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Journal of Archaeological Research, 1Iol. 5, No.

L 1997

Ancient Greece: Recent Developments in Aegean


Archaeology and Regional Studies
John Bennet 1,3 and Michael Galaty 2

This review begins by defining the diverse field of "Greek archaeology. " Based
on our own expertise, we focus on recent advances in the study of ancient
Greece, especially the prehistoric Aegean, and on regional approaches,
primarily those associated with archaeological surface survey. General
developments in method and theory are addressed as they relate to several
major topics: social complexi~ Aegean chronology, writing systems, exchange,
and regional studies.
KEY WORDS: Greece; prehistoric Aegean; regional studies; surface survey.

INTRODUCTION: DEFINING GREEK ARCHAEOLOGY

This article arose from an invitation to cover "classical archaeology"


for this journal. That invitation forced us to attempt a practical definition
of the field, a task that proved far from unproblematic. "Classical archae-
ology" is not a single field within the wider discipline of archaeology. One
way of defining the field is by geographical area: the archaeology of "clas-
sical" lands. However, this immediately raises the problem of what to do,
for example, about the Hellenistic world, which extended eastward from
Greece as far as modern India, or the even larger territories of the Roman
empire. Another common way of defining "classical archaeology" is by time
period: the archaeology of the circum-Mediterranean region ca. 800 B.C. to
A.D. 476, encompassing the traditional dates for the beginning of Greek
history (776 B.C.) and the foundation of the city of Rome (753 B.C.) and

1Department of Classics, University of Wisconsin--Madison, 908 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden
Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706.
2Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin--Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706.
3To whom correspondence should be addressed.

75
1059-0161/97/~300-0~75512.50/0 © 1997PlenumPublishingCorporation
76 Bennet and Galaty

ending with the traditional date for the fall of the western Roman Empire
(A.D. 476). But this definition also presents problems, since it explicitly ex-
cludes the important work pertaining to the prehistory of the region. Fur-
thermore, scholars working in "classical archaeology" may hold positions in
departments of classics, art history or history, and less often anthropology
(although there are some distinguished exceptions). As a result, "classical
archaeologists" typically have very different definitions of the field within
which they work.
Clearly under any of these definitions, a summary of recent research
would extend far beyond the confines of an article of this type. Conse-
quently, we have chosen to focus first, by region, confining ourselves largely
to the Aegean (Fig. 1), and, second, by period. We focus on two topics of
direct interest to us and in which we have the most experience: the ar-
chaeology of the prehistoric Aegean and regional studies, based chiefly on
data generated by surface survey. We consider these topics to offer material
of most potential use and interest to the readers of this journal working

Hanta ~
M E D I T E R R A N E A N o
knt
S E A q .

Fig. 1. Map of the Aegean, showing sites and regions mentioned in the text.
Ancient Greece---Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 77

in other parts of the world. Within the context of these broad topics, we
focus on several narrow issues of present importance to Greek archaeology:
recent approaches to method and theory; current research in earliest pre-
history--those periods prior to the Neolithic--including the question of is-
land colonization; Greek chronology and the eruption of Thera, later
prehistory, with particular attention given to social complexity, the origins
of the state, Bronze Age writing systems, and intra-Mediterranean ex-
change; and, finally, methodological advances in regional studies and sur-
face survey. We make mention throughout this review of the method-
ological and theoretical impact that, in numerous instances, Greek prehis-
toric archaeology has made upon the wider field of Greek archaeology,
especially historical studies.

ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE PREHISTORIC AEGEAN

The study of the prehistoric Aegean was revolutionized over 20 years


ago with the publication of Colin Renfrew's (1972) The Emergence of Civi-
lisation. The Cyclades and the Aegean in the Third Millennium B.C. Renfrew
took the then-current theoretical framework of anthropological archaeol-
ogy, the "New Archaeology," injected it with a heavy dose of systems the-
ory, and applied it to the problem of the origins of complex societies,
mainly in the Cycladic islands, but also on the island of Crete. His work
led to an increasing interest in the prehistory of the Aegean among schol-
ars, within both the classical and the anthropological fields. It also initiated
a continuing trend among Aegean prehistorians to employ theoretical mod-
els in attempting to understand the societies of the prehistoric Aegean and
to construct those models on the basis of anthropological research on other
comparable societies rather than deriving them inductively from the ar-
chaeological materials or--more surprising still--from the later epic poems
of Homer. We might add here that Renfrew's position, first as Professor
of Archaeology in Southampton, then as Disney Professor in Cambridge,
has helped to maintain the centrality of the archaeology of Greece, at least
in the view of British archaeologists.

Method and Theory

In 1980, Renfrew coined the descriptive term "the great divide" to


characterize the gulf that lay between anthropological archaeology and clas-
sical archaeology. This concept forms an important theme in publications
concerning theory written by Greek archaeologists in the last decade
78 Bennet and Galaty

(Donohue, 1985; Dyson, 1985, 1989, 1993; I. Morris, 1994a; Renfrew, 1980;
Snodgrass, 1985, 1987).
In a recent detailed account, Ian Morris (1994a) traces the complex
evolution of classical archaeology, revealing the history of its development
in relation to anthropological archaeology. According to Morris, classical
archaeology presently suffers the lingering effects of the discipline's origins
in classical philology (the study of Greek and Latin texts that began in the
European Renaissance) and art history. For example, since the exploration
of the sites of Troy, Knossos, and Mycenae late in the last and early this
century, a fundamental dichotomy has arisen in Greek archaeology between
prehistoric and historical archaeology. As a result, scholars practicing
Greek archaeology work either in time periods in which, for many of them,
textual evidence is of primary and archaeological data of secondary impor-
tance (Small, 1995a, p. 4), or in time periods for which there is essentially
no textual evidence and which are by definition inferior, unless they can
be linked to some major question of classical philology such as the histo-
ricity of Homer's picture of the Bronze Age, or the coming of the Greeks,
or the accuracy of ancient accounts of Rome's origins.
As a result, Morris (1994a) encourages his classical colleagues to ac-
cept and contextualize their discipline's history and to face the need to
redefine and expand its academic goals, to include prehistory, for example.
In fact, many prehistorians working in Greece, primarily members of clas-
sics departments, see no distinction between their research and that carried
out in other parts of the world, invariably by members of anthropology
departments. As a corollary, Morris also encourages anthropological ar-
chaeologists to recognize and take advantage of the admirable detail and
extensive, high-quality data collected by classical archaeologists in over a
century of fieldwork. The potential in the classical world for combining
rich archaeological resources with the similarly rich textual record as his-
torical archaeology is great and only just beginning to be realized system-
atically (Small, 1995a).
In general, classical archaeologists tend to privilege textual information
over the "mute" evidence offered by material remains and have indeed
been rather slow to adopt methods of analysis and theory-building com-
monly used by anthropological archaeologists, but the increasing theoretical
sophistication of Aegean prehistorians (particularly in broadly social ar-
chaeology and in regional studies) has recently begun to influence the re-
search strategies of archaeologists working in later historical periods in the
region.
An example is Ian Morris's innovative study of late prehistoric and
early historical burial ritual in ancient Athens and its relation to state for-
mation, which uses data generated by anthropological versus strictly his-
Ancient Greece--Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 79

torical methods. His work has had a profound effect on classical archae-
ology (I. Morris, 1987), polarizing text-based ancient historians and gener-
ating considerable discussion (e.g., Cannon, 1989; Small, 1995b). Morris
(1992) has now published a broader synthetic overview of burial ritual in
the ancient world, almost entirely confined to the historical periods. A simi-
lar reaction has been mounted against "positivistic" interpretations of clas-
sical material culture, such as the disproportionate importance assigned by
classical archaeologists to Athenian decorated pottery of the sixth through
the fifth centuries B.C. (e.g., Gill, 1994).
Moreover, regional analysis, just as it has extended diachronic analysis
back in time, also has begun to impact historical archaeology, as in the
case of Susan Alcock's (1989, 1993) study of Greece in the Roman period,
in which she uses archaeological data--much of it derived from surveys--to
challenge long-held, text-based concepts of Roman imperial control of
Greece. A similar approach was used by Cynthia Kosso (1993) to examine
the relationship between Late Roman economic and political structures as
attested in textual sources and the patteming of archaeological remains as
attested primarily in survey.
As the above examples affirm, Greek archaeologists, both prehistorians
and historians, have now begun to integrate "classical" and "anthropologi-
cal" approaches in increasingly sophisticated frameworks of analysis. Mor-
ris, Alcock, and Kosso employ methods commonly applied in prehistoric
periods to augment the already complex analyses afforded by historical
data. In fact, Morris's (1994a) summary of the origins of classical archae-
ology, referred to above, was written as an introduction to a collection of
new approaches in the archaeology of the classical world in Cambridge
University Press's "New Directions" series (I. Morris, 1994b). A similar col-
lection of examples of novel approaches to the problems and concerns of
historical and prehistoric archaeology in the Aegean was published just over
10 years ago as a tribute to the innovative ideas of W'dliam MacDonald,
who had initiated the first large-scale survey project in Greece on the model
of then current surveys in Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica (see below)
(Wilkie and Coulson, 1985).

