Storage Strategies and States on Prehistoric Crete: A Reply to Strasser (JMA 10 [1997] 73-100)

Authors

  • Paul Halstead University of Sheffield

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jmea.v10i1.103

Keywords:

Mediterranean Archaeology, storage, koulouras

Abstract

In the literature on early states, central control of surplus frequently plays a major role as a precondition, if not cause, of the emergence of social complexity. Many models claim empirical support in changes in the scale, form or social context of agricultural storage, despite the ambiguity of much of the archaeological evidence. The palaces of Minoan Crete are no exception: palatial storage looms large in much of the literature from Renfrew's Emergence of Civilization (Renfrew 1972) onwards, but the identity of many proposed grain-storage facilities is far from unassailable. Strasser questions the identification of the enigmatic, early palatial 'koulouras' as granaries. While accepting that the small, above-ground, internally plastered koulouras at the palace of Mallia were granaries, he argues that their larger, subterranean, roughly stone-lined counterparts outside the palaces at Knossos and Phaistos were not. On this basis, he proceeds to reject the link between storage (especially 'social storage') and state formation on Crete.

Published

1997-09-01

How to Cite

Halstead, P. (1997). Storage Strategies and States on Prehistoric Crete: A Reply to Strasser (JMA 10 [1997] 73-100). Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 10(1), 103–107. https://doi.org/10.1558/jmea.v10i1.103

Issue

Section

Discussion and Debate