Cretan tomb’s location may have strengthened territorial claim

Related Articles

Related Articles

Examining the position occupied by tombs in their landscape in Prepalatial Crete gives us new insights into the role played by burial sites, mortuary practices and the deceased in the living society.

Tholos A at Apesokari, in south-central Crete (Greece) is one of ca. 85 Early and Middle Bronze Age circular tombs discovered so far in Crete. A recently published article contributes to the understanding of Tholos A in its landscape and chronological context, while offering an opportunity to address questions pertaining to community, communal identity, strategies of exploitation of the local landscape, and regional interactions in Prepalatial Crete.

The article, “Patterns of Visibility, Intervisibility and Invisibility at Bronze Age Apesokari (Crete)” by Dr. Sylviane Déderix of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, has been published in De Gruyter’s open access journal, Open Archaeology.

Tholos A was excavated during World War II by August Schörgendorfer, an Austrian archaeologist and officer in the Wehrmacht, but it remained unstudied until a few years ago, when a new research program was started by Dr. Georgia Flouda of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. As part of this program, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) were employed by Dr. Déderix to examine the possibility that concerns of visibility, intervisibility and invisibility may have influenced the placement of Tholos A in the landscape of Bronze Age Apesokari.

Built on a sloping ledge of bedrock overlooking the Mesara Plain, Tholos A at Apesokari occupies an unusual (and quite inconvenient) topographic setting in comparison with most circular tombs. The article discusses GIS-based viewshed analyses that were undertaken to assess whether such a location was intended to maximize the visual impact of the tomb and ensure (or, conversely, prevent) intervisibility with specific features in the landscape. The results of the analyses demonstrate that, even though Tholos A was highly visible in its local landscape, it was invisible from the habitation site and a second circular tomb known in the surroundings. The choice of location of Tholos A may, however, have been intended to visually control parcels of land located in the valley below and/or to increase the visibility of the tomb from an optimal path traversing the area.


Subscribe to more articles like this by following our Google Discovery feed - Click the follow button on your desktop or the star button on mobile. Subscribe

“At the cutting edge of the developing collaboration between GIS analysis and prehistoric fieldwork, Déderix addresses a specific question about the siting of one Minoan tomb to investigate how digital technology can work in the service of archaeology rather than the other way round,” said Lucy Goodison, the Phyllis and Eileen Gibbs Travelling Fellow at Newnham College Cambridge. Read the full paper – Click Here

DE GRUYTER

- Advertisement -

Download the HeritageDaily mobile application on iOS and Android

More on this topic

LATEST NEWS

Volubilis – The Ancient Berber City

Volubilis is an archaeological site and ancient Berber city that many archaeologists believe was the capital of the Kingdom of Mauretania.

Pella – Birthplace of Alexander The Great

Pella is an archaeological site and the historical capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon.

New Argentine fossils uncover history of celebrated conifer group

Newly unearthed, surprisingly well-preserved conifer fossils from Patagonia, Argentina, show that an endangered and celebrated group of tropical West Pacific trees has roots in the ancient supercontinent that once comprised Australia, Antarctica and South America, according to an international team of researchers.

High-tech CT reveals ancient evolutionary adaptation of extinct crocodylomorphs

The tree of life is rich in examples of species that changed from living in water to a land-based existence.

Fish fossils become buried treasure

Rare metals crucial to green industries turn out to have a surprising origin. Ancient global climate change and certain kinds of undersea geology drove fish populations to specific locations.

Archaeologists Discover Viking Toilet in Denmark

Archaeologists excavating a settlement on the Stevns Peninsula in Denmark suggests they have discovered a toilet from the Viking Age.

Innovation by ancient farmers adds to biodiversity of the Amazon, study shows

Innovation by ancient farmers to improve soil fertility continues to have an impact on the biodiversity of the Amazon, a major new study shows.

Lost Shiva Temple Buried in Sand Discovered by Local Villagers

Villagers from the Perumallapadu village in the Pradesh’s Nellore district of India have unearthed the 300-year-old Temple of Nageswara Swamy on the banks of the Penna River.

Ma’rib – Capital of the Kingdom of Saba

Ma'rib is an archaeological site and former capital of the ancient kingdom of Saba in modern-day Ma'rib in Yemen

Giant Egg Discovered in Antarctica Belonged to Marine Reptile

A large fossil discovered in Antarctica by Chilean researchers in 2011 has been found to be a giant, soft-shell egg from 66 million years ago.

Popular stories