Earliest Prehistory

Prehistoric research in the Aegean has tended to emphasize later pe-


riods of prehistory, particularly the mainland (Helladic), Cretan (Minoan),
and island (loosely Cycladic) Bronze ages. However, in recent years the
earliest prehistory of the region has attracted a greater degree of attention
(Runnels, 1995). One contributory factor to this upsurge of interest is the
80 Bennet and Galaty

publication of extensive work at the site of Franchthi, a Cave site in the


northeast Peloponnese (Jacobsen and Fan'and, 1987; van Andel and Sutton,
1987). Nine fascicles have been published to date, of which Talalay (1993)
(figurines) and Vitelli (1993) (pottery) are the most recent. Occupation at
the cave spans ca. 15,000 years, from the Middle Palaeolithic through the
end of the Neolithic. The results of the Franchthi project are especially
informative as regards Palaeolithic diet, subsistence strategies, and lithic
technology [for paleoethnobotany, see Hansen (1991); for lithics, see Perl~s
(1987, 1990b); for moUusca, see Shackleton (1988)]. Most recently, Cullen
(1995) has summarized the earliest evidence for burial ritual dating to the
Mesolithic, research shortly to appear in fuller form as one of the Franchthi
fascicles.
A second contributory factor to the interest in the earliest prehistory
of the region has been the development of regional studies. The region of
Epiros, in the far northwest corner of Greece, was used as a testing ground
for regional models of the Palaeolithic by a team from Cambridge Univer-
sity in the 1960s. Building on that tradition, Bailey (1992) has carried out
excavations at the cave site of Klithi, the results of which he has presented
in the context of Palaeolithic settlement patterns and economy (see also
Runnels and van Andel, 1993a). Runnels has been conducting similar re-
search into the earliest prehistory of the region as part of the Boston Uni-
versity Nikopolis project (Wiseman and Dousougli-Zachos, 1994). In
northeast Greece, Runnels and van Andel have published evidence for a
Lower and Middle Palaeolithic hominid presence in Thessaly (Runnels
1988; Runnels and van Andel, 1993b). As a result of the work at Franchthi,
in Epiros, and in Thessaly, Greece has increasingly become a focus of in-
terest to those archaeologists interested in the spread of hominids out of
the Near East, through the Balkans, and into the rest of Europe (Runnels,
1995).
A related research question is the colonization of the numerous islands
of the Aegean, a process that was until quite recently poorly understood.
In a review of island prehistory, for example, Davis (1992) summarizes the
increasingly sophisticated studies of island colonization, a subject certainly
influenced by Renfrew's early work. In 1981 John Cherry summarized the
current evidence for the spread of human populations to the Cycladic is-
lands, further updating his views on the subject in 1990. A significant fea-
ture of Cherry's discussion was the pan-Mediterranean perspective he used,
considering the colonization histories of all islands in the region, not just
those in the Aegean, thus clarifying the patterns observed and strengthen-
ing the general conclusions drawn. He stresses the lack of any evidence
for permanent human settlement in true islands--as distinct from those
close to or connected to mainlands during periods of lower sea level--prior
Ancient Greece--Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 81

to the Neolithic. The largest islands--Crete and Cyprus--received viable


human populations in the earliest Neolithic, and the smaller islands became
populated more gradually, many of those with more marginal environments
only becoming populated by the beginning of the Early Bronze Age, some
3000 years later (Cherry, 1981, 1990).
Various archaeologists have used Cherry's work as a basis for studies
of island colonization with a more narrow regional focus. Despite the fact
that the zeal of collectors for objects of Cycladic art, especially figurines,
has seriously hampered attempts to understand and interpret the archae-
ological record in the Cycladic islands (Gill and Chippindale, 1993), Brood-
bank (1993, 1995) has studied their colonization. He has demonstrated that
colonization was not a randomly structured phenomenon, but took place
along distinct routes. He also assessed the transport technology available
to these Early Bronze Age island societies and its relationship to the scale
and extent of the first Cycladic settlements (Broodbank, 1989). Using evi-
dence for population and subsistence practices from the only known ac-
eramic Neolithic site on Crete--Knossos--Broodbank and Strasser (1991)
modeled the island's colonization and emphasize that, in order for it to
have been colonized, both for humans and domesticates, it must have been
a more complex, planned undertaking than previously thought.
Recent work also has explored the relationship between colonization--
or perhaps predation by visiting hunting bands prior to true colonization--
and devastation of Crete's endemic fauna, none of which are attested in
even the earliest Neolithic contexts (Lax, 1991; Lax and Strasser, 1992).
That this also may have happened on Cyprus is more plausibly demon-
strated by the discovery of a possible hunter camp at Akrotiri Aetokremnos
(Held, 1992; Simmons, 1991, 1995), dated by 14C to close to a millennium
earlier than the earliest Neolithic occupation. Possible evidence for a pre-
Neolithic human presence in west Crete has, however, been discounted
(Cherry, 1990, pp. 158-159).

Chronology and the Eruption of Thera

Before turning to the later prehistory of the Aegean, we address ques-


tions of Greek chronology (Table I). The chronology of the earliest periods
of prehistory have only become accessible to dating with the application
of r4C techniques, with some important results (e.g., Manning, 1995a). The
date for the earliest colonization of Crete has now been pushed back to
the end of the eighth rather than somewhere in the seventh millennium,
and new 14C dates from the site of Akrotiri Aetokremnos on Cyprus have
established that there was an early Holocene settlement (Cherry, 1990;
82 Bennet and Galaty

Table I. Outline of Greek Chronology from Earliest Prehistory to the Historic Period a
Mainland Crete Cyclades
Palaeolithic 25,000-11,000 B.P. --
[Franchthi] Hiatus?

Mesolithic 9,500-8,000 B.P. --

Neolithic
Aceramic 6,800-6,500 B.C. 7,000--6,500B.C. n

Early 6,500-5,800 B.C. 6,500-5,000 B.C. m

Middle 5,800-5,300 B.C. 5,000-4,500 B.C. D

Late 5,300-4,500 B.C. 4,500-3,500 B.C.


Final 4,500-3,200 B.C. 4,000-3,100 B.C. 4,500-3,100 B.C.

Bronze Age Helladic Minoan Cycladic

Early 3,100-2,000 B.C. 3,100-2,000 B.C. 3,100-1,900 B.C.


Middle 2,000-1,680 B.C. 2,000-1,650 B.C. 1,900-1,600 B.C.
Late Bronze I-II 1,680-1,415 B.C. 1,650-1,405 B.C. 1,600-1,405 B.C.
Late Bronze III 1,415-1,100 B.C. 1,405-1,100 B.C. 1,405-1,100 B.C.

Whole region

Dark Age 1,100--700 B.C.

Archaic 700-480 B.C.

Classical 480-323 B.C.

Hellenistic 323-31 B.C.

Roman 31 B.C.-A.D. 337


aDates are approximations only (based on Demoule and Perl~s, 1993, p. 366, Fig. 2; Man-
ning, 1995a, p. 217, and Fig. 2, Runnels, 1995; Rutter, 1993, p. 756, Table 2).

