GrCrPre

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣♥


♠ Original name ♣Prepalatial Crete♥

♠ Alternative names ♣Early Bronze Age Crete♥

♠ Peak Date ♣ 2300-1900 BCE ♥


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣3000-1900 BCE ♥ The era is divided in Early Minoan I (3000-2700 BCE), Early Minoan IIA (2700-2400 BCE), Early Minoan IIB (2400-2200 BCE), Early Minoan III (2200-2000 BCE) and Middle Minoan IA (2000-1900 BCE) periods. [1]

♠ Degree of centralization ♣quasi-polity♥ It is generally argue that during 2200-1900 BCE, the major communities acted as political, economic and ritual centers for their surrounding hinterland. [2]

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ ♥

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣Neolithic Crete♥
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣continuity♥
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣Protopalatial Crete♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ Cretan Broze Age Civilization ♥
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ ♥ km squared.

♠ Capital ♣none♥

♠ Language ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Information of the spoken and written language of Bronze Age Cretans during the Prepalatial period do not exist.

General Description

The Cretan Prepalatial era is divided in Early Minoan I (3000-2700 BCE), Early Minoan IIA (2700-2400 BCE), Early Minoan IIB (2400-2200 BCE), Early Minoan III (2200-2000 BCE) and Middle Minoan IA (2000-1900 BCE) periods.[3]

Population and political organization

Population estimates for the entire island at this time do not appear to be available in the literature. However, Whitelaw has estimated the population of Knossos, Crete's largest centre, at 2,600 to 11,000 inhabitants, that of Phaistos at 1,660 to 5,400, and that of Malia at 1,500 to 3,190.[4]

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ ♥ The following were coded through pers. comm. with Kostis Christakis

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ ♥

♠ Polity Population ♣ ♥ people.

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ [2,600-11,100] ♥ inhabitants. Knossos is the largest site of Prepalatial Crete. The estimated site size is about 20-37 hectares making Knossos the largest urban centre of the period. [5] Whitelaw estimated the Knossian population to 2,600 to 11,100 people (EM I-EM II: 2,600; EM III-MM IA: 6,000-11,100). The population of Phaistos, for the same period, is estimated to 1,660-5,400 souls and that of Malia to 1,500-3,190 souls. [6]

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣[1-2]: 3100-2200 BCE; [1-3]: 2200-1900 BCE♥ levels. 3100-2200 BCE: Small nucleated villages and isolated hamlets coexisted throughout the island, especially in lowland and coastal areas. [7] The size of these sites is about 2 ha aside Knossos where a settlement of 5 ha already existed since the Final Neolithic period. [8] This settled scape is characterized by a considerable degree of regionalism which is expressed in material culture and social practices. [9] From the Early Minoan II onwards (2700-2200 BCE), the importance of coastal sites considerably increased while many inland sites seems to be abandoned. Monumental constructions appeared for the first time at Knossos, Malia, Phaistos, Tylissos, and Palaikastro. Many sites were destroyed or burned at the end of the period and this has been interpreted as the outcome of conflict between different social groups aspiring to political and economic power. [10] 2200-1900 BCE: Settlement hierarchy change: nucleated villages seems less important and there is a new emphasis on mountain zones. Knossos, Malia and Phaistos increased considerably and become centers of a significant importance. The central monumental construction suggest the presence of a authority controlling the surrounding hinterland. [11] These large centers and their supporting surrounding regions each form complex social, political and economic landscapes, in which larger regional-scale integrations could occur. [12]

♠ Administrative levels ♣ [1-2] ♥ levels. 1: village heads and 2: town heads. It is generally argued that administration and writing were directly connected with the emergence of the first political institutions in 1900 BCE. [13] The direct object sealing from Myrtos Phournou Korifi and the discovery of dealings at Khania (2400-2200 BCE or 2200-2000 BCE), Khamalevri (2200-1900 BCE), Trypiti (2400-2200 BCE or 2200-2000 BCE), Malia (2400-2200 BCE), Psathi (2400-2200 or 2200-1900 BCE) and Mochlos shows that some kind of accounting system existed on Crete since the 2400-2200 BCE period. [14] Administrative systems, however, were less sophisticated that these adopted in Mainland Greece during the Early Helladic period (2700-2000 BCE). [15] Administration should be of a relatively low-level and locally relevant nature.[16]

♠ Religious levels ♣1♥ levels. Local priest

♠ Military levels ♣ ♥ levels.

