Professor James Whitley (Cardiff University), "The Rocky Heart of Crete: From the Hellenistic to the ‘Minoan’"
BSA Friends' Lecture (hybrid)
Abstract: In the popular imagination, Crete is indelibly associated with the ‘Minoans’, and the Minoans have little to do with later Cretan history or archaeology. This popular view no longer represents archaeological reality. Since the 1990s there has been increasing emphasis on the part of archaeologists of many nationalities to re-appraise the Archaic to Hellenistic cities of ancient Crete, particularly in the Eastern part of the island. Research has revealed that the political reproduction of these communities was institutionalized in the andreion, and that the creation of new citizens was intimately connected to the consumption of wild/feral species (hare/agrimi). Here zooarchaeology is supported by iconography. This re-appraisal of the Iron Age and later periods (down to the Hellenistic) necessarily forces us to look again at the iconography of ‘Minoan’ glyptic and stone rhyta in the neopalatial period. In both periods Crete was an island that looked towards its rocky heart.