Manning, 199tb), almost a millennium earlier than the earliest sedentary


Neolithic settlement.
The chronology of the later Greek world has been constructed by the
correlation of a detailed scheme of artifact seriation (chiefly ceramics) with
historical texts (e.g., Biers, 1992). Prehistoric chronology is no exception, the
Bronze Age ceramic sequences being correlated with the "historical" chro-
nologies of Egypt and--less often--Mesopotamia [Warren and Hankey,
1989; cf. Hassan and Robinson (1987) and Kitchen (1987) for the nature
of the Egyptian chronology]. The method essentially involves examination
of the archaeological contexts of Egyptian objects found in the Aegean and
Aegean objects found in Egypt, and then use of the well-established Egyp-
tian chronology to date both. The simplicity of this scheme has been chal-
lenged in a number of ways, primarily as a result of the regular sampling
Ancient Greece---Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 83

of Aegean sites to provide 14C determinations and their subsequent calibra-


tion. As a result, the earliest phase of the Bronze Age--previously dated in
Crete by correlations with Pre- and Early-Dynastic Egyptian objects--is now
more securely dated by 14C (Manning, 1995a), coincidentally weakening the
case for diffusionist explanations of the origins of Minoan civilization.
However, scholars have challenged the value of 14C determinations in
later prehistory, arguing that the well-developed ceramic seriation scheme
defies disruption and that the precision of I4C determinations is inferior
to that offered by historical synchronisms. In this debate, the chronology
of the destruction of the island of Thera (Santorini) by a massive volcanic
event has become an area of radically differing opinions, polarizing schol-
ars. The traditional chronological sequence placed the eruption of Thera
(for significance of site see Doumas, 1983) at ca. 1550 B.C., representing
the transition from ceramic styles labeled Late Minoan IA and IB. (As an
aside, we note that earlier attempts to bring the date of the Thera eruption
into synchronism with the collapse of the Minoan palatial civilization were
no longer tenable even under the traditional scheme.) The availability of
a large suite of 14C determinations on short-lived samples, together with
calibration of those determinations, opened up the possibility of assessing
how 14C could contribute to dating such an event.
The results, however, were surprising to most Aegeanists, since they
suggested that the eruption should be placed significantly earlier than the
traditional date. With only 14C determinations available, the debate turned
into an attack on the technique, particularly focusing on the issue of cali-
bration. AS a result, other approaches were introduced, chiefly examination
of ice cores and frost-ring dendrochronology, to determine whether the
eruption had left a record, and when that might have been. Each technique
now appears to be in agreement in recording a major volcanic event be-
tween 1640 and 1626 B.C., and it seems that a date within this range is
now inevitable for the eruption of Thera (Baillie, 1995, pp. 108-121; Be-
tancourt, 1987; Manning, 1988, 1989, 1991a, 1992, 1995a; Manning and
Weninger, 1992).
Redating of the Theran eruption effectively lengthens the chronologi-
cal sequence by nearly a century in absolute terms and, in fact, fits with
the evidence from well-excavated Late Bronze Age sequences that offer
deeper stratigraphy and more phases than expected on the traditional, short
chronology (e.g., Davis and Cherry, 1984). Those archaeologists who accept
the new date do not push back the whole Aegean chronology, rather they
tend to telescope the length of the Middle Bronze Age (see especially
.z~str6m, 1987a, b, I989; Downey and Tarling, 1984; Manning, 1995a). This
approach has met stiff resistance among classical archaeologists, many of
whom do not accept a4C dates as being accurate and are justifiably dis-
84 Bennet and Galaty

turbed by the inability of several 14C labs, analyzing the same specimen,
to produce identical dates (Manning, 1995a, pp. 17-18; Muhly, 1991a; War-
ren and Hankey, 1989). Furthermore, many Aegean archaeologists see no
convincing reason to connect the dendrochronological/ice core evidence
with the Theran event (Muhly, 1991a).
The specifics of this debate return us once again to the "great divide."
Many classical archaeologists prefer to ground chronology in textual evi-
dence and to rely on the possibility of tying the Aegean sequence in with
the text-based historical sequence of Egypt. However, the redating of Thera
calls into question quasi-historical explanations for developments in the
Aegean, such as the emergence of rich burials at the end of the Middle
Bronze Age on mainland Greece, particularly at Mycenae. It has been sug-
gested that Mycenaean mercenaries, fighting in Egypt during the Hyksos
campaigns of the Second Intermediate period, returned to Greece rich and
deposited much of their wealth in the characteristic burial structures known
as "shaft graves." Such explanations can be contrasted to those based on
processual approaches (e.g., Wright, 1995). The debate over Aegean chro-
nology does not, therefore, concern just the application of radiocarbon dat-
ing, but impacts theory-building and explanation in Aegean prehistory as
a whole.

Social Complexity and the Origins of the State

The ongoing clarification of Aegean chronology, leading to a more


accurate integration of historical and archaeological data, has allowed
Greek prehistorians the recent opportunity to construct sophisticated proc-
essual models for the rise, in various regions, of social complexity. As Davis
(1992) emphasizes, the Aegean islands, with their clear-cut physical
boundaries, serve as ideal laboratories for the study of prehistoric culture
contact and change. For instance, Broodbank (1992) reviews in detail evi-
dence for the foundation and growth of prepalatial Knossos during the
Neolithic. Focusing on "upheavals" in several categories of archaeological
remains, such as clay tokens and figurines, he notes a periodic increase in
their numbers from Neolithic times, which he argues reflects periods of
"social restructuring" at the settlement. He stresses that the evolution of
social complexity here was an indigenous development rather than a re-
sponse to the diffusion of ideas and objects from the wider Aegean region
or the Near East, although cultigens in the earliest levels at Knossos have
Near Eastern origins. However, it should be noted that Whitelaw (1992),
in a response to the paper, has suggested that Broodbank's conclusions
may be premature due to the incomplete picture available to archaeologists
Ancient Greece---Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 85

of the extent and structure of the Neolithic site of Knossos at various pe-
riods. Excavation there had of necessity to take place in a series of "win-
dows" through the remains of the later Minoan palace, extensively
conserved by its excavator (of. Winder, 1991).
The question of the emergence of the palatial culture of Minoan Crete
(ca. 2000 B.C.) has generated much discussion in the wake of John Cherry's
work on the origins of the state in the Aegean, which situates their rise in
a cross-cultural context (e.g., Cherry, 1983b, 1984a, 1986, 1987). In 1987
at a conference on the functions of the Minoan palaces (H~igg and Mari-
natos, 1987), a section was devoted to palatial origins in which explanation
varied between indigenous causes (e.g., Warren, 1987) and exogenous ones
(e.g., Watrous, 1987; cf. Watrous, 1994). In 1994, the Fifth International
Aegean Conference contained a whole session on processes of state for-
mation, at which a number of approaches were stressed. None of them
emphasized exogenous stimuli; rather, all focused on the social mechanisms
by which elites achieve control of resources. Relevant to Crete are the pa-
pers by Branigan (1995), emphasizing social transformations in the preced-
ing Early Bronze phase, and Dabney (1995), suggesting that the first
palaces on Crete represent a stage in state formation only fully realized in
the second palace period. Manning's (1995b) recently completed Ph.D. dis-
sertation explores these issues, suggesting a subtle blend of indigenous de-
velopment combined with external contact and stimulus.
Questions of cultural interaction and nonindigenous change are often
raised within the Aegean, such as in the context of the "Minoanization"
of Cycladic islands in the Middle and Late Bronze Age, a process that
archaeologists have often seen as diffusion on the microscale: the palatial
civilization of the island of Crete gradually imposing its culture on the
neighboring islands through political control. The issue of the relationship
between the Minoan palatial states and the rest of the Aegean continues
to be of considerable interest to Aegean archaeologists, as demonstrated
by the fact that a whole conference was devoted to the question (H~igg
and Marinatos, 1984). In addition, the recent discovery of a Minoan ad-
ministrative document on the northern Aegean island of Samothrace sig-
nificantly expands our view of the likely extent of Minoan political influence
(Matsas, 1991).
Davis (1992) notes that more elaborate models are now being devel-
oped to explain the phenomenon of "Minoanization" and that the recent
increase in data produced by survey and excavation projects operating in
the Cyclades makes the investigation of just this type of processual question
more feasible now than ever before. An example of such a sophisticated
overview is that by Manning (1994), who discusses the question of the ex-
86 Bennet and Galaty

