Friday 19 November 2010

Santo Privitera
University of Catania

Not Just “A Tangle of Walls”: Living and Storing in the LM III Villaggio at Hagia Triada
LM III Hagia Triada on Crete is mostly renowned for several monumental buildings and outstanding finds, which were discovered by Federico Halbherr in 1902-1914 and further explored by Vincenzo La Rosa from 1977 onwards. Excavations under the field direction of La Rosa have yielded a great deal of fresh information on the north sector of the settlement, where they have detected two main urban phases, dated to early LM IIIA2 and late LM IIIA2-B respectively. In fact, the north sector is comprised of the so-called Agora, namely, a large open space bordered by late LM IIIA2-B monumental buildings (so-called Mercato and the complex Megaron P/Edificio Nord-Ovest); and the so-called Villaggio on the slope to the west of the Agora, where several structures of different function and chronology were built starting in LM IIIA1 and as late as late LM IIIA2. The layout of the Agora, which involved in a ripe stage of LM IIIA2 an overall transformation of the original east-to-west downward slope in this area into a flat terrace, has been convincingly traced back to a period when the Palace of Knossos had already been destroyed. Conversely, the so-called Villaggio has been largely underestimated and is as yet poorly understood, mainly because of the presence of humbler and smaller structures, which partly overlaid or reused older, Neopalatial walls – but also because, since Halbherr, it has been considered a mere “tangle of walls”.
In this seminar, I will present my work on the field in this latter sector, which is aimed at carrying out the final publication of all the architectural remains and related finds from this area. By focusing on an exceptional residential building (Casa VAP), which yielded wall frescoes, ritual and cultic objects, and storage vessels, and a complex of door-less spaces (Casa delle Camere Decapitate), which probably functioned as a facility for the long-term storage of cereals, I will highlight the great potential of the Villaggio for a closer evaluation of the various lines along which Hagia Triada developed after the end of the Neopalatial period, turning into a political “capital” and economic cité des affairs in the western Messara.


Next Seminar

Friday 12 May 18.30

M. Marthari
Raos on Thera...