The Archaeology of Urbanization: Social Practices and Cultural Production at the Archaic Site of Azoria in Eastern Crete
This lecture presents the results of excavations at the site of Azoria in eastern Crete, under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Fieldwork conducted over the past two decades has recovered evidence of a Greek city of Archaic date (700–500 B.C.) and contexts allowing us to examine aspects of the political economy of the community. While the city’s ancient name is unknown, the site exhibits characteristics of urban development in the last quarter of the 7th century B.C. and continuous occupation through the 6th century B.C. The Archaic settlement was mostly a new construction involving significant modifications of the terrain, the construction of ambitious architectural terraces and roads, and the establishment of new forms of public and residential buildings that shaped the site’s topography until its abandonment in the first quarter of the 5th c. B.C. We interpret these material changes as indications of urbanization: in systemic terms, the mobilization of labor to implement large-scale building projects, the establishment of new forms of public spaces and community organization, and a scaling up of agriculturally-based economic activities.
September 22 at 6:00 pm
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