pansion of Minoan control in the Cycladic islands and the subsequent col-
lapse of Minoan power in the region.
Likewise, Paul Halstead has made significant contributions to the pro-
vision of a theoretical framework for the origins of the Minoan state and
the development from Neolithic societies to the palatial societies of the
Middle and Late Bronze Ages (summarized in Halstead, 1995). His model,
jointly developed with John O'Shea and termed the "social storage" model
(e.g., Halstead, 1981, 1989), explains the origin of state-level organizations
in Greece as the capture by elites of a preexisting system of overproduction
and storage typical of agricultural communities. The early palaces func-
tioned as central brokers to minimize stress brought about by crop pro-
duction variation over time and space. However, certainly by the time of
the later palaces when documentary evidence becomes available from the
Linear B texts (see below), centers were using their position to mobilize
raw materials that were transformed into goods produced by a palatial labor
force for elite exchange within and beyond the system (Halstead, 1992a,
b). Halstead (1994) also has recently stressed the different developmental
trajectories followed by societies in northern as opposed to southern
Greece, using a broadly ecological model. A contrasting model for the ori-
gins of social complexity, based on trade and exchange, has been proposed
by van Andel and Runnels (1988) (see below).
Unlike Crete, the Greek mainland does not show an uninterrupted
evolutionary progression from the Neolithic societies to Bronze Age states.
There does appear to have been a "false start" in the Early Bronze Age,
with evidence for some degree of complexity (e.g., Cosmopoulos, 1995) at
sites such as Lerna that were destroyed late in that phase. These destruc-
tions have been explained by an influx of new groups into the region (Indo-
Europeans speaking a language ancestral to later Greek), although more
recent work emphasizes the continuities as well as the discontinuities (e.g.,
Fors6n, 1992). Because of this interruption in cultural development, the
emergence of states on the mainland ca. 300-400 years later is a phenome-
non that earlier this century was "explained" by reference to the inspira-
tional effects of the Minoan palatial centers that had already emerged.
Current theoretical approaches, however, emphasize indigenous develop-
ments. In the absence of large-scale structures--the famous citadels of My-
cenae and Tiryns, for example, are a phenomenon of the later phases of
the Aegean Bronze Age--mortuary evidence takes on an important ex-
planatory role (e.g., Dietz, 1991; Graziado, 1991; Voutsakis, 1995).
Indigenous models of state formation do not ignore influences from
Crete, but construe the relationship as the active appropriation of aspects
of the Minoan apparatus of power rather than their passive absorption.
Features such as writing (Palaima, 1988b), perhaps even a kit of "kingship,"
Ancient Greece--Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 87

including control of esoteric knowledge and materials of exotic workman-


ship (Wright, 1995), have been highlighted as significant elements in this
appropriation. Building on the work of the late Klaus Kilian (1988),
Palaima (1995a) has stressed the intrusive nature of kingship in early Late
Bronze Age mainland Greece, emphasizing the point that the name of the
ruler (wanax, attested in documentary sources) cannot be etymologized as
a Greek or Indo-European word. How this transformation affected settle-
ment patterns and organization is beginning to receive attention generally
(e.g., Maran, 1995) and in the context of recently completed regional survey
projects, such as those in the northeast Peloponnese [southern Argolid
(Jameson et al., 1994); Nemea Valley (Wright et al., 1990)], in the region
of the so-called Palace of Nestor in Messenia in the southwest (Bennet,
1995), and in Lakonia in the southeast Peloponnese (Cavanagh, 1995).

Bronze Age Writing Systems and "Paratextual" Phenomena

The decipherment of the Linear B script by Michael Ventris in 1952


(Chadwick, 1990) made it possible to read contemporary documents from
the Late Bronze Age palaces on Crete (Knossos, Hania) and mainland
Greece (Pylos, Thebes, Mycenae, Tiryns, and Midea). Much of the early
research in the new discipline of Mycenology was centered on determining
the linguistic and administrative function of the terms on the documents.
A second phase of research refined our understanding of the administrative
procedures, primarily through identification of individual scribes by pa-
leographical methods (Olivier, 1967; Palaima, 1988a). Because of their im-
portance for the question of the relationship between the Greek mainland
and Crete, the origins of the Linear B script also have received considerable
attention. Linear B's relation to the earlier (and as yet undeciphered) Mi-
noan Linear A, the extent of literacy in the Mycenaean world, and the
context in which it was adopted by the mainland polities (Palaima, 1987,
1988b) are other related, important issues. The recent discovery of an in-
scribed pebble in a late Middle Helladic context near Olympia on the
Greek mainland has forced some scholars to reconsider the origins of the
Linear B script, raising the possibility that it was first developed on the
mainland before the formation of states there (Godart, 1995).
Building on this detailed understanding of the script and administrative
practice, research has turned in the past decade to broader contextual ques-
tions and to the integration of the textual data contained in the Linear B
tablets with the archaeological data from the palaces themselves and their
extensive territories (e.g., Bennet, 1988a, b; Shelmerdine and Palaima,
1984). From an anthropological view, perhaps the most interesting research
88 Bennet and Galaty

involving the Linear B documents has been that which involves comparative
data. John Killen has pioneered the study of the Mycenaean economy by
comparison with similar redistributive economies in the Near East and
South America (Killen, 1985). Such comparative evidence can sometimes
shed light on specific problems in the texts. For example, Killen (1994),
drawing analogies with feasting in the Inka state, has reinterpreted refer-
ences to domesticated animals in some of the Linear B texts from Thebes,
Pylos, and Knossos. He suggests that palace elites mobilized goods not only
for redistribution, but for consumption at state-sponsored banquets de-
signed to reinforce the power and prestige of the ruler. This interpretation
receives confirmation from inconographic evidence in fresco decoration on
the walls of the palace at Pylos (McCallum, 1987, pp. 68-141) and fits nicely
with the evidence for massive numbers of plain drinking cups preserved in
its destruction level (Blegen and Rawson, 1966).
Detailed examination of a single text from the point of view of its
formatting has allowed Palaima (I995b) to challenge traditional interpre-
tations of the nature of the collapse of Mycenaean states. Earlier positivistic
readings of the tablets sought direct evidence of the destruction of the pal-
aces in the texts. One Pylos text (Tn 316, detailing religious offerings), ap-
parently hastily composed, has been used as evidence for the sudden
destruction at Pylos, the scribe hastening to write the text in advance of
the invading hordes. Palaima demonstrates that the document is composed
according to rational administrative principles used on other texts by the
same scribe and is, therefore, unlikely to be part of some special program
to avert disaster. He replaces the text in its systemic context, suggesting
that one must look elsewhere for historical explanations for the breakdown
of Mycenaean social and economic structures. Palaima conceptualizes the
end of the Mycenaean polities as a gradual decay of elite power, culmi-
nating in the eventual abandonment and destruction of palaces, such as
occurred at Pylos.
Research like that just described--that resists a strictly historical in-
terpretation of the Linear B texts--has facilitated the combination of tex-
tual and archaeological evidence in Aegean archaeology. According to
Bennet (1988a) it is both possible and desirable systematically to combine
textual and archaeological data; and this exercise produces explanations of
greater overall value than either data set alone can offer (cf. Small, 1995a).
The combination of Linear B records with archaeological evidence has pro-
duced models of state-level administration in the palatial contexts of the
Aegean Bronze Age (Bennet, 1985, 1986, 1988b, 1990, 1992; Carothers,
1992; H. Morris, 1986) and has elucidated the detailed workings of the
palatial centers themselves as administrative and production centers
(Palaima and Shelmerdine, 1984; Palaima and Wright, 1985; Palmer, 1994;
Ancient Greece---Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 89

