"Riscavare lo scavato". Building up the stratigraphy of Prepalatial Phaistos with legacy data

Prezzo di listino / Regular price €25,00

Tasse incluse / Include taxes

Autore: Simona V. Todaro
Anno edizione: 2019
Collana: Cronache - Monografie
Isbn: 978-88-7140-971-9
eIsbn: 978-88-7140-974-0

Formato: 21x29,7
Pagine: 276 



In archaeological practice it is possible to encounter either single-phase sites or multi-phase sites. The latter allow continuity and change to be traced through the different phases of a site, but require far more investment in terms of time and energy, especially when the locus of activity occupied the same place through time. In these cases, previous phases can only be explored with small test-pits conducted under the floors of later structures, and therefore require methodologies that are specifically devised to minimize the risks caused by the high level of inference and subjectivity imposed by the partiality of the documentation that is accessible to the excavators. These sites, moreover, are often investigated over very long periods of time, with different methodologies of excavation and recording that create a large corpus of legacy data that necessitates a thorough re-assessment before being used.
This book focuses on Phaistos, a site located in Crete, and aims to establish the stratigraphic sequence of the site in the period that preceded the construction of a palace of Minoan type (a court-centred building) by using the data collected during three major excavation campaigns conducted between 1900-1909; between 1951 and 1966; and between 2000 and 2005. It is not the publication of the relative chronology of the site, i.e. of the pottery groups that define the various phases of the Early Bronze Age, as this is in the process of being completed under the auspices of the Italian Archaeological School in Athens; nor is it the publication of the results of the contextual re-assessment of the site, which has already been presented and discussed in a monograph length study, which challenged the old orthodoxy that Prepalatial Phaistos operated as a straightforward settlement that grew through the various phases of the Early Bronze Age to become a proto-urban centre. This book has been written to clarify the methodology followed by the author in re-assessing the settlement history of Phaistos prior to the construction of the palace, a methodology that was based on the cross-correlation of more than 180 stratigraphies excavated during the past 100 years that had at its core V .La Rosa’s excavation strategy, known as “Riscavare lo scavato”. This excavation programme entailed the opening of new trenches near old ones, and thus linked past and present investigations providing the opportunity to see with new eyes stratifications that had been simply described and poorly illustrated by the previous excavators.


Note on abbreviations, transliteration and terminology

1. Unlocking legacy data: Integrating old and new archaeological records on Prepalatial Phaistos
1.1. The challenges of digging data: Phaistos 1900-2004
1.2. The Prepalatial stratigraphies, deposits and structures uncovered over time at Phaistos
1.3. Potential and problems of the available evidence: towards a chronological and contextual re-assessment

2. Pottery and Chronology: Stratigraphy vs Seriation in Prepalatial Crete
2.1. Introduction
2.2. The first excavations at Knossos and Phaistos: problems in the establishment of a Prepalatial ceramic sequence in Crete
2.3. New excavations at Knossos: towards a better definition of the Prepalatial sequence in North Central Crete
2.4. Lebena, Ayia Kyriaki, Ayia Triada: towards the definition of a Prepalatial ceramic sequence in South Central Crete
2.5. Previous limitations and the potential of the new material from Phaistos: from seriation to stratigraphic sequence

3. From stratification to stratigraphy: constructing the stratigraphic sequence of Prepalatial Phaistos
3.1. Terminological and methodological issues: working with palimpsests of strata and walls
3.2. The occupation sequence of the terrace of Piazzale I and Cortile XXXIII/40
3.3. The occupation sequence of the southern slope of the Palace hill: Piazzale LXX
3.4. The occupation sequence of the area to the west and south of Piazzale I, beneath Casa a Sud della Rampa and to its south
3.5. Back to the beginning: Phaistos I-X and the progressive reshaping of the Palace hill

4. From stratigraphy to chronology: EM I-MM IA pottery groups at Phaistos
4.1. Beyond site-phases: methodological and terminological issues
4.2. Phases I-III: the later Neolithic and the transition to the Early Bronze Age
4.3. Phases IV-VII: the EM I-EM IIB pottery groups
4.4. Phases VIII-IX: post-EM II ceramic development at Phaistos
4.5. Phase X: MM IA and the end of the Prepalatial period at Phaistos
4.5.1. Synchronisms with other Cretan sites: the relative chronology of phase X
4.6. Potential and limits of the Phaistos sequence for establishing a new chronological scheme for the Prepalatial period

5. Concluding Remarks. Riscavare lo scavato: making a virtue out of necessity or a best practice approach?

6. Appendix. The Prepalatial Stratigraphy of the CSR and the Area to its South
6.1. The northern terraces: Rooms XC, XCIII, XCII, XCI, LXXXIX of the CSR
6.2. The middle terrace: Room XCVI and the area between the CSR and wall M/12-15
6.3. The southernmost terrace and Alpha 0-4: area to the south of wall M/12-15
6.4. The Prepalatial buildings of the western slope of the hill

Plates & Tables
Index of places, names and remarkable things