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A Dark Age Refuge Centre near Pefki, East Crete Author(s): Krzysztof Nowicki Source: The Annual of the British School at Athens, Vol. 89 (1994), pp. 235-268 Published by: British School at Athens Stable URL: Accessed: 22/06/2010 07:49Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

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A DARK AGE REFUGE CENTRE NEAR PEFKI, EAST CRETE39-42) (PLATESlQog ovg xaToLxoug ov Ine1xov TOU xatL ov aytLO6t[tovQO66bQO XWQLOU x. Eqtavovulk Kavapdxli

THIS paper presents one component of an on-going study of the topography of dark age sites on Crete.' This explorationof the end of the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age on the island has sought (I) to clarify the broader regional context of well-known excavated dark age settlementssuch as Karphi, Kavousi Vronda and Kastro, PalaikastroKastri, and Vrokastro;(2) to establish the location, function, and chronology of previously discovered but poorly documented sites; (3) to augment this catalogue of known dark age remains with new evidence; (4) to define patterns of settlement and land use for the period in various areas of the island; and (5) to establish chronological and regional patterns that may help us begin to understandthis obscureperiod in Crete.2 The Dark Age on Crete is potentially better representedthan in other areas of the Aegean, and explorationsin the mountainous hinterland of the island have shown site numbers and a density of habitation only vaguely suggested by the excavated sample of sites. This study of dark age topographyhas shown the likelihood that a more complete or representativemap of Crete might be drawn for the Dark Age than for any other period. At the beginning of this century three sites representingdark age defensible settlements in Crete were partly excavated:Kavousi Kastro, Vrokastro,and PalaikastroKastri.3The list of explored sites was later complemented by a more comprehensive project undertaken by Pendlebury at Karphi.4 In the I96os new excavations at Palaikastro Kastri revealed particularly valuable evidence for the problem of the beginning of the Cretan Dark Age.5

I I am most grateful to the Greek archaeological authorities, in particular Dr K. Davaras, for the permits to carry out my studies and to draw the plans of the sites presented here. The work would not be possible without extremely gracious help and friendship of the inhabitants of Pefki. First and foremost my thanks go to the mayor of this village, Mr Emmanouil Kanavakis, for his interest in my work and for his and his wife's Cretan hospitality. I would also like to thank his brother,Mr Georgios Kanavakis,for all the information he has given about the archaeology and history of the Pefki area, and Mr Nikos Tavladakis for his hospitality. I would like to express my special thanks to Victoria Batten for improving the English of this paper, and to Donald Haggis for many very helpful comments, particularlyconcerning the pottery.

2 The problem of defensible sites in Crete, and their topography, distribution and evidence as recorded on the Sites surface,will be presented in the forthcoming Defensible in Crete (LMIII c-Geometric). 3 H. A. Boyd, 'Excavations at Kavousi, Crete, in I9oo', AJA 5 (1901), 125-57; R. C. Bosanquet, 'Excavations at PalaikastroI', BSA 8 (I901-2), 286; E. Hall, 'Excavations in Museum eastern Crete: Vrokastro', University Pennsylvania of Publications, 3 (Philadelphia,1914). Anthropological 3. 'Excavations in the plain of Lasithi, III: Karphi, a city of refuge of the early Iron Age in Crete', BSA 38 (1937-8), 57-145. 5 L. H. Sackett, M. R. Popham, and P. M. Warren, 'Excavationsat Palaikastro,VI', BSA6o (1965),269-305.

4 J. D. S. Pendlebury and M. B. Money-Coutts,




Besides material from stratifiedcontexts in settlements, there were short reports or notes on cemeteries (e.g. Erganos, Panagia Prophitis Ilias, Kourtes, Kamares, Siderokephala,Praisos, Atsipades,Driros, Vronda),6unexcavatedsettlements (e.g. ZakrosEllinika,Kandilioro, Oreino Ellinika, Stavrochori Kastri, Monastiraki)7and unstratified or very disturbed layers of the Dark Age unearthed during the investigations at later sites (e.g. Prinias, Ligortino, Panagia Prophitis Ilias, Elefterna).8Such was the basis for studies of the Dark Age in Crete beyond Knossos. Although Pendlebury proposed the reconstruction of events after the collapse of the Minoan-Mycenaean civilization, he still had too little evidence to support his ideas or to resolve some contradictionshe found between differentareas. Additionally,the chronology of the post-Minoan period was very confusing, and the most important aspect, the definition of LM III c, was not yet established.9Nevertheless the list of refuge or defensible settlements proposed by Pendlebury remained the most comprehensive one for a long time,'l and was complemented only by a few sites identified in the 196os and 1970s11Pendlebury'swork was never fully explored by later scholars, and many of the sites seem to have never been visited again. Desborough and Snodgrass, when they presented their synthetic books on the Dark Age in Greece, did not include all the identified sites in their discussions.'2 A new chapter of research on the Cretan Dark Age started with two American projects The material from the re-excavatedsites covering the areas around Kavousi and Vrokastro.'3