Shelmerdine and Palaima, 1984), as well as enabling a developed under-


standing of the details of such industries as the production of perfumed
oil (Shelmerdine, 1985), wine (Palmer, 1994), or bronze (J. Smith, 1992-
1993). Combination of archaeological and textual data also has elucidated
some problematic areas, such as the apparently high losses of stock re-
corded in Knossian sheep records (Halstead, 1990-1991) and the question
of whether barley or wheat was the more widespread grain in the palatial
economies (Palmer, 1992). Such approaches are of potential methodologi-
cal relevance to archaeologists in other parts of the world--such as the
Indus Valley or the Yucat~in--grappling with the interpretation of undeci-
phered writing systems or the integration of recently deciphered texts with
archaeological evidence. It is perhaps in just this kind of data-rich envi-
ronment that anthropologists and Greek archaeologists can begin to bridge
the "great divide."
The focus on the combination of archaeological and textual data in
the Aegean also has led to the incorporation of "paratextual" phenomena
into examinations of administrative control and exchange relations. Such
evidence includes seals sealings, and pottery marks. Clay was used in the
Aegean from the Early Bronze Age to seal directly (e.g., doors, containers,
small document packages) and indirectly, when applied to a piece of string
(Weingarten, 1986, 1988). In many cases these clay pieces were impressed
with seals, and, in a few cases, inscribed, mostly in Linear B. Such sealings
are therefore administrative documents, although the majority never actu-
ally contained written information, and represent one aspect of the inter-
action between literate palace bureaucracies and their largely illiterate
territories. Changes in sealing technology and sealing systems have been
correlated with changes in the structure of Minoan and Mycenaean ad-
ministration (Weingarten, 1990). Again, such work has been most produc-
tive when carried on in a comparative context (e.g., Palaima, 1990b).
Somewhat related to sealing systems, and certainly connected to economic
administration, pottery marks provide an important line of investigation
into administrative practices in the Aegean (Bennet, 1996; Bikaki, 1984).
Study of such marks assists in an understanding of the use to which early
symbolic systems were put in managing regional-scale production and ex-
change (Hirscb.feld, 1990a, 1990b, 1992).
Finally, the other scripts of the Bronze Age Aegean remain undeci-
phered and are likely to remain so until the number of texts increases sub-
stantially. The earliest attested script, the so-called Cretan hieroglyphic, has
its origins in the prepalatial period but continues in use concurrently with
Linear A. That two scripts were in use contemporaneously in different parts
of the island in the early palatial period is of some cultural significance.
As a corpus of all "hieroglyphic" documents nears completion, there is now
90 Bennet and Galaty

a much better understanding of the script's distribution and content, and


its relationship to earlier paratextual phenomena and the Linear A script
(Olivier, 1990; Palaima, 1990a; Schoep, 1996). Linear A--the script used
in the Middle and early Late Bronze Age prior to Linear B on Crete and
in those areas of the Aegean in contact with Crete--is the most widely
attested, in terms of both numbers of documents and range of documentary
types (Olivier, 1986), but still resists decipherment (e.g., Duhoux, 1989);
the numbers of new documents (reported chiefly in the journal Kadmos)
are quite small. Nevertheless, because of the script's close relationship to
Linear B, we can use Linear A evidence to some extent to interpret eco-
nomic administration in the Minoan palatial society (e.g., Palmer, 1995),
and patterns in the occurrence of the script to examine the relationship
between ritual and political activity (e.g., Schoep, 1994). Finally, the Bronze
Age scripts of the island of Cyprus, dearly related to Minoan Linear A,
are beginning to receive the attention they deserve, although decipherment
in this case seems unlikely in the near future (Palaima, 1989).

Provenience Studies and Exchange

It is somewhat surprising and counterintuitive that the documentary


data from the Aegean Bronze Age are reticent in the area of exchange.
Studies of exchange in the Aegean are therefore based predominantly on
material evidence and have focused on two major regions: exchange within
t h e Aegean itself and exchange between (parts of the) Aegean and the
wider circum-Mediterranean world, including Egypt and--indirectly--
Mesopotamia. Because of the diffusionist framework that existed earlier
this century and the high visibility of the items exchanged, much emphasis
has been laid on items entering the Aegean from outside. Such objects
also were used, as we saw above, as chronological indicators, and some
have seen their existence as proof of exogenous stimuli to social develop-
ment. Just as these extra-Aegean interactions have been reevaluated in
more recent studies (see below), the study of intra-Aegean exchange has
likewise moved away from diffusionist models to more complex models of
interaction, fueled partly by the development of broadly scientific tech-
niques of provenience determination. Classical and anthropological archae-
ologists will find common theoretical and methodological ground in such
discussions of trade and exchange.
Exchange of exotic material within the Aegean was occurring regularly
as early as Neolithic times, if not earlier, if one includes the Melian obsidian
found in late Upper Palaeolithic levels in the Franchthi cave (Perlrs, 1987,
1990b). For Neolithic Greece, Perlrs has identified and compared three
Ancient Greece--Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 91

systems of production and distribution of goods (Perl~s, 1992; cf. Demoule


and Pedrs, 1993). She interprets each system in different socioeconomic
terms and posits a variable degree of interaction on the part of Greek Neo-
lithic communities, depending upon both the item being exchanged, and
the spatial and temporal context. The analysis Perlrs provides of her data
and the methodology she espouses is of interest to all archaeologists in-
vestigating situations of early exchange, in general, and is of special concem
to the study of the Aegean and its relationship to other parts of the Medi-
terranean. Specifically, Peflrs reveals an already sophisticated and complex
system of regional Aegean exchange that functioned in the absence of state-
level hegemonic controls. Exchange therefore existed well before the hy-
pothesized incorporation of the Aegean into a Mediterranean world system.
Perlrs' work builds upon the earlier research of, for instance, Renfrew
et al. (1965) on obsidian "interaction zones," Torrence (1986) on the ex-
change of stone tools, and Runnels and van Andel on trade and the origins
of agriculture (Runnels, 1989; Runnels and van Andel, 1988). Renffew and
his collaborators demonstrated, in the course of some of the earliest ex-
tensive characterization studies carried out in the Aegean, that almost all
the obsidian used in the Aegean came from the island of Melos, suggesting
the existence of an Aegean interaction zone, to which all groups using
Melian obsidian belonged. However, as Torrence notes, Renfrew stopped
short of explaining exactly how and why obsidian was exchanged. She there-
fore constructed a model of intraregional exchange based on comparison
of the Aegean data to those available in other parts of the world, conclud-
ing that the trade in obsidian was noncommercial and unsystematic and
occurred, during the Bronze Age, outside the purview of state-level con-
trols. According to Torrence, obsidian was directly procured. Peflrs (1990a)
has recently questioned Torrence's analysis, identifying specialized procure-
ment, based on high stylistic standardization of blades, in at least the Early
and Middle Neolithic. Finally, Runnels and van Andel (1988) link the
spread of farming, as an agricultural package, through the Mediterranean
to production and trade of wealth items. Trade in "cash crops" between
villages located in different ecological zones explains the simultaneous ap-
pearance of sedentary lifeways and social stratification throughout the
Mediterranean. Similar interesting research has centered on pottery inter-
action zones (e.g., Cullen, 1985; Vitelli, 1993).
Bronze Age exchange has acted as a focus of a number of recent con-
ferences and books (e.g., Gale, 1991b; Knapp and Cherry, 1994; Laffineur
and Basch, 1991). These recent publications either represent new theoreti-
cal models of interaction within and beyond the Aegean world (e.g., Knapp
and Cherry, 1994, pp. 123-155; Sherratt and Sherratt, 1991) or present new
scientific analyses of materials. Knapp and Cherry (1994), for example,
92 Bennet and Galaty

