Social and Political Organisation on Crete in the Proto-palatial Period

The Case of Middle Minoan II Malia


  • Ilse Schoep Catholic University of Leuven



Crete, Proto-palatial Period, social and political organisation


The model of the Minoan palace as a centralised political, economic and ideological authority, and of Minoan society as a hierarchical power structure, has to a large extent guided discussion of social complexity in the Middle Bronze Age on Crete. This paper draws attention to alternative models of power in which more agent-centred perspectives, such as heterarchy and factionalism, are preferred. On the basis of a case-study of the proto-palatial town of Malia (Crete), it is argued that these alternative models of power may offer a better explanation for the first palace and its role in Middle Minoan II Malia.

Author Biography

Ilse Schoep, Catholic University of Leuven

Ilse Schoep holds a postdoctoral fellowship from the Fund of Scientific Research Flanders (F.W.O.-Vlaanderen) at the Department of Archaeology at the Catholic University of Leuven. Her interests include administration and its socio-political context and complexity.



How to Cite

Schoep, I. (2002). Social and Political Organisation on Crete in the Proto-palatial Period: The Case of Middle Minoan II Malia. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 15(1), 101–132.