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ ♥

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ ♥

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ ♥

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Evidence for administrative activities dated 2400-1900 BCE might indirectly imply the existence of "bureaucrats". [17]

♠ Examination system ♣absent♥

♠ Merit promotion ♣absent♥

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣inferred present: 2400-1900 BCE♥ The large-scale complex built at the core of the "towns" of the Prepalatial period (Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Petras) was probably the seat of the political group/s controlling each region. [18]

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ absent♥

♠ Judges ♣absent ♥

♠ Courts ♣ absent♥

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣absent ♥

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣absent♥
♠ markets ♣absent♥
♠ food storage sites ♣absent♥

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Bridges ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Canals ♣absent♥
♠ Ports ♣ present♥

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ present ♥ quarries

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Written records ♣absent♥
♠ Script ♣absent♥
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣absent♥

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣absent♥
♠ Calendar ♣absent♥
♠ Sacred Texts ♣absent♥
♠ Religious literature ♣absent♥
♠ Practical literature ♣absent♥
♠ History ♣absent♥
♠ Philosophy ♣absent♥
♠ Scientific literature ♣absent♥
♠ Fiction ♣absent♥


Money

♠ Articles ♣inferred present♥ It has been generally argued that in ancient societies economic transactions were also based on fruitful barter. [19]
♠ Tokens ♣inferred present♥ It has been generally argued that in ancient societies economic transactions were also based on fruitful barter. [20]
♠ Precious metals ♣inferred present♥ It has been generally argued that in ancient societies economic transactions were also based on fruitful barter. [21]
♠ Foreign coins ♣ absent♥
♠ Indigenous coins ♣absent ♥
♠ Paper currency ♣absent ♥

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ absent♥
♠ Postal stations ♣ absent♥
♠ General postal service ♣ absent♥

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ ♥ The following were coded through pers. comm. with Kostis Christakis

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Bronze ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Iron ♣ absent ♥
♠ Steel ♣ absent ♥

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Atlatl ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Slings ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Self bow ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Composite bow ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Crossbow ♣ absent♥
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ absent ♥
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ absent ♥

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Battle axes ♣ present♥
♠ Daggers ♣ present♥
♠ Swords ♣ present♥
♠ Spears ♣present♥
♠ Polearms ♣absent♥

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Donkeys ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Horses ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Camels ♣ absent♥
♠ Elephants ♣ absent♥

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Shields ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Helmets ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Breastplates ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Limb protection ♣ absent♥
♠ Chainmail ♣ absent♥
♠ Scaled armor ♣ absent♥
♠ Laminar armor ♣ absent♥
♠ Plate armor ♣absent ♥

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣present♥
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣present ♥
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ ♥
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ ♥
♠ Ditch ♣ ♥
♠ Moat ♣ absent♥
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ present♥
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ present♥
♠ Fortified camps ♣ ♥
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ absent♥
♠ Long walls ♣absent ♥ km.
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent♥

Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ ♥
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ ♥
♠ Impeachment ♣ ♥

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ ♥

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ ♥

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ ♥ absent/present/unknown. For example, rulers are blessed by gods; the institution of kingship is ordained by heaven

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ ♥ absent/present/unknown.