combine the two approaches, with a primary focus on the island of Cyprus.
They pool the results of six ceramic data sets, each produced by the chemi-
cal characterization (NAA, AA, PIXE) of a wide variety of Cypriot ware
types, and combine these results with those generated by Gale and Stos-
Gale's lead-isotope analyses of Aegean metals. Knapp and Cherry then use
these data to discuss the relative strengths of various theoretical frame-
works--centralized control, localized control, freelance trade, and gift ex-
c h a n g e - a s applied to Mediterranean exchange. Their method results in a
conception of Mediterranean trade--and trade in general--that is multi-
layered, multidimensional, and multifunctional. In short, they conceive of
Mediterranean trade as a network of interconnected and dynamic sociocul-
tural processes, a reconstruction based on the work of both classical and
anthropological archaeologists (e.g., Brumfiel and Earle, 1987; Gale, 1991b;
Renfrew, 1975, 1977; Sherratt and Sherratt, 1991).
One reason for the increasing sophistication in the analysis of exchange
patterns is an explosion of archaeometric work on provenience studies,
summarized recently by McGovern (1995). Metallurgy has formed one ma-
jor focus and work is now carried out at five major centers: Oxford (Gale,
1989, 1991a; Gale and Stos-Gale, 1981; Gale et al., 1984; McGeehan-Liritzis
and Gale, 1988; Stos-Gale, 1989, 1992; Stos-Gale and McDonald, 1991,
Stos-Gale et al., 1984), Philadelphia (e.g., Muhly, 1991b; Muhly et al., 1988),
Heidelberg (Pernicka et al., 1990, 1992; cf. Willies, 1992), the Smithsonian
(e.g., Yener and Goodway, 1992; Yener and Vandiver, 1993a, b), and Brad-
ford (e.g., Budd et al., 1995). Interest in metallurgical provenience studies
by means of chemical characterization in the Aegean was pioneered by
Muhly and his colleagues (e.g., Muhly, 1985). More recently, Gale and Stos-
Gale introduced the application of lead isotope analysis to provenience
studies of lead (and therefore silver) and copper in the Aegean, shedding
light on the origins of Early Bronze Age metals in the Cycladic islands, as
well as copper in the Middle and Late Bronze Ages. Before scientific pro-
venience studies began, most Aegean prehistoriaus thought that the island
of Cyprus supplied the Aegean with copper, while sources of lead and silver
were unknown. Gale and Stos-Gale have demonstrated that Lavrion in At-
tica and the island of Siphnos were sources of lead ore. For copper, the
picture has become increasingly complex as work has progressed, and it is
now clear that by the latest phases of the Bronze Age, the copper trade
spanned the Mediterranean from the Levant to Sardinia, exploiting copper
sources in Cyprus, the Aegean (Lavrion and Kythnos), Sardinia, and else-
where (see also Smith, 1987). The possibility that tin was available to the
Bronze Age Aegean in the "Ihurus mountains of southwest Turkey--rather
than only by means of long-distance exchange networks--has recently come
Ancient Greece--Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 93

into question (Hall and Steadman, 1991; Muhly, 1993; Yener and Goodway,
1992; Yener and Vandiver, 1993a, b).
The emphasis in metallurgical studies has turned to evaluation of the
lead isotope characterization technique, notably in a recent issue of the
Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology with a section devoted to the analysis
of metal in the prehistoric Mediterranean. It presents an informative over-
view of metals analysis, as well as a current critique of the state of the art.
The primary authors, Budd and others (1995), take a position directly con-
tradictory to many of Gale and Stos-Gale's conclusions. In particular, they
react to what they perceive as the "simplistic manner" with which metal-
lurgical data have often been interpreted (Budd et al., 1995, p. 25) and
suggest methods whereby these data might be more correctly understood.
Specifically, they call for the incorporation of recycling into traditional
models of the metals industry. It is clear that patterns will not become
clearer until the methodological evaluation currently under way achieves a
consensus.
A second major artifact category that has been subject to scientific
provenience studies is pottery [Jones (1986) offers an overview; cf. also
McGovern (1995)]. Within this large category, one example will suffice:
stirrup jars. These are relatively small, squat containers that held liquids,
most often perfumed olive oil. In some cases these vessels are painted with
Linear B signs indicating place of origin, destination, sometimes content,
and owner. A characterization project undertaken by Catling and others
(1980) indicates that stirrup jars found at Mycenae (and other mainland
sites) were made of clay that, in all probability, originated somewhere in
western Crete, probably Hania. Subsequent provenience studies of ceramics
have broadened the techniques to include petrography (e.g., Day, 1988,
1989; Day and Jones, 1991; Whitbread, 1989, 1995) and to examine all
periods of the Bronze Age (e.g., Cadogan et al., 1993; Wilson and Day,
1994). Major programs of study are now under way at the two chief foreign
archaeometry labs in Athens, the Fitch laboratory at the British School and
the Wiener laboratory at the American School (McGovern, 1995, pp. 115-
117).
Well known in later periods of the Mediterranean, relatively few ship-
wrecks are known in the Bronze Age Aegean. The advantage of shipwreck
evidence is that it offers a context for traded objects directly related to
their transshipment, rather than at their final destination, or even beyond.
The discovery of a late 14th century B.C. wreck at Uluburun off the coast
of southern Turkey (Bass, 1986, 1991; Bass et aL, 1989; Pulak, 1991, 1992,
1993, 1994) has offered a laboratory for examining trade in the Mycenaean
period in progress. The cargo of the ship seems to have been primarily
metal ingots (mostly copper, ca. 350 in the canonical "ox-hide" shape, but
94 Bennet and Galaty

also tin), bun ingots of glass, and ca. 120 Syro-Palestinian amphorae con-
taining terebinth resin (Haldane, 1993). In addition, a small number of
high-value items were present, including hippopotamus tusk. A large clay
jar contained Cypriot fineware ceramics for export. It is unclear whether
prestige items such as a stone scarab, numerous shell rings, and faience
beads were for trade or were personal items owned by the crew. Some
items relate directly to the practice of trade, in particular a number of
pan-balance weights and a wooden diptych writing tablet (Payton, 1991).
Given the origin of the primary cargo, the ship seems to have been sailing
from somewhere on the Syro-Palestinian coast, via Cyprus. The presence
of Mycenaean swords and fineware pottery in the wreckage suggests that
the overall trade route was circular: from the Levant, to Cyprus, to the
Aegean, then to Egypt and back to the Levant. Certain artifacts, such as
a Danubian-style sword and a possibly Bulgarian stone ceremonial mace-ax,
indicate connections that would have reached far beyond Greece, although
these objects could have been acquired in Greece, themselves the result
of long-distance trade or exchange. The quantity of goods being trans-
ported, the variety of the cargo, and indications of far-flung trade connec-
tions all point to the possibility that the owner/captain of the Uluburun
ship either was an independent merchant or was operating in the service
of a wealthy, perhaps royal, client. In either case the scale of operations
represented by Uluburun is impressive.
Data generated by the excavation of Bronze Age shipwrecks, when
combined with those provided by the research of Perlrs, Renfrew, Torrence,
Runnels, and van Andel, cited above, produce a complex vision of Aegean
and Mediterranean exchange. The subsequent discoveries of an Early
Bronze Age wreck at Dokos and of a Late Bronze Age wreck containing
Cypriot ceramics at Iria, both off the coast of the Southern Argolid, Greece,
have raised the possibility of examining intra-Aegean trade at a much ear-
lier period and of further study of Late Bronze Age interconnections, par-
ticularly with Cyprus (Papathanasopoulos et al., 1992, 1993; Penna et al.,
1993).
Recent theoretical and scientific work has not ignored the large data-
base of loosely "oriental" objects known from archaeological work in main-
land Greece. Eric Cline (1994) has examined a wide range of objects that
were imported into and exported out of Greece throughout the Late
Bronze Age, tracing fluctuations in their numbers over time. His broad
approach allows qualitative and quantitative assessment of the different
trade connections between Greece and Egypt, Syro-Palestine, Cyprus, Ana-
tolia, and Mesopotamia in a diachronic perspective. Cline does not confine
himself to material objects but compares the patterns they offer to the tex-
tual and pictorial evidence relative to such exchange relationships--primar-
Ancient Greece---Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 95

