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The ‘Shrines phase’ at Phaistos : a summary of the architectural structures

Boekbijdrage - Boekhoofdstuk Conferentiebijdrage

The end of the Protopalatial period in Crete (Middle Minoan IIB: 1850-1800 BC) is characterised in some Minoan sites by a destruction horizon. At Phaistos, in South-central Crete, two distinct architectural phases associated with the ultimate stage of the First Palace have been recently identified by V. La Rosa and F. Carinci. These are known as ‘Kouloures phase’ (MM IIB) and ‘Sacelli or Shrines phase’ (Final MM IIB) and they were separated by a partial destruction of the Palace. The ‘Kouloures phase’ is marked by architectural monumentalisation, whereas the ‘Shrines phase’ is a period of resurgence after the partial destruction and before the complete collapse of the Palace. The aim of this contribution is to highlight the architectural modifications carried out during the ‘Shrines phase’. As a result of the partial destruction, new structures were built in both the North-West and South-West wings of the Palace and modifications were made to the less damaged rooms in the South-West wing. Rooms V, VI and VII, also called Sacelli, were built against the orthostate façade of the North-West wing on the Middle West Court. The Sacelli are commonly interpreted as cult rooms, spaces intended for ritual activities and perhaps also meeting places, where drinking ceremonies took place. The renovation of the South-West wing was equally significant. The partial destruction after the ‘Kouloures phase’ made the northern part of the South-West wing no more usable. Only its southern part continued to be used during the later ‘Shrines phase’. Architectural changes here included the building of a monumental access staircase in Room LIX and a new storeroom, named LXIV. Moreover, against the orthostate façade of the South-West wing was built a structure, termed Building F, which is very close in form and probably in function to the Sacelli. This contribute will present preliminary results of my PhD research project on the ‘Shrines phase’ at Phaistos. It will be argued that this was a brief period of lively activity. During this phase the inhabitants of Phaistos attempted not only at reorganising the spaces that had survived the partial destruction, but also at building new functional areas for cult and ritual activities, production and storage.
Boek: 13th International Congress of Cretan Studies, Proceedings
Aantal pagina's: 1
Jaar van publicatie:2024