The crucial earliest phases of palatial Knossos are not well known, in part due to over-building by neopalatial structures and floors. This volume represents the first complete publication of substantial deposits dating to this period, specifically the Middle Minoan IB and IIA phases. This is a first not only for Knossos but for Crete as a whole, and will act as a crucial point of reference for future work on these key phases in the islands prehistory. The five Protopalatial deposits in question, excavated in 1973, 1987 and 199293, are fully published with their contexts, the stratified pottery and small finds including the earliest inscribed clay document from Crete, clay sealings, horn-cores and chipped stone; radiocarbon dates are also presented. The deposits come from the south-west of the palace area, and provide evidence for a range of activities such as ceremonial feasting, workshop production and administration, as well as showing the early development of individual town dwellings on terraces just a few metres from the palace.
The volume concludes with a full discussion of the form and function of the Old Palace, stressing that the plans laid down in the first 150 years were far more closely followed over the next 400 years than has hitherto been suspected.
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