ily from outside the Aegean. In this way, he achieves a synthesis of archae-
ological data and textual evidence, thereby producing inferences of con-
vincing theoretical value. Furthermore, as did Knapp and Cherry (1994),
Cline takes a processual approach rather than a simply descriptive one.
We also should note here that recent discoveries--still being fully
evaluated--have provided further evidence of interaction between Minoan
Crete and Egypt, in the form of Minoan-style frescoes found at the site of
ancient Avaris (Tell el Dab'a) in the Delta (Bietak, 1992; Davies and
Schofield, 1995) and an Egyptian papyrus apparently illustrating Myce-
naean soldiers (Schofield and Parkinson, 1994). At the site of Tel Kabri in
Israel, Aegean-style frescoes also have been found (Niemeier, 1995).
Finally, in the context of Greek-Near Eastern connections, we feel
obliged to mention the work of Bernal (1987, 1991) who, in his Black
Athena volumes, asserts the need for a paradigm shift away from what he
describes as classical archaeology's 'Aryan model." According to Bernal,
the current and traditional classical paradigm ignores evidence for the ori-
gins of Greek culture--including myth, aspects of language, art, and archi-
t e c t u r e - i n the East, especially Egypt. In fact, Bernal posits a colonization
of Greece by Egyptians sometime in the early third millennium. He refers
to this "new" paradigm for interpreting the Greek past as the "revised an-
cient model," because, in his view, it is based on a concept that ancient
historians such as Herodotus accepted without question--that Greek cul-
ture owed much more to the south (Africa) than to the north (Europe).
The "revised ancient model," classical archaeology's first major brush
with a postprocessual style critique (as noted by Manning, 1990), has not
been well accepted in any quarters (e.g., Lefkowitz and Rogers, 1996). Ac-
cording to Jonathan Hall (1990), for instance, Bernal's approach does not
signal a paradigm shift so much as a return to discredited method and
theory: a return to normative culture-historical approaches in which the
exchange of goods as well as ideas is not studied as a dynamic process and
in which Greece is conceived of as a passive receptacle for all things Egyp-
tian (cf. E. Hall, 1992). Furthermore, as Sarah Morris notes (1990), most
classical archaeologists are prepared to accept the possibility of heavy con-
tact between Greece and Egypt, probably to the benefit of both. However,
such contact need not be the result of colonization. The archaeological re-
cord can be more satisfyingly accounted for within the models described
above (e.g., Cline, 1994; Knapp and Cherry, 1994). The Uluburun ship car-
ried an astounding array of wealth objects from several locations, including
those with seemingly official characteristics, such as seals and scarabs.
Given the evidence of Bronze Age wrecks alone, the possibility of Egyptian
influence on aspects of Greek culture need not be subjected to a new para-
digm (S. Morris, 1990). Rather, the combination of classical and anthro-
96 Bennet and Galaty

pologicai approaches to archaeological explanation and interpretation is al-


ready producing politically correct and scientifically valid descriptions of
the past and, in so doing, is bridging the "great divide."
To conclude this overview of recent Aegean archaeology, we note that
extensive and informative reviews of recent (past 10 years) fieldwork and
conceptual developments in the prehistory of Greece have recently been
published in the American Journal of Archaeology, and others are in prepa-
ration on palatial mainland Greece, palatial and postpalatial Crete, and
prehistoric western Anatolia. Reviews have already appeared on the ar-
chaeology of the Aegean islands (Davis, 1992), the prepalatial phases of
the central and southern mainland (Rutter, 1993), prepalatial and early pa-
latial Crete (Watrous, 1994), the archaeology of the Stone Age (Runnels,
1995), and the Neolithic and Bronze Age of northern Greece (Andreou et
al., 1996).

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN REGIONAL STUDIES

Implicit in Renfrew's (1972) work on the prehistoric Aegean was the


idea that sites on the Cycladic islands should not be viewed in isolation, but
as components in a regional "culture" whose characteristics evolve through
time. This conceptual shift toward a regional approach was not unique to
Renfrew. In the same year that The Emergence of Civilisation was published,
the results of the first large-scale regional survey project in the Aegean were
published (McDonald and Rapp, 1972). The Minnesota Messenia Expedi-
tion (MME) sought to reconstruct the "environment" (both physical and
social) around the palatial center of Late Bronze Age Pylos in southwestern
Messenia, Greece. The project--explicitly modeled on similar projects out-
side the "classical" world, in Iraq and Mesoamerica--covered extensively a
total area of 3800 km 2, providing information about 455 archaeological sites
(Rutter, 1993, p. 748, Table 1). Although the MME sought specifically to
elucidate the settlement context for the Bronze Age center at Ano Englianos
(Bronze Age Pylos), the project published sites of all prehistoric and historic
periods in its Gazetteer (McDonald and Rapp, 1972, pp. 263-321), providing
the basis for diachronic study of the region with considerable time depth.
Roughly contemporary in its origins, but of much longer duration than
MME, the Argolid Exploration Project (AEP) carried out survey explora-
tion (as well as excavation at Franchthi cave and the historical site of
Halieis) in the southern Argolid (Jameson et al., 1994; van Andel and Run-
nels, 1987). In the context of this project a number of methodologies were
tested. Against the background of the conceptual shifts embodied in the
MME's research and the methodological experimentation of the AEP
Ancient Greece---Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 97

emerged the study of the island of Melos directed by Renfrew in the mid-
1970s, part of which was an intensive survey of a systematic random sample
of the island directed by John Cherry, who incorporated methodological
advances made in new world archaeological survey. The survey results lie
at the heart of the diachronic reconstruction of settlement on the island,
from its colonization through the medieval period, and contribute consid-
erably to discussion of the changing relationship of the island's settlement
system to larger economic and political systems in the Aegean (Renfrew
and Wagstaff, 1982).
The examples of MME, AEP, and Melos initiated a flood of survey
projects in the Aegean. In the past 20 years no fewer than 14 regional
survey projects have been undertaken in mainland Greece alone (Rutter,
1993, p. 748), plus a number in the Cyclades (cf. Davis, 1992) and in parts
of Crete (Bennet, 1986, pp. 42-44, Fig. 2.19; Haggis, 1992; Hayden et al.,
1992; Nixon et al., 1990; Watrous, 1994, p. 698; Watrous et al., 1993). How-
ever, projects have used widely varying strategies, such as intensive versus
extensive approaches, varying degrees of intensity, and different sampling
techniques. As a result, data collected in different regions are sometimes
difficult to compare and suffer variable levels of reliability (Alcock, 1993,
pp. 36-37; Bennet, 1986, pp. 42-44).
In recent years, something of a consensus has been reached on field
techniques. Summarizing the state of the art in 1983 at a conference on
survey in the Mediterranean region, Cherry (1983a), using data from post-
1970 surveys in the Aegean and Italy, demonstrated the increased benefits
to be gained by intensive pedestrian survey with close walker spacing in
terms of both numbers of sites defined and filling out the lower levels of
the settlement hierarchy (Cherry, 1983a, p. 410, Fig. 1; Snodgrass, 1987, p.
103, Fig. 21). This summary led to a vigorous debate with more traditional
practitioners of the technique (e.g., Cherry, 1984b; Gallant, 1986; Hope
Simpson, 1984, 1985), but most surveys now operate some form of intensive
pedestrian survey (e.g., Cherry, 1994; Cherry et al., 1991; Watrous et al.,
1993: Wright et al., 1990).
Standardization of methodology has facilitated comparability between
surveys and encouraged the employment of survey data in exploring wider
archaeological questions, such as the effects of Roman control on Greece
(Alcock, 1993; Kosso, 1993), and even the comparison of settlement histo-
ries in different areas within the vast Hellenistic world (Alcock, 1994). A
recent refinement in field methodology has been the development of
surface survey techniques to cope with relatively large urban centers,
particularly in historical periods (Alcock, 1991; Snodgrass, 1991; Snodgrass
and Bintliff, 1991; Whitelaw and Davis, 1991). Survey data have formed
98 Bennet and Galaty

