Institute of Archaeology


Dominic Pollard

Dominic Pollard

A Comparative Analysis of Cretan Settlement, Economy and Society from the 12th-6th centuries BCE.


Email: dominic.pollard.16@ucl.ac.uk
Section: World Archaeology


A Comparative Analysis of Cretan Settlement, Economy and Society from the 12th-6th centuries BCE.

The Aegean Early Iron Age (EIA) has long been recognised as a formative period in the emergence of the Classical Greek world. However, its marginal relationship to the traditional concerns of both Prehistoric and Classical Archaeology has left the period relatively poorly investigated. On Crete, though the causes of the 'collapse' of the Bronze Age (BA) palaces remain debated, the general turbulence of the subsequent period has found apparent confirmation in the proliferation of seemingly defensive sites in upland areas. Indeed, the only major recent synthesis dealing with the EIA across Crete focusses largely on these refuge sites. This agenda has, unfortunately, drawn attention away from several important lowland sites and left an incomplete account of the development of the polis from these post-Bronze Age settlements, particularly regarding their (re)integration into Mediterranean networks of communication, exchange and identity.

My research will focus initially on Knossos, where, although several studies of habitation, ceramics, burial and ritual have been made, no integrated analysis addressing the long-term transformation of the settlement through the EIA has yet been undertaken. My research seeks address this, through investigation of over a century's worth of excavation and survey data, and first-hand analyses of the extensive ceramic assemblages held by the British School at Athens (BSA), at Knossos. My findings from Knossos will underpin a comparative analysis of other well-documented sites in Crete, through which I will consider the potential social networks, systems of exchange, and distinct or shared political strategies that facilitated the consolidation and growth of Cretan settlements throughout the EIA. The study will present a thorough account of the material, social, religious, and political changes and continuities that carried the island from palace-centred states, through extended collapse, to emerging Classical city-states.


UCL Graduate Research Scholarship (GRS)


  • BA, Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Oxford, 2015
  • MA, Mediterranean Archaeology, UCL, 2017