Excavations at Knossos have uncovered faunal and archaeobotanical archives spanning the Neolithic and Bronze Age (7th–2nd millennia bce), during which one of Europe’s earliest known farming settlements developed into its first major urban settlement and centre of one of its oldest regional states. Through stable isotope (δ13C, δ15N) analysis of seeds and bones (as evidence for the growing conditions of cereal and pulse crops and for the types of forage consumed by livestock), land use and, ultimately, political economy are explored. Changing husbandry conditions overwrite any effects of long-term aridification. Early (7th–6th millennium bce) Knossian farmers grew intensively managed cereals and pulses (probably in rotation) that were closely integrated (as manured sources of forage) with livestock. Through the later Neolithic and Bronze Age, settlement growth accompanied more extensive cultivation (eventually with cereals and pulses not in rotation) and greater use of rough graze and, by goats, browse. Pasture on cultivated land remained central, however, to the maintenance of sheep, cattle, and pigs. Variable diet of early sheep suggests management at the household level, while thereafter progressive dietary divergence of sheep and goats implies their separate herding. Until the Old Palace phase (early 2nd millennium bce), urban growth was matched by increasingly extensive and probably distant cultivation and herding but somewhat more intensive conditions during the New and Final Palace phases (mid-2nd millennium bce) perhaps reflect greater reliance on surplus from prime land of previously rival centres that now came under Knossian control.