the basis for a number of recent general studies of Greek rural settlement
(e.g., Osborne, 1987; van Andel and Runnels, 1987).
Theoretical debate concerning survey in an Aegean context continues
on more detailed questions, such as the behavioral interpretation of par-
ticular types of artifact distribution (e.g., Alcock et al., 1994; cf. Bintliff et
al., 1990), or the relative preservation of sites of different periods (Bintliff
and Snodgrass, 1985), or the quantification of artifact densities in different
environmental zones (Bintliff and Snodgrass, 1988). A recent example of
such debate is Ammerman's suggestion of the need for resurvey of pre-
viously surveyed landscapes, especially in areas where modern land use has
changed in the years following initial survey (Ammerman, 1995). He com-
pared results of survey in 2 years (1980 and 1989), correlating results with
changes in land use. He found that planting of certain crops, especially
fruit trees, dramatically affected the diachronic interpretation of settlement
patterns for a given region, such that in the absence of certain land-man-
agement practices, ceramics of particular time periods never reached the
surface or were not recorded by surveyors. In a response to Ammerman's
article, Davis and Sutton (1996) take issue with his call for resurvey, citing
the results of the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project (NVAP). Using
carefully recorded statistics on visibility and land use, they are able to dem-
onstrate that such effects could be evaluated without the necessity for costly
resurveying.
At a higher interpretive level, the diachronic sweep of survey data has
drawn researchers to the "annales" framework of historical interpretation
(e.g., Bintliff, 1991; Knapp, 1992; Snodgrass, 1982). Scholars have sought
to elucidate their data not at the level of the historical event, but in the
framework of long-term process (the "longue dur6e"). Such intersections
with historical data have created productive interactions between documen-
tary sources and--in particular--the rather ambiguous artifactual remains
of medieval and later Greece. For example, Davis (1991), by integrating
Ottoman documentary evidence for political and social changes in the Cy-
cladic islands with archaeologically visible shifts in settlement patterns, was
able to suggest models for past land-use strategies and their impact on the
nucleation or dispersal of farmsteads and other settlement types. A similar
exercise by Bennet and Voutsakis (1991) set documentary information from
early travelers against the archaeological record of northwest Keos from
the medieval period to A.D. 1821.
Finally, it is in the context of survey work, whose aim is to reconstruct
past environments and interpret how they both affected and were affected
by past human groups, that disciplines such as geoarchaeology and pa-
leoethnobotany have increasingly become incorporated into Greek field-
work strategies (see especially Kardulias, 1994). Almost all Greek survey
Ancient Greece---Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies 99

projects incorporate researchers to study the geomorphology, pedology, and


paleoethnobotany of their study regions. Broadly geoarchaeological re-
search has contributed considerably to our study of the past, both in a gen-
eral understanding of the effects of humans on the landscape (e.g.,
Demitrack, 1986; Finke, 1988; Pope and van Andel, 1984; van Andel and
Zangger, 1990; van Andel et al., 1986; Zangger, 1992a, 1992b, 1993), but
also in understanding the depositional processes affecting (particularly
early) sites (e.g., Cherry et al., 1988; Runnels and van Andel, 1993a, b; van
Andel et al., 1990). In some cases, geoarchaeological research has led to
striking new reconstructions of what seem familiar modem land forms (e.g.,
Zangger, 1991, 1994a, b). Studies of past plant environments have been
carried out either through the collection of pollen cores, a difficult propo-
sition in many areas of Greece (e.g., Allen, 1990; Bottema, 1994; Hansen,
1994; Moody, 1987; Wright et al., 1990, p. 592; cf. Bottema and Woldring,
1990; McGovem, 1995, pp. 93-96), or through the study of plant ecology
(e.g., Rackham, 1990).

CONCLUSION

Greece offers a long archaeological sequence from earliest prehistory


to the present. It is also a crossroads, a dynamic ever-changing place, in
which indigenous developments and external contacts were in constant in-
terplay. The research we have highlighted above is exploring Greece's ear-
liest prehistory and settlement, seeking to expand our knowledge of these
earliest phases and, importantly, to situate them in the wider context of
human development in the Pleistocene. Research in the Neolithic and
Bronze Ages has developed and refined theoretical models for the rise and
evolution of social complexity on Crete and the mainland. Archaeometric
methods of analysis have been applied to questions of provenience and
exchange.
Throughout this review we stress instances in which the combination
of textual and archaeological data works to the advantage of Greek ar-
chaeologists. Recent advances in the method and theory of Greek archae-
ology demonstrate the potential of this strategy, and it has indeed borne
fruit in its application to several research areas, including Aegean prehis-
tory and regional analysis. Importantly, work done in early periods increas-
ingly has positive spin-off effects in later periods of study well into historical
times. For example, advances in survey methodology applied to the very
earliest prehistory of Greece have been incorporated into research that ad-
dresses historical questions.
100 Bennet and Galaty

The field of "Greek archaeology" is a diverse one, combining wide


expanses of both time and territory. In this review we have tried to repre-
sent this diversity and, in so doing, highlight what we perceive to be sig-
nificant recent theoretical and methodological advances, primarily in the
study of the prehistoric Aegean and in regional studies. We see no funda-
mental difference between the methodologies espoused by anthropological
archaeologists and those of most classical archaeologists working in these
areas. If there is a significant difference, it is perhaps in the richness of
data available to those working in the classical world, with the widespread
availability of texts that can be productively brought into dialogue with the
material remains. For this we make no apology.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We should like to thank the following for advice and information in


preparing this review: John E Cherry, Jack L. Davis, Ian Morris, Jeremy
B. Rutter, and Anthony M. Snodgrass. For comments on an early draft,
we are grateful to Jack L. Davis, Curtis Runnels, David B. Small, and an
anonymous reviewer. Needless to say, none of the above should be held
responsible for the views expressed or for the chosen emphasis. John Ben-
net also would like to thank Christina Clark and Laura DeLozier, who as
project assistants, helped greatly in tracking down and acquiring bibliog-
raphy.

ENDNOTE

It seems from talking to a number of archaeologists in other areas


that one of the greatest barriers to becoming acquainted with research in
another field is the unfamiliarity of journals, which in most cases carry cur-
rent research and fieldwork reports. For this reason, we include here a list
of the most important journals for research and fieldwork in Greece and
beyond. The primary resource for those interested in all aspects of the pre-
historic Aegean is the journal Nestor, founded in 1957 by Emmett L. Ben-
nett, Jr., at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, transferred to Indiana
University in 1978, and now--1996--at the University of Cincinnati. Nestor
contains bibliographic listings of all publications and book reviews in
Aegean prehistory or of relevance to the field, as well as notices of con-
ferences and lectures and other items of interest. Its nine monthly issues
are indexed at the end of each year, and back issues are available for down-
loading over the Internet by anonymous ftp.
Ancient Greece---Aegean Archaeology and Regional Studies I01

For specific data on the progress of ongoing fieldwork, the best~ most
accessible resources--widely available in academic libraries--are the Ar-
chaeological Reports, published as an annual supplement to the Journal of
Hellenic Studies and the Annual of the British School at Athens, and the
"Chronique des fouilles," published annually in the Bulletin de Correspon-
dance Hellgnique. Both list all work carried out in Greece over the year,
including publications of earlier work published that year, mostly ab-
stracted from the national journals that publish Greek research (Arhaioloy-
ikon Deltion, Ergon, Praktika) and from numerous local journals and
newspaper reports. Overviews of recent work in particular geographical
areas (Latium, Albania, and Sicily, for example) are included periodically.
Fieldwork on Cyprus is reported regularly in the Report of the Department
of Antiquities Cyprus, while updates on Anatolian archaeology (and, less
often, other geographical areas) appear regularly in the American Journal
of Archaeology.
Many of the foreign institutes of archaeology based in Greece publish
their own journals, in which fieldwork and research (mostly, but not ex-
clusively, carried out under their sponsorship) are published: Hesperia
(published by the American School of Classical Studies), Annual of the
British School at Athens (British School at Athens, particularly strong in
prehistoric archaeological research), Bulletin de Correspondance Hellgnique
(French School at Athens), Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archiiologischen lnsti-
tuts ( G e r m a n Archaeological Institute), and Annuario della Scuola
Archeologica di Atene e delle Missioni Italiane in Oriente (Italian School of
Archaeology).
Major English-language journals in which research is published include
the American Journal of Archaeology, Minos, and Kadmos (for new infor-
mation on Bronze Age scripts and related phenomena), while there are
frequent publications on research in broadly classical archaeology in the
Journal of Field Archaeology, the Oxford Journal of Archaeology, and Ar-
chaeometry. In addition, a number of synthetic journals have appeared re-
cently: the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology (founded in 1988, by A.
Bernard Knapp, and likely to be of particular interest to anthropologists),
Aegaeum. Annales d'arehdologie ggdenne de l'Universitd de Lidge (founded in
1987, by Robert Laffineur--also a monograph series and host to the bien-
nial Aegean conferences), the CambridgeArchaeological Journal (founded
in 1991 and not specifically devoted to the Aegean), the Journal of Prehis-
toric Religion (founded in 1987, by Paul .X~str6m and John van Leuven),
and Aegean Archaeology (founded in 1994, by Bogdan Rutkowski and
Krzysztof Nowicki).
102 Bennet and Galaty

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