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ ♥ absent/present/unknown. Religious doctrine, philosophical statements, or practice makes claims about equality. For instance, explicit statements by religious groups or influential philosophers that all humans are equal

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ ♥ absent/present/unknown
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ ♥ absent/present/unknown

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ ♥ absent/present/unknown. Religious doctrine, philosophical statements, or practice makes claims about engaging in activity for the benefit of a wider community, for instance Christian traditions of alms-giving or Islamic sadaqah

♠ production of public goods ♣ ♥ absent/present/unknown. Public Goods refer to anything that incurs cost to an individual or group of individuals, but that can be used or enjoyed by others who did not incur any of the cost, namely the public at large. They are non-excludable and non-rivalrous goods. Examples are roads, public drinking fountains, public parks or theatres, temples open to the public, etc.

References

  1. Shelmerdine, C. W. "Background, sources, and methods," in Shelmerdine, C. W. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age, Cambridge, 4.
  2. e.g. Whitelaw, T. 2012. "The urbanization of prehistoric Crete: settlement perspectives on Minoan state formation," in n Schope, I., Tomkins, P. and Driessen, J. (eds), Back to the Beginning: Reassessing Social and Political Complexity on Crete during the Early and Middle Bronze Age, Oxford, 114-76.
  3. (Shelmerdine 2008, 4) Cynthia W. Shelmerdine. 2008. 'Background, sources, and methods' in The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age, edited by Cynthia W. Shelmerdine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  4. (Whitelaw 2012, 156) Todd Whitelaw. 2012. 'The urbanization of prehistoric Crete: settlement perspectives on Minoan state formation', in Back to the Beginning: Reassessing Social and Political Complexity on Crete during the Early and Middle Bronze Age, edited by I. Schope, P. Tomkins and J. Driessen. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  5. Whitelaw, T. 2012. "The urbanization of prehistoric Crete: settlement perspectives on Minoan state formation," in n Schope, I., Tomkins, P. and Driessen, J. (eds), Back to the Beginning: Reassessing Social and Political Complexity on Crete during the Early and Middle Bronze Age, Oxford, 150.
  6. Whitelaw, T. 2012. "The urbanization of prehistoric Crete: settlement perspectives on Minoan state formation," in n Schope, I., Tomkins, P. and Driessen, J. (eds), Back to the Beginning: Reassessing Social and Political Complexity on Crete during the Early and Middle Bronze Age, Oxford, 156.
  7. e.g. Driessen, J. and Frankel, D. 2012."Minds and mines: settlement networks and the diachronic use of space on Cyprus and Crete," in Cadogan, G.,Iacovou, M., Kopaka, K. and Whitley, J. (eds) Parallel Lives: Ancient Island Societies in Crete and Cyprus (BSA Studies 20), London, 70-2.
  8. Tomkins, P. 2008. "Time, space and the reinvention of the Cretan Neolithic," in Isaakidou, V. and Tomkins, P. D. (eds), Escaping the Labyrinth. The Cretan Neolithic in Context, Sheffiled, 35; Whitelaw, T. 2012. "The urbanization of prehistoric Crete: settlement perspectives on Minoan state formation," in n Schope, I., Tomkins, P. and Driessen, J. (eds), Back to the Beginning: Reassessing Social and Political Complexity on Crete during the Early and Middle Bronze Age, Oxford, 150.
  9. Driessen, J. and Frankel, D. 2012."Minds and mines: settlement networks and the diachronic use of space on Cyprus and Crete," in Cadogan, G.,Iacovou, M., Kopaka, K. and Whitley, J. (eds) Parallel Lives: Ancient Island Societies in Crete and Cyprus (BSA Studies 20), London, 70; Whitelaw, T. 2012. "The urbanization of prehistoric Crete: settlement perspectives on Minoan state formation," in n Schope, I., Tomkins, P. and Driessen, J. (eds), Back to the Beginning: Reassessing Social and Political Complexity on Crete during the Early and Middle Bronze Age, Oxford, 150.
