Abstract: The Archaeology of Archaic Cretan Houses

The Archaic houses at Azoria, in eastern Crete, were built in the early 6th century BCE, and demonstrate construction of social space that remained architecturally unchanged in an urban center until the site’s destruction in the early 5th century BCE.Individual house plans vary across the site, but all have basic elements in common: a kitchen, main hall, and storeroom.  The halls, or the main living rooms of the houses, are spacious and regular in form and there is a direct connection between halls and storerooms.  Kitchens, on the other hand, are usually disconnected from storerooms and often accessible only through an exterior corridor or courtyard.  These room arrangements demonstrate the segregation of activities in the household and the role of the hall in controlling both display of agricultural storage and access to it.  The fiery destruction and subsequent abandonment of the site resulted inexcellent preservation of many possessions and household activities, especially evidence for food storage and processing, cooking, and dining. The houses at Azoria contribute to our understanding of the form and function of the house in the Greek Aegean and the integration of domestic space in an urban context.

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

For Azoria, interim reports, bibliography, and other information available at www.azoria.org

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