construction of the buildings at Vronda are remarkably consistent and present a clear picture of vernacular architecture in LM IIIC east Crete. All of the preserved structures are rectilinear, largely stone built, and with flat clay roofs. Consideration of specific criteria, such as room size, building material, construction techniques, and topography, suggests that some buildings had a character/function that was distinct from the others. In conjunction with additional ceramic and faunal evidence, these architectural anomalies indicate the special (supra-household) status of Building A-B (the Big House) and Building G (communal shrine). These conclusions suggest that only when we fully appreciate the built environment of the entire settlement can we distinguish the importance of individual structures and create a meaningful framework for comparison with contemporary sites in the immediate region and beyond.

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