  10. Warren, P. M. 1987. "The genesis of the Minoan palace," in Hägg, R. and Marinatos, N. (eds), The Function of the Minoan Palaces. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium at the Swedish Institute in Athens, 10-16 June 1984 (SkrAth 4o, 35), Stockholm, 245-248.
  11. Whitelaw, T. 2012. "The urbanization of prehistoric Crete: settlement perspectives on Minoan state formation," in n Schope, I., Tomkins, P. and Driessen, J. (eds), Back to the Beginning: Reassessing Social and Political Complexity on Crete during the Early and Middle Bronze Age, Oxford, 114-76.
  12. Manning, S. W. 2008. "5: Protopalatial Crete. 5A: Formation of the palaces," in Shelmerdine, C. W. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age, Cambridge, 108.
  13. e.g. Weingarten, J. 1990. "Three upheavals in Minoan sealing administration," in Palaima, T. (ed.), Aegean Seals and Sealings (Aegaeum 5), Liège, 105-20.
  14. Vlasaki, M. and Hallager, E. 1995. "Evidence for seal-use in pre palatial western Crete," in Poursat, J.-C. and Müller, W. (eds), Sceaux Minoenes et Mycéniens: chronology, function et interprétation (CMS 5), Berlin, 251-70; Pelon, O. 1993."La sale a pillars de Malia," BCH 117, 523-46; Soles, J. and Davaras, K. 1992. "Excavation at Mochlos" Hesperia 61, 413-45.
  15. For Early Helladic administration see Krzyszkowska, O. 2005. Aegean Seals. An Introduction, London, 36-56.
  16. Sbonias, K. "Social development, management of production, and symbolic representation in Prepalatial Crete," in Chaniotis, A. (ed.), From Minoan Farmers to Roman Traders. Sidelights on the Economy of Ancient Crete, Stuttgart, 25-51.
  17. e.g. Sbonias, K. "Social development, management of production, and symbolic representation in Prepalatial Crete," in Chaniotis, A. (ed.), From Minoan Farmers to Roman Traders. Sidelights on the Economy of Ancient Crete, Stuttgart, 25-51.
  18. Tomkins, P. 2012. "Behind the horizon: reconsidering the genesis and function of the "First Palace" at Knossos (Final Neolithic IV-Middle Minoan IB)," in Schoep, I., Tomkins, P. and Driessen, J. (eds), Back to the Beginning. Reassessing Social and Political Complexity on Crete During the Early and Middle Bronze Age," Oxford and Oakville, 32-80; Todaro, S. 2010. "Craft production and social practices at Prepalatial Phaistos: the background to the First "Palace,"" in Schoep, I., Tomkins, P. and Driessen, J. (eds), Back to the Beginning. Reassessing Social and Political Complexity on Crete During the Early and Middle Bronze Age," Oxford and Oakville, 195-235; Whitelaw, T. 2010. "The urbanization of prehistoric Crete: settlement perspectives on Minoan state formation," in Schoep, I., Tomkins, P. and Driessen, J. (eds), Back to the Beginning. Reassessing Social and Political Complexity on Crete During the Early and Middle Bronze Age," Oxford and Oakville, 115-76.
  19. Garrraty, C. P. 2010. "Investigating market exchange in ancient societies: a theoretical review," in Garraty, C. P. and Stark, B. L. (eds), Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies, Colorado, 3-32; Chadwick, J. 1976. The Mycenaean World, Cambridge, 78.
  20. Garrraty, C. P. 2010. "Investigating market exchange in ancient societies: a theoretical review," in Garraty, C. P. and Stark, B. L. (eds), Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies, Colorado, 3-32; Chadwick, J. 1976. The Mycenaean World, Cambridge, 78.
  21. Garrraty, C. P. 2010. "Investigating market exchange in ancient societies: a theoretical review," in Garraty, C. P. and Stark, B. L. (eds), Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies, Colorado, 3-32; Chadwick, J. 1976. The Mycenaean World, Cambridge, 78.