6 F. Halbherr, 'Cretan expedition, XI: three Cretan necropoleis: report on the researches at Erganos, Panagia and Kourtes', AJA 5 (1901), 259-93; A. Taramelli, 'Cretan expedition, XII: notes on the necropolis of Courtes', AJA 5 (1901), 294-301; L. Mariani, 'Cretan expedition, XIII: the vases of Erganos and Courtes', AJA 5 (1901), 302-14; A. Taramelli, 'Cretan expedition, XX: a visit to the grotto of Camares on Mount Ida', AJA5 (1901),439-42; A. Taramelli, 'Ricerche archeologiche cretesi', Mon. Linc.9 (1899), 403; F Halbherr, 'Cretan expedition, XVI: report on the researches at Praesos', AJA 5 (1901);R. C. Bosanquet, 'Archaeologyin Greece, 1900-1901',JHS 21 (1901),399-400; id. 'Excavations at Praesos, I', BSA 8 (1901-2), 231-70; E. Petroulakis, 'KplLxij 'ATotatdbagdtpoL', Arch.Eph. 1915,48-50; Boyd (n. 3), 131-6. 7 L. Mariani, 'Antichithcretesi', Mon. Linc. 6 (1895), 293; D. G. Hogarth, 'Excavations in Zakro, Crete', BSA 7 of (1900-1), 145;J. D. S. Pendlebury, The Archaeology Crete (London, 1939), 178, 290, 385; H. A. Boyd, 'Gournia', Free TransactionstheDepartmentArchaeology, Museum Science of of of i andArt, University ofPennsylvania,(Philadelphia,1904), 17-18. 8 Pendlebury(n. 7), 313-16. 9 Pendlebury often mentioned the sites as Subminoan or PG, but their contemporaneity with Karphi allows them to be redated to LM III c-PG. 0o Pendleburynever published a proper list of refuge sites in dark age Crete, but numerous remarksare scattered in his works. " N. Platon, PAE 1956, 239-40; P. Faure, 'Nouvelles recherches de spe16ologieet de topographie cr6toises', BCH 84 (1960), 196-219; id., 'Cavernes et sites aux extr6mit6sde la Crfte', BCH 86 (1962), 39-41; M. S. E Hood and P. M.

Warren, 'Ancient sites in the province of Agios Vasilios, Crete', BSA 61 (1966), 178. 12Pendleburygave, for example, a much better context for Karphi as a defensible settlement. A. M. Snodgrass writes: 'this site is shown by its pottery to have been curiously aloof from many contemporary developments in the island' (The DarkAge of Greece (Edinburgh, 1971), 249); and further on: 'Karphi was such an isolated site . . . The evidence of Karphi must, as always, be put forward with qualification, not only because of its general cultural isolation .. .' (ibid. 371). He identified the most important links with the outside world as being with Cyprus, in spite of the fact that they were based on a very few items, whereas the connection of Karphi with other Cretan centres is supported by numerous, much better-grounded factors. On the other hand, V. R. Desborough does not want to see Karphi in 'cultural isolation', writing that 'One of the most interestingpoints is the evidence provided for close contact with other parts of Crete, at least for some periods, and also for overseas contacts' (The GreekDark Ages (London, 1972), 127-8). Desborough too, however, did not mention other sites, similar to Karphi and already identified by Pendlebury, when discussing this site's political role on the basis of its geographical location. 1' G. C. Gesell, L. P. Day, and W. D. E. Coulson, 'Excavations and survey at Kavousi 1978-1981', Hesp. 52 (1983), 389-420; iid., 'Kavousi, 1982-1983: the kastro', Hesp. 54 (1985),327-55; iid., 'Excavationsat Kavousi, Crete, 1987', Hesp.57 (1988),279-301; iid., 'Excavationsat Kavousi,