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Why We Need New Spectacles: Mapping the Experiential Dimension in Prehistoric Cretan Landscapes

  • Saro Wallace (a1)


The Bronze to Iron Age transition in Crete, a period of state collapse and insecurity, saw the island's rugged, high-contrast topography used in striking new ways. The visual drama of many of the new site locations has stimulated significant research over the last hundred years, with explanation of the change as the main focus. The new sites are not monumental in character: the vast majority are settlements, and much of the information about them comes from survey. Perhaps as a result, the new site map has not been much studied from phenomenological perspectives. A focus on the visual and experiential aspects of the new landscape can offer valuable insights into social structures at this period, and illuminate social developments prefiguring the emergence of polis states in Crete by c. 700 bc. To develop, share and evaluate this type of integrated study, digital reconstructive techniques are still under-used in this region. I highlight their potential value in addressing a regularly-identified shortcoming of phenomenological approaches — their necessarily subjective emphasis.


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Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • ISSN: 0959-7743
  • EISSN: 1474-0540
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal
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