Crete and Euboea in an interconnecting world (12th - 6th c. BC). The role of coastal settlements in short and long-distance networks of exchange.

crete and euboea

Current approaches to the importance of modern-day globalised cultures and societies have renewed the interest in the study of Mediterranean connectivity both in the present and the past. In such framework, the project will focus on mobility and the operation of networks that led into well-structured cultural and economic contacts throughout the Mediterranean, from East to West, in the Aegean and beyond during the Iron Age (ca. 1200-500 BC). In this context, the distinctive, if highly volatile and changing, role of coastal enclaves has been generally acknowledged but not systematically understood. The study of the two coastal settlements, Lefkandi in Euboea, and Itanos in Crete, excavated by the promoters and acknowledged as significant markers in the changing character of Mediterranean networks, will bring firsthand evidence to update our understanding of the trade, economic dynamics, and people’s mobility on different scales.

The project will undertake a complementary analysis of material assemblage, considering products of “high and low commerce” present in the archaeological record of both sites to compare their contributions in trade and exchange dynamics. It will also aim to examine Itanos and Lefkandi in the light of their distinguishing socio-political organisation and regional micro-history, their occupation patterns and their relationship with other inlands and overseas settlements.

In order to complement the study with material evidence from other sites, a series of seminars /workshops with experts working at other coastal settlements in the Mediterranean will be organized at the University of Oxford and the ULB in Brussels. A number of publications will be the result of the joint studies from each site and the seminars.


Prof. Irene Lemos, Classics and School of Archaeology, Merton College, University of Oxford

Prof. Athena Tsingarida, Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine – CReA-Patrimoine, Faculté de Philosophie et Sciences Sociales, Université libre de Bruxelles, ULB

Project funded by the Fondation Ph. Wiener-M. Anspach