Agricultural Wealth, Food Storage, and Commensal Politics at Azoria an Archaic City on Crete


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Azoria (630-480 BC) is a small urban center on the island of Crete. Ten seasons of large-scale excavations have shed light on the formation, organization and operation of this Archaic city. At its heart is a massive civic complex with shrines, assembly halls, public dining rooms with associated kitchens and storerooms, a large free-standing storehouse, and an olive press. Surrounding the civic complex are "townhouses" of important families: here too, storage, preparation and consumption of foods were prominently displayed. The layout and contents of these public and residential buildings manifest the importance of food storage and display in urban politics. This paper draws on ceramic, architectural, and archaeobotanical evidence to discuss the mobilization and storage of agricultural products—particularly from vineyards and orchards. We argue that city authorities, or some other supra-household group, administered the mobilization, storage and distribution of a range of foods (such as grain, pulses, olives, wine, oil, and almond) for display and consumption in symposia and larger banqueting events.

Cite this Record

Agricultural Wealth, Food Storage, and Commensal Politics at Azoria an Archaic City on Crete. C. Margaret Scarry, Margaret Mook, Donald Haggis. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450154)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -10.151; min lat: 29.459 ; max long: 42.847; max lat